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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2019

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Immigration Debate Hinders Equality

Immigration Debate Hinders Equality


The push for equality in America has experienced profound victories in the past 50 years. From deconstructing Jim Crow to the recent appeals on Proposition 8 in California, the past half-century has proved to be one of progress in the struggle for equality. Why then, is this progress hindered by the arrogance surrounding the immigration debate?

At some point in time, almost every English-speaking American has complained about having to “press one for English.” Many feel like the growing Latin American minority is becoming an invasive part of American culture. Hardworking American citizens often feel violated at the thought of undocumented immigrants living tax-free on U.S. soil. The general attitude is riddled with misunderstanding and racism.

The “build a wall and build it tall” attitude must end. Amnesty is when a state or executive power pardons those who have committed an offense. Immigration amnesty is essential to American democracy.

My question to those who oppose socially and legally accepting immigrants is what Native American tribe do you belong to? Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Americans trace their roots to relatively recent immigrants, most of whom came through Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century. This wave of immigrants undoubtedly shaped the framework of contemporary American society. Immigration increases cultural, religious and linguistic diversity—a kind of diversity that America is outwardly proud of. Why should we not extend this heritage of diversity to 21st century America.

Fiscal matters are a fundamental concern of Americans opposed to amnesty. Most Americans assume that taxes cannot be deducted from paychecks of undocumented workers, although this could not be further from the truth. According to journalist John Lantigua of the Seattle Times, “billions of dollars deducted from paychecks issued to undocumented workers flow to the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year.” However, by virtue of being undocumented, these workers will never receive the benefits of federal programs, meaning that U.S. citizens are receiving the benefits of undocumented labor without reciprocating the favor.

Another concern of many Americans is the disappearance of jobs. This is a legitimate concern since immigrants tend to fill low-skill positions in the U.S. workforce.
However, most of these positions are jobs that Americans would prefer not to fill anyway. In addition, an influx of citizens in the U.S. automatically results in an increased economy with increased demand, meaning that more positions in agriculture and service sectors will need to be filled regardless.

The issue of immigration reform is complicated and requires economic and political expertise to untangle peacefully. Many immigrants come to our nation and work relentlessly for unlivable wages, and we still deny them basic citizenship rights. Arguably the most disempowered group in America, immigrants face severe poverty and drastic crime rates as a direct consequence of systematic racism. Would you rather be a Latin American immigrant in 2012 or would you rather, “press one for English?”


  1. David Bosscher

    This is indeed a complex problem. I have no problem with immigration, per se. We are a nation of immigrants and our way of life still attracts milions. Yet, we must have a system which maintains, even improves, our nation. We should still welcome immigrants but they mnust come with the unmderstanding there is a proper way of doing this. We can and should make some changes in our present requirements but there still is a ‘system’ by which it is done. To ignore these invites disaster. Let them come to help ‘build’ and ‘maintain’ a country such as ours with all of its warts as well as blessings. But do all of this legally – not llegally!

  2. k

    I think it really boils down to a simple issue: we have laws in place that govern the admission and presence of immigrants into this country.
    Entering illegally is violating the laws of this country. If you enter illegally, you should be deported. If you enter legally, you can stay within the restrictions of your visa.
    Plain and simple – follow the rules.

  3. Myself

    No people, immigrants do not have a right to come here. There is no systematic racism, no matter what your perhaps communist professors told you. The very premise of your article makes me weep for the human species and it’s ability to understand basic laws and ideas, so I’m not going to bother to debate it. You are simply wrong, and hugely biased.

    We do not have jobs. We have taken in four million immigrants legally since Obama took office. Once again job growth has been negative during those years. What are these people doing? If they are employed, then they are taking jobs from Americans who are unemployed who IN FACT have a right to those jobs before those immigrants because the Americans are citizens. This is one thing that many of the “WE NEED TO BE NICE TO EVERYONE ALL THE TIME” crowd forgets- if you are not a citizen and therefore not a member of the American nation you have no right to get a job when there is even a single American unwillfully unemployed. The exception to this is if there are absolutely no Americans who can do such a job, but with an unemployment rate of 9% and a real unemployment rate of upwards of 12% I think it is unlikely no one can be found to do such a job. Further if the job requires an education that the foreigner has and Americans do not, I question why we have not made it so that every American has an equal chance to get that education and why we would just let out own people rot because it is easier to hire a foreigner.

    Further on the issue of illegal immigration Latin America is poor because the Latin Americans have made poor choices. Some people with a poor knowledge of history will argue all the blame is on the United States, but when modernizing regimes or nationalistic regimes are constantly overthrown by the next tough caudillo to make a bid for power, how can one not blame the Latin Americans. Was not the Great Depression the fault of the Americans who allowed Americans to buy things on credit without checking whether they could pay it back? AND FURTHER is it not the responsibility of Latin governments to take care of their own people, rather than encouraging their poorest to simply leave and become a burden on the American nation? And of course as the poor simply leave Latin America in mass exodus and enter the United States, will not our standard of living decrease while Latin America’s increases due to not having to care for their own poor anymore? Why should we accept a lowering of our standards so that “everyone” else can benefit? The whole point of being a citizen of this nation and paying taxes is that the government is supposed to protect the nation first and foremost.

    Finally is the unity of the nation itself. Multinational states like the Soviet Union and Austria-Hungary and Yugoslavia do not work. This is why virtually all African states- which are almost all multiethnic enforce a unified identity. What does it mean to be Nigerian? Are you a speaker of Igbo or Hausa? No, you speak the Nigerian dialect of English. English is the great unifying language of the most populous nation in Africa. Nigerians as a nation have more in common with other Nigerians than a Hausa Nigerian has in common with a Hausa Sudanese (there are also Hausa people in Sudan). The idea that a state with multiple nations in it’s borders can exist is alien to the human species- if you have nothing in common with “those guys over there” why should your taxes help them? And don’t say “cuz we all humans” because in a world with limited resources that has never been a good reason. Why starve yourself so someone completely alien can eat?

  4. BotanicalWits

    “However, most of these positions are jobs that Americans would prefer not to fill anyway.”
    I don’t think Americans have any right to “prefer not to fill” jobs with 8.3% unemployment (and almost half of that for more than 27 weeks).