Identity of Illegals

October 10, 2011

Political Theory


A few weeks ago, Alabama passed one of the most stringent and harsh immigration laws in the country.  Even more so than the immigration law passed in Arizona a few years ago, which allowed law enforcement officials to arrest anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally, Alabama felt the need to go even further.

Under Alabama’s new law, secondary and elementary schools are forced to check newly enrolled students’ backgrounds to ensure they are U.S. citizens, illegal students will no longer be able to attend public universities, and any transporting, harboring, or renting of property to illegal immigrants will be deemed illegal (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/law/jan-june11/alabama_06-10.html).

This new law has had a devastating effect on families who are in the country illegally, since the law has the power to break up families, allowing older children who are U.S. citizens to stay in the U.S., while they must watch as younger siblings and parents are sent back home.  The law has frightened families so much that parents are afraid to send their children to school, because school officials in Alabama are now forced to check the immigration status of new students and their parents.   The fact that school officials are forced to check the immigration status of students seems like it is edging on the brink of unconstitutional, if it’s not already.  In 1982, the Supreme Court issued that all children should have the right to education in this country, regardless of their immigration status, (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/opinion/alabamas-shame.html).  By taunting children and their parents with the possibility that by showing up to school, they could be turned into authorities, it does not show how all children have the right to an education.  Here is a link to a video showing how this new law is effecting the education of young children: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/vanishing-alabama-school-children/2011/10/10/gIQAQwsnZL_video.html

I believe an editorial in the NY Times titled Alabama’s Shame said it best, when Alabama’s effort to crackdown on illegal immigrants was really an effort to make those people “isolated, unemployable, poor, defenseless and uneducated,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/opinion/alabamas-shame.html).  This statement makes sense, as nobody will hire an illegal immigrant if they risk punishment by the law, and no parent who is an illegal immigrant will want to send their children to school if it risks their identity being discovered.  As a result, any opportunity that an illegal citizen may have had to advance in society and create a better life for their family is hopelessly ripped away from them.  Their children will grow up scared, uneducated, and unable to find work.

Seen by the effects this law has had on illegal immigrants, it seems as if the lawmakers who passed this law feel they have no responsibility towards immigrants from other nations.  They fail to realize that these people have families as well, and they simply want their families to have a better life.  Is that such a crime?  According to an Alabama congressman, Mo Brooks (r), it is:  “We want illegal aliens out of the state of Alabama, and I want illegal aliens out of the United States of America,” (http://americasvoiceonline.org/blog/entry/ap_alabamas_anti-immigrant_law_may_be_backfiring._supporters_of_mass_deport/).  Why is it necessary to rid the entire country of illegal aliens?  Do they really pose such a threat to the health and well being to the state of Alabama, and the country in general?  Should a person’s immigration status really force them back into the life they were trying to escape in their home country?

It is understandable why some people may feel threatened by illegal immigrants, since they will often work more for lesser wages, causing some people to feel they are taking away their jobs.  In reality, though, illegal immigrants often take up jobs that include hard, physical labor, or, in other words, jobs that many Americans often will not do.  They fill an important void in the labor market, and farmers and construction companies need these illegal immigrants to keep their businesses running smoothly.

For example, Chad Smith, a tomato farmer, is now struggling to rescue his crops, since many of the migrants he employs are frightened to show up to work now.  “The tomatoes are rotting on the vine, and there is very little that we can do,” (http://americasvoiceonline.org/blog/entry/ap_alabamas_anti-immigrant_law_may_be_backfiring._supporters_of_mass_deport/).  Further instances of how this new immigration law is seriously effecting Alabama’s economy for the worse can be seen in this article:  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2016457107_alabamafarmers10.html

Alabama’s new immigration law seems unconstitutional, harsh, and damaging to the lives of both citizens of the U.S. and illegal immigrants.  It seems as if a person’s status as an illegal immigrant automatically classifies them as criminal and undeserving of living in the United States.  Should being an illegal alien be considered a contingent fact of birth?  Once an illegal alien, always an illegal alien, so leave the country?  As citizens of the U.S., do we have any responsibility at all towards those who are not citizens of our own country?  Or, as Appiah mentions, should we begin to think of each other as “global citizens”?  Do you agree with Alabama’s immigration law, feeling it opens up more opportunities for people who are already legal citizens of the U.S., or, does it just emphasize the refusal of a state to take responsibility for others?

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18 Comments on “Identity of Illegals”

  1. ksaukas Says:

    What must be taken into account here is how do we interpret our roles as citizens of our country and our roles as individuals with the responsibility of taking care of others. In the basic context of our law before we had a mass illegal immigration problem it was not the responsibility of an American citizen to provide public services with their tax dollars for non-citizens of their country. Unfortunately for all parties involved the immigration problem exploded faster than the U.S. government could handle it. So should it truly be our responsibility to take care of persons that aren’t citizens or even legal immigrants who honestly went through the immigration system to get here. I don’t remember any articles for illegal immigration drafted by the founding fathers or at any other time before the present.

    On the other hand we have allowed the problem of illegal immigration to grow to large. There are to many illegals living inside the borders of the U.S. and providing necessary elements to our national economy. Basically they are here, we can’t get rid of them, and we really don’t want to because they provide so much for the country. Now it was not our original responsibility to care for illegal immigrants, but morally I am assured most of us believe that it is the right thing to do.

    So this draws us back to Socrates and his argument to the court during his trial of each individual looking upon the law and deciding if it is just or not based upon their values, and not just following the law because it is the law. The law was that we shouldn’t help illegal immigrants, but many people I believe will follow Socrates example and disregard it due to their personal values. Luckily we have the ability to change our laws to ideals we find more just if we so choose.

  2. Dave Francis Says:

    When California has a $20 to 24 billion dollar deficit, amid the State suffocating under the millions of illegal immigrants that have invaded, that passing illegal immigrant ‘Dream Act’ defies any logic? California has now joined Texas and a few other states, giving taxpayers money for tuition, while legal Texas students are left out? Where does Liberal Governor Jerry Brown have the nerve to add another $23 million to $40 million annually for taxpayer backed tuition for illegal immigrant students? It’s estimated that 2,500 illegal alien students will qualify for taxpayer aid under the bill. This is the height of disgusting and incomprehensible when US citizens and legal resident, cannot get in-state tuition after their family brought them to America through legal means or the baby was born here. Brown may have past a Californians version of the unsuccessful policy, but those children and adult students have no citizenship standing? They cannot gain any citizen rights under the current system and can still be arrested under current law—unless President Obama has another cheap trick, like bypassing the “rule of Law.”

    Adverse politicians to this ‘Dream Act’ law stated, that it will further attract millions more foreign nationals, across the state border. California–A far left Liberal state and identified as a Sanctuary State, will soon be very much aware of not only more people pouring through the border or flying into LAX international air terminal. But hundreds of thousands, may be millions will skirt immigration laws and illegal alien families will further collapse any chance of California outgrowing their financial insolvency, as scatterings from the new enforcement policing laws enacted currently in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and very soon arrive in that state. Jerry Brown will have to face the voters in the future, when the reckoning comes? But then Jerry Brown and his minions in the state capitol of Sacramento is immersed in Liberal doctrines, that’s why the Golden State has massive welfare problems.

    There is a grading system for immigration records for each member of the GOP contenders for President and by reading this chart at NumbersUSA, you can judge for yourself, who clearly has the best evaluation of working for the American people and not the special interest lobbyists. Rick Perry, former Texas governor has poor results and the only personages who show great promise is Bachmann, Cain, Romney, with the rest of the pack trailing behind. Rick Perry however did try to pass a Voter ID law, but it was lost in a filibuster by the Democrats. The left will do anything to alter the direction of close elections—even to turning a blind eye to illegal aliens voting and destroying the integrity of citizens voting. When America is trying to overcome the 14 Trillion dollar federal deficit, we cannot afford to keep subsidizing the rest of the world’s poor. In fact the daily quota of illegal aliens who slip past our fence, just adds to the poverty already spreading here. Much of that poverty is brought into our nation, by these very individual, that ICE and the Border Patrol try to keep out.

    YOU ARE THE VOTERS AND YOU CAN STOP THE MERCILESS INTIMIDATION OF ARIZONA, ALABAMA, GEORGIA AND OTHER STATES THAT UNITE?

    The agenda of the U.S. Government have cultivated this mess over thirty years, but the major dilemma came after the 1986 Immigration Control and reform Act. Now that Governor Brown has signed into law the state-only ’Dream Act’ he has assured illegal immigrants will get–public money. Whether they get tuition money from Taxpayers, they are still illegal aliens and under the new Lamar Smith’s E-Very bill, their illegal parents will have to self deported, once they find jobs are no longer available to them. This is because “LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT” (H.R. 2885) after passage, will be a mandatory deterrent, to rid foreigners taking jobs from Americans workers. Corporations, businesses–large or small, will be held accountable, specifically under the growing nationwide influence of the TEA PARTY.

    America always desires professional highly-skilled occupations, who will not become a taxpayers liability? But what is happening is greedy companies using less than honest attorneys to fill in the paperwork for second-rate workers, who definitely don’t fill the requirements of the law, but are in truth are fraudulent discount labor. However bucketing through our mostly open borders are—ECONOMIC—illegal aliens that is just more profit for thousands of undaunted companies that hire them and end up as public welfare charges.

    • ksaukas Says:

      While I wholeheartedly agree with you on some points may I suggest you don’t throw around accusing statements, they make you sound like you are ranting about your own political view and only those who agree with you will listen to that. Also throw an actual counter argument in there instead of generalizations…Mill and everyone else we have read wanted to promote discussion and debate not an attempt to persecute the silent opposition. Again I do agree with some of your statements, but for the sake of your argument please take all of this into account.

    • ianbaker2041 Says:

      I definitely agree with the first reply. You may have some valid points here, but they are lost amidst political rhetoric. I would suggest arguing with evidence, facts, and points of view instead of doing it with emotion. It can look “preachy” and unconvincing.

    • ksaukas Says:

      Actually guys disregard this comment I clicked on this persons name and a fake facebook page popped up. So either it is a GSI trying to incite conversation or a troll…either way the best thing to do is to ignore said person haha.

  3. mfriedlander92 Says:

    While I see how people may be upset by this new law, because it scares illegal immigrants and causes them to not be able to provide a better life for their family; however, there is a key point that people are not paying attention. These people are illegal immigrants – saying that what Alabama is unconstitutional to the illegal immigrants is irrelevant because they aren’t citizens so the constitution doesn’t cover them. Although many cases have over-turned this belief so the amendments protect them. However in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) it says that “Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” applied to all persons “without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality,” and to “an alien, who has entered the country, and has become subject in all respects to its jurisdiction, and a part of its population, although alleged to be illegally here.”

    I know this sounds awful, but does this state anything about education? There have been many other cases that deal with illegal immigrants and their right to an education. For example in Plyer v. Doe (1982) dealt with allowing illegal immigrant children to attend K-12 in Texas. So this is case with Alabama is not the first time this issue has been dealt with. I know that illegal immigrants are people too and do have feelings and right to happiness, but are they paying taxes? Are they paying for the state to educate your children?

    As much as the illegal immigrants want their children to have a better life than they did and to be educated. However, I don’t think that it is fair that just because they want their kids to have a better life than them, they can get it. There are so many people in poor areas that want a better life for their children, but cheating the system is not the way to do it. Yes, maybe it is unfair to do a background check on every student who is becoming enrolled in the school, but not completely out of line. If my child’s school is becoming over-enrolled and run down because there is not enough money in the budget to support the school because too many illegal immigrant children are in the classes and using the federal money, is that fair? It isn’t about denying them the right to an education, it is the fact that they don’t pay or provide for the services they are expecting; if you go to a restaurant and your friend pays for her meal but you don’t pay for yours, do you just expect her or the restaurant to pay for it? No, because being part of a society means contributing (not saying that the illegal immigrants are not working or getting paid) but if they don’t contribute fully like the rest of the society, they shouldn’t be allowed to use all the services that the government provides.

    • ianbaker2041 Says:

      I don’t think it’s awful at all to question whether or not we should pay for children of illegal immigrants to have an education. The federal and many state governments are facing serious budget issues, and providing education to those who do not pay into the system at all seems unfair to those of us who do.

  4. sbsmoler92692 Says:

    I was shocked to learn about this new law that was recently passed in the state of Alabama earlier this month. I can easily understand the reasons why American citizens might not want illegal immigrants working in the country, especially since the past couple years economic recession and extreme difficulty to find jobs. It is unfair for those citizens that are here illegally, to take jobs from people that are unemployed and actual citizens. While those illegal immigrants do work for much cheaper labor, the first priority within employment should be to employ those US citizens first. However, one can also argue that people are blind-sighted and fail to recognize that kicking illegal immigrants out of the country breaks homes, and tears families apart. This new law passed in Alabama does both, and more, as it has started to rob children of an education. I do not believe that being an illegal alien should be a contingent factor of birth, as you cannot control who your parents are and if they are from the USA or not. It is unjust to say that they should have a background check and then be deported or uneducated, based off of their parents nationalities or citizenship. As global citizens of the United States of America, we should treat one another, even those that are not yet registered citizens of the country, as global citizens. Because someone is here illegally, does not mean that they cannot apply for citizenship or a visa to make themselves and their family “legal.” I strongly believe that the immigration law recently passed in Alabama emphasizes the refusal of a state to take responsibility for others. It negatively reflects not only the United States as a whole country, but also the state of Alabama. It only reinforces the negative stereotypes that were once associated with the South, and failure to tolerate those that are different in any way, shape, or form. Rather, we should follow Appiah’s lead and embrace each other as “global citizens.”

  5. adamskt Says:

    In my opinion, the point made by mfriedlander92 is substantial and convincing in one main respect; namely that it is illogical to call a practice unconstitutional when it applies to someone that the Constitution does not attempt to protect. The Constitution was written to describe and protect the rights of American citizens. There is no obligation for the Constitution to protect the rights of people of other countries. These are ideas that most people can agree on.

    That being said, I feel that it is impossible to view these immigration policies in isolation of American citizens. Although illegal immigrants are the direct target of the legislation, legal American citizens feel the indirect effect. Some American students are prevented from going to school, while others spend the day in fear. According to the video in the post, teachers go out of their way to pick up children whose parents are afraid to drive them to school and friends’ hearts break as they watch families split up. Regardless of one’s opinion on the effect of the law on the illegal immigrants, others (teachers, family members, friends) are being affected. I personally find it difficult to support a legislation that has such a large negative effect on American citizens. Although I agree that the word “unconstitutional” is often used in situations where it cannot rationally be applied, I think that it can be used to describe a situation in which American citizens feel personal effects of a legislation, even if they are not the specific target.

    I understand that the increased enforcement of these immigration practices may provide benefits for some citizen residents of Alabama, which makes this situation even more complex. Greater knowledge of the circumstances in Alabama pre-legislation would be necessary for me to form a stronger opinion on this specific situation. However, I do believe that American citizens are feeling the negative effects of these policies, which can make them unconstitutional.

  6. ianbaker2041 Says:

    I really like this post, and I’m intrigued by the conversation that it’s generated. I, however, have to disagree with the argument put forward by the author for a couple of reasons.

    Many of the comments talk extensively about how this new law somehow violates the rights of illegal immigrants; however, these illegal immigrants do not get anything more than the basic human rights in this country because they aren’t citizens, and that is how it should be. As already discussed, the Constitution outlines rights for American CITIZENS, not illegal aliens. Furthermore, certain “American rights” such as freedom from search and seizure (which is what is essentially happening here by my analysis) and education do not apply to illegal immigrants because they are not citizens of the United States or resident aliens. Their presence in the United States is illegal; illegal means criminal; thus, giving free rights to criminals as outlined in the Constitution wouldn’t make any sense. By virtue of committing a crime, one is, in a large sense, surrendering one’s rights. Think of prisoners-do they get the right to do as they please? No. Why? Because they have committed a crime and must pay the price to society for that decision. Illegal immigrants are no different-they too have committed a crime, so giving Constitutional rights to illegal immigrants seems to not only tacitly accept illegal immigration but actually condones it. That is definitely not what America should be doing, and it’s laws like this that prevent that from happening.

    There is, however, a seemingly legitimate argument about families. I understand that illegal immigrants come here to make a better life for their families, and I respect that completely. Anyone, citizen or otherwise, who says that he or she doesn’t want to make a better life for his or her family would probably be lying. The problem is that they are improving the lot of their families at the expense of America’s taxpaying citizens as a whole. When I work, I will pay taxes like every other American, and I resent the idea that my hard-earned money would go towards educating illegal immigrants who are not citizens of this country. When I help my family, I will do it with legal work that does not cause a drain on my fellow Americans. In a time when our government already has a large enough problem with balancing revenue and expenses, I simply cannot comprehend how anyone would propose to add ANOTHER expense on top of an already thinly stretched budget. Removing illegal immigrants seems like a great way to save a little bit of money because we no longer pay for their education, healthcare, and welfare programs.

    The point of the law isn’t to deprive anyone of fundamental human rights. The way I look at it, the law aims only to ensure that America remains a country of legal immigrants and responsible citizens. It’s designed to make sure that no one is unjustly eating from the public trough and that our citizens are treated fairly. How is there any injustice in that?

  7. bmauto21 Says:

    When reading this, one must remember that they are in fact in the country illegally. These schools are paid for by tax payers and the government, and an illegal immigrant does not contribute to taxes and isn’t involved with the government. I agree with this new law because it does separate the people who contribute to society, and the people who are trying to leach off of societies good graces. There should be stricter rules for illegal immigrants because if and when they are granted citizenship then all the benefits will come along with it such as education or the possibility to get a new job in order to support their family.

  8. brianfrankel Says:

    While I am appalled by Alabama’s decision to take legislation against illegal immigrants this far, I am not shocked by the decision. Rather than because of hatred or fear, I believe that this law was passed in order to send a message to the federal government that they must act to strengthen our borders and stop rampant illegal immigration. Most educated citizens know that our country not only runs because of illegal immigrants but also depends on them for our future. With the rest of our population getting older, we depend on the injection of youth brought by hispanic immigrants and hispanic families; this is why the Dream Act, mentioned by Dave Francis above, in California is so important to the state’s and the country’s future. While our border insecurities must be addressed in order to strengthen our national security, prevent the drug trade, and possibly help some American workers as well, legislation must not be brought that will hamper the growth of a population that our nation desperately needs for the future. Economic growth can only be sustained by a burgeoning population, which is what these people represent.

  9. leannaprairie Says:

    I do believe that Alabama has taken these immigration laws a little bit too far. I understand the concern and discontent towards illegal aliens, but I think there is a better way to handle all of this. What if there were some way to make sure that illegal aliens weren’t having their education paid for, but could still attend school if they could put forth the funds themselves?

    It doesn’t seem fair that in a country where all children are promised an education, that these children will inevitably miss out because of when/where they were born.

    Lastly, this is a well written post, and I am really impressed with the amount of discussion that it has brought forth, but everyone, please please please try to keep attitudes and tempers in check. If this is to be a true marketplace of ideas (as Mill would want) then we all have to be respectful of one another.

  10. dannilevin9492 Says:

    It’s imperative to note our view of roles as citizens of the United States. I believe that immigration is a major issue our country faces partly because people in society fear their roles as citizens are not strong enough. What I mean by this is that Americans fear that immigrants will enter this country and take our jobs, our money, and kick us out of house and home. Many feel the country is only big enough for those who were born here to live here, and not for others who may be suffering to entire and try to pick their lives up. While immigration has a large effect on our economy and perhaps even our politics, I don’t think it should be taken to drastic measures as it was in Alabama.

    If we see America as the land of the free, then it should be free to not only citizens but to those who don’t experience such opportunities in other countries. This is especially important to those suffering in third world countries. People should be able to try to make their lives better, and if that means moving to a country as advanced as America then so be it. I do think there should be a happy medium when it comes to immigration simply for this reason: if Americans cherish freedom and equality among humans, this should include all humans not just citizens of the United States. Obviously I wouldn’t want these immigrants to come in and expect life to be served to them on a silver platter. They must prove to America that they can be the fast paced, hard-working dedicated people that most citizens here are. In order to do this immigrants must find their way into the work force and work their way up to the top. However, in order to get involved in society and the work force these days a high school education is at least necessary. By searching through documents of new students to specifically find illegal immigrant background, the state of Alabama is stunting human beings, just as us citizens are, to be incorporated into an education plan and inevitably get a job and be apart of the nation. This is also a violation of several immigration laws as well as laws as simple as equal rights that have been in our constitution for a while now.

  11. matthewlocascio Says:

    For one thing, what Alabama has done is something necessary and long overdue. It may seem like I am taking a harsh stance but the immigration problem needs to be addressed and Alabama has taken one of the first steps. There a thousand problems stemming from the immense number of illegal immigrants in the country, but I will specifically addressed the idea of the “public good.”

    Everyone knows that the government provides public schooling for children that live in the United States. Funding for public schools comes from taxes that citizens of the United States pay. Hard-working, devoted, American citizens are therefore forced to pay taxes to provide education for children who do not even belong in this country. Now some may say that it is the American thing to do to provide education for all. Well I, and a lot of other hard-working Americans, do not want to spend money we earned for people who do not belong here. It isn’t right. Where is the reward for hard work? It punishes people for earning money, forcing them to pay for education for people who aren’t here legally. There is a big difference if you are not a citizen but have gotten proper documentation and paperwork that allows you to study in the United States. For those who are here illegally, they should not be allowed to receive a “public good” from a government to which they do not pay taxes nor vote to elect public representatives.

    On another note, it was mentioned that it is unconstitutional to check for citizenship in public schools. One lesson I have learned so far in my near 20 years is that if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide. For those children who have proper documentation, there is no need to worry about the citizenship request. If there is a specific cause for the search (to prevent illegal immigration), and if it is used on everyone with no discrimination (again, this applies), then there should not be a problem implementing this law. The government is trying to cut down on illegal immigrants, and keeping them out of school is a good starting place. There is no discrimination with this law if every student is required to provide documentation, and it is for a purpose, so Alabama is helping to fix the immigration problem while most people are sitting back doing nothing.

  12. mjgeis Says:

    Usually I am very sympathetic towards the rights of illegal immigrants, but a few points were raised in these comments that I cannot simply toss aside. The most poignant of these was raised by Ianbaker2041, when he pointed out that illegal immigrants do not actually have rights as citizens of the United States. They are not protected by the Constitution. And, given the dangerous financial crisis (I think the troll or inciteful GSI posted this, haha), we really cannot afford this extra, unwarranted financial burden. If the government is hemorrhaging money, the least that can be done for Americans is to ensure that every cent they spend goes toward the benefit of American citizens. My own school district, Utica Community Schools, second-largest district in the state of Michigan, was forced to cut about 500 faculty positions and close four elementary schools in a budget cut resolution from March 2011 (http://uticak12.org/downloads/budget/1011/resolution.pdf). Given our lack of propinquity to Mexico, I don’t believe that UCS has a strong illegal immigrant issue, but the message is still clear: if we can’t afford to pay our teachers, then we need to ensure that every cent spent is going towards the education of a United States citizen.

    However, I do not agree at all with the law in Arizona. Not even a little bit. I realize it’s a separate issue, but I want to emphasize that, while I agree with financial responsibility and protecting American citizens, I do not support racial profiling in any way. Alabama seems to have its head on straight, but Arizona’s law is offensive and encourages racism. That is all.

  13. briank726 Says:

    Whether Alabama’s new law is constitutional or not is a difficult question to address because what harms some people benefits others. However, I think the foremost concern for wellbeing should be for the U.S. citizens rather than for the illegal immigrants. It would be difficult to accomodate everyone in the world; rather, it would be more efficient to stabilize and improve the condition and lifestyle of a nation’s people first, and then reach out to assist others.
    I am reminded of an article I read a few years ago about restaurants, such as Pizza House, mistreating illegal immigrants by paying them below the minimum wage and prohibiting them from discussing their working conditions with anyone. I feel that immigrants are already benefitting from the fact that they have any employers at all, and that to go a step further to create equal wage benefits for them would be unfair to the U.S. citizens. Where I am from in Queens, New York, there are crowds of illegal immigrants outside bus stops and supermarkets every morning, waiting to get picked up by anyone for a day’s work. Nights when I am out late, I always see public buses and trains full with immigrants. I do not know how content they are about their situation, but regardless of how unequal working circumstances are between them and us, they are still better off than being in their home country. They are making money, and their employers are able to take advantage of cheap employment. Even I know many people who utilize this; for example, my friend’s father would pick up immigrant workers whenever he needed things moved into his store for the day. I think it is extreme that people are so intent on improving their working conditions.
    Alabama’s new law is worsening an already poor state that the immigrants are in, but only in Alabama. If states are able to individually decide how stringent their immigration laws are, why is it wrong for a state to have the strictest laws possible? Can the immigrants not just move elsewhere that accommodates them better? I think it is moral and worthwhile to think of everyone as “global citizens” and to act on that idea, but it is just not feasible now. I agree that steps should be taken to help the lives of illegal immigrants, but I do not think we can say Alabama’s passing of the new law was wrong. Just because we as a nation believe something is right, we cannot force individual states to take action on that belief or even prevent them from taking steps that may inevitably go against it.

  14. schoiidaho Says:

    After reading this blog post, I found that there are so many aspects of the author’s argument that I completely agree with. The illegal immigrants, a large majority of them crossing over from Mexico, sacrifice everything and risk even their own lives to reach United States in hopes of providing a better living for themselves and their families. However, in the end, the ones that are fortunate enough to make it through the journey are only met with discrimination and scrutiny and constantly looked down upon.
    I agree that the law Alabama just passed is defintely unjust because it definitely denies the illegal immigrants the rights to education and better life in the future. We do not choose what family and household we are born into. A good education is the best-known path to success and higher socio-economic status. Also, it is true that no matter how much we try to cover it up, there is no denying that the illegal immigrants are the backbone of our economy. Denying the rights to an education and life especially to the people who do beneficial things for the country is just wrong.
    Lastly, this issue reminded me of the constant conflicts between North Korean eescapees and the Chinese government. The North Koreans leave everything behind and escape to China to flee the oppressive regime and to actually be able to make a living for themselves. However, China refuses to grant them refugee status and labels them as illegal economic migrants. If captured in China, the defectors are repatriated back to North Korea, where they will either be forced into internment camps or be executed for leaving the country. The North Korean children are not allowed to enroll in schools, and the all the families of the defectors have to constantly live under panic and in fear of being caught and getting sent back, making everything they have sacrificed and worked for worthless.

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