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Legal Rights for Illegal Aliens

Legal Rights for Illegal Aliens

Minimum Wage
Possibly the greatest draw for employing illegal immigrant labor stems from the fact that they are not required to receive minimum wage. Often, these types of jobs are service oriented or manual labor, and as such, can be easily hidden from audits and inquiring parties. Illegal immigrants maintain no specific rights in requesting minimum wage and their focus in avoiding deportation results in low-paying and even dangerous jobs. Many Americans cite the illegal immigrant population as a detriment to citizens finding gainful employment, however, the types of jobs that illegal immigrants occupy often fail to attract American labor.
Although the argument remains that illegal immigrants should not be entitled to any specific set of rights due to their illegal status, certain exemptions require consideration to insure the safety of the American border and general populace. One such consideration that often receives a high amount of debate is the granting of identification cards to illegal immigrants. If the federal legislature can come up with a plan to allow illegal immigrants to receive an identification card without facing automatic deportation, the safety of American citizens would automatically grow.
The primary worry concerning undocumented immigrants revolves around the inability to know what type of people are entering the nation. These individuals could be criminals, gang-members, or terrorists.

Driving Privileges
Potentially, both American citizens and illegal immigrants could be feeling what some perceive to be the ill effects of the REAL ID Act. The measure, passed by Congress under controversial circumstances, would link driver’s licenses with a national database, creating a de facto national ID system.
A majority of the American populations are perceived to be critical of this law, which has yet to go into full effect, citing concerns about the security of their confidential information over interstate connections and within a central, susceptible means of storing specific information. Illegal immigrants and their advocates, meanwhile, decry the REAL ID Act’s requirement of legal status to get a driver’s license, which could effectively turn police officers into immigration officials in the event a detainee is found to be an unlawful resident of the United States.
If and when states do adhere to REAL ID provisions, this will be a real issue for illegal immigrants. Until that point, though, there are already obstacles for undocumented aliens who seek driving privileges. For one, most states do not offer driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and even those that do offer driving privileges may insist on issuing separate cards that allow for separate driving rights for foreign-born applicants. Furthermore, the American public is currently decided against issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants; as much as 75% of Americans are in favor of denying them to illegal aliens.

Are Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Minimum Wage?

Are Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Minimum Wage?

Immigration rights change depending on the legality of the immigrant in question. Due to the fact that illegal immigrants are undocumented, they cannot get jobs unless they are under the table or nontaxable. Minimum wage, which is the lowest amount of money that an American citizen can legally be employed for on an hourly basis, varies state to state. Since illegal immigrants must work jobs that they are unlawfully able to have in the first place, employers who hire them do not feel the need to pay them minimum wage, knowing that no legal complaint can be made on the part of the illegal immigrant.
Few immigration rights exist for the benefits of illegal immigrants. Generally, equality does not enter in to the picture with illegal immigrant rights. Illegal immigrants are forced to maintain a low profile in the workforce and have no entitlement to the most basic employment rights. An illegal immigrant is not going to file suit against an employer for bad treatment and low pay. When it comes to immigration rights, there are arguments both for and against giving illegal immigrants the legal right to make a minimum hourly wage.
Immigration rights draw a good deal of debate from the American public. Sociologists often study the effect that immigration – legal or illegal – have on society. Certain statistics even show that illegal immigration may help the middle and upper classes financially. Yet, the fundamental argument exists that the more jobs illegal immigrants hold, the less jobs are made available for American citizens.
Currently, there exist millions of unemployed American citizens that are actively seeking employment. Due to the current economic crisis in the United States, many people are taking jobs that they are over-qualified for; in turn, the younger or inexperienced workers that once filled these low-level or mid-entry jobs must now compete with these people for work. The average state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
It is argued that because a minimum wage is not protected under illegal immigrant rights, these low level jobs are handed to illegal immigrants who are willing to get a flat pay of as little as $2 per hour, on average. Because of this, the working class and the working poor are said to be more likely to remain unemployed.
Roughly 28% of illegal immigrants live in poverty, with an additional 46% living near the poverty income line. On one hand, supporters of immigration rights say that every human in America has the right to receive a livable wage for the work they do. On the other hand, the term livable wage can be relative depending upon a person’s expenses, living situation and location.
Those who believe that illegal immigration rights should be non-existent feel that giving illegal immigrants a federal minimum wage would be legally acknowledging and rewarding an individual who is breaking the law.

Identification Cards for Illegal Aliens

Identification Cards for Illegal Aliens

It has been debated and argued that immigrant rights should not even exist for an illegal immigrant, as they have no legal authority to reside in the United States. Many politicians and organizations have released official statements declaring that giving illegal immigrants licenses and identification cards is actually a threat to national security and as such, should never be allowed.
Still others counter this, stating that giving an illegal immigrant the right to have an identification card or driver’s license. It has also been maintained that by extending immigrant rights to allow an illegal immigrant to have an identification card, police would have an easier time of locating and identifying people who either are unsure or are unable to communicate their identities; this would also apply to an illegal immigrant whom might falsely identify himself by claiming a name that is not consistent with the name on their identity card.
For the most part, it is generally agreed that any person over the age of 16 should have an identification card. In fact, in many states, being without some sort of identification is considered a misdemeanor. Yet, there are few cities and states that will grant identification cards and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. 

Driving Privileges for Illegal Aliens

Driving Privileges for Illegal Aliens

While the REAL ID Act, passed in 2005, has yet to go into practical application, and has already sent critics into a fervor concerning some of the law’s specifics. Furthermore, individual states have vowed refusal to follow this piece of legislation as it reads. The Rearing and Empowering America for Longevity against acts of International Destruction Act, as it is known in full, has come under fire for the new restrictions and qualifications it would impose on all driver’s license holders.
For the majority of Americans, a chief point of concern is that review of driver’s licenses will involve sharing of sensitive information across state lines and storage of that information in a central database that, if exploited, could allow hackers to access Social Security numbers and other forms of identification that are critical to keep secure. Coupled with this fear is the assertion that the REAL ID Act does not spell out the limits of how driver’s licenses may be used, and so identity checks at machine-readable terminals for mundane tasks might not only be inefficient, but a threat to privacy, as the federal government could theoretically track one’s movements based on use of one’s driver’s license.
Meanwhile, for illegal aliens, there are other, more prominent concerns. A new requirement for obtaining a driver’s license under the REAL ID Act is proof of a person’s legal right to live in the United States. Under this law, an illegal immigrant could not only be refused a driver’s license, but also be subject to the discovery that he or she is not a legal resident; this could lead directly to his or her deportation.
Therefore, police officers charged with the scrutiny of state-issued driver’s licenses may also be charged with a double duty: protecting and serving American civilians and helping to usher illegal aliens out of the country. Understandably, many people who support the efforts of illegal immigrant workers in the United States would be vehemently opposed to such a measure.
Even now, driver’s licenses are an uncertain prospect for many illegal aliens. Less than 25% of the individual fifty states support the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants – even in some of those states that do support driving privileges for illegal aliens, there are separate ID cards created specifically for that purpose. Utah, for example, issues such a “Driver Privilege Card” for the legal or illegal immigrant who does not possess a Social Security number, yet regardless of what effects the REAL ID Act has, as much as 75% of Americans are against the issuance of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.
 In fact, recognition of illegal immigrant driving privileges (and/or waffling on the subject) has actually hurt some politicians in their campaigns. Hillary Clinton, for one, gained much notoriety for being unprepared for a question on the subject of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens in a public forum during the 2008 presidential campaign.