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Immigration is the entry of foreigners into a country, seeking permanent residence. There are several reasons for immigrating. Some may do it because their native countries are war torn. Others do it to flee poverty in their home nations. Such people are on the lookout for greener shores that will enable them to fend for themselves. Today, there is the ongoing immigration policy debate in America. Some citizens are for deportation of illegal immigrants, whereas others are of the opinion that these people should be granted citizenship. The ones for it are of the belief that these immigrants bring job competition and are a threat to their culture. However, given resources that would be used in the deportation process, it makes no sense economically. What should be done is exercising border control to curb the situation. Illegal immigration has impacted negatively on the native and existing American population. However, deporting the established immigrants would lead to a decline in the nation’s economy. The best solution to the problem would be to enforce more strict border controls.
Paraphrasing the Poem “Prospective Immigrants, Please Note.”
There are two possibilities for potential immigrants. Either they will be able to make it in the United States, or, they will fail in their attempt to do so. For the fortunate who pass the test and can establish themselves in the states, it does not guarantee that life will be an easy ride or a walk in the park. There are those forces hell-bent on making your life unbearable. Such people will remind you where you came from and that you are a burden to them and their country. It is wise to learn to ignore the detractors and distractions. For those unable to make it to the states or fail to establish themselves, it does not mean the end of the world. There are many opportunities out there as long as there is the determination in them. It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise since they are spared of so many troubles that are faced by the successful immigrants. The existence of freedom to enter the states and opportunities present does not guarantee outright success.
How the Poem Addresses the Immigration Issue.
The poem points to the challenges faced by immigrants. Being accepted and assimilated into the society has proven to be difficult. The nativists who think that the country belongs to them see immigrants as intruders who bring unwanted competition for resources. They tend to make life difficult for the immigrants. This is as evidenced by the quote “Things look at you doubly, and you must look back and let them happen.” For the weak or faint hearted, the harsh reception by the nativists makes them feel unwanted, unsafe and out of place. The line “If you go through there is always the risk of remembering your name” shows the possibility for such as a scenario. The poem goes on to tell us that the inability to immigrate successfully may end up being a good thing rather than a missed opportunity since one is saved from the harsh treatment and perception. It concludes by delivering the verdict that immigration is not always a road to success as most people who have not had its experience tend to think. Things may work out or fail to do so. Adrienne Rich drives the point home. “The door itself makes no promises. It is only a door.”
Based on The Federation for American Immigration Reform, sixty-eight percent of Americans are of the opinion that the number of immigrants is too high, irrespective of whether they are legal or not. They believe that the number should be reduced so as to allow the current ones to assimilate into the American culture. The continuous inflow makes it difficult for the process. 89% of Americans argue that illegal immigration has done the country’s economy more bad than good and 62% of them are entirely against current illegal immigrants being concurred with citizenship. The reason as to why most Americans are bitter despite the fact that they once were immigrants, is that they believe the process is to blame for the unfavorable job conditions. They feel that it has led to competition for jobs and hence lower pay because labor to fill undesirable jobs is abundant. Instead of the government and organizations offering better and attractive terms, they have resorted to importing labor at their current undesirable conditions (Federation for American Immigration Reform.). This leaves the natives with little choice but to also accept the terms. 66% of Americans are also of the opinion that the American way of life will be negatively affected by the increasing numbers, taking into consideration the factors of congestion and pollution.
Steven A. Camarota, Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies in 2010 delivered a speech on the alleged impact that immigration had on the U.S economy, the existing population and the immigrants themselves. Immigration has led to the growth of the U.S economy. However, he points out to the fact that the increased growth benefits the immigrants more than it does the native population. The aliens control a higher proportion of the economic activities resulting to the increased economy as compared to the natives. Due to the large influx of labor as a result of the increased immigration, employers are offering less favorable terms, so as to retain higher profits (Doak). They are taking advantage of the competition brought by the situation. So, Immigration has also impacted negatively on the existing population of workers in that it has led to wage loss. Was it not for the competition, demand for labor would be higher than supply, resulting in better wages.
In 2010, James R. Edwards Jr offered his thoughts on the immigration issue by comparing the biblical concept of mercy and injustice to the acts by the government. He said that although Christians advocated for mercy despite its result being an injustice, it was unwise for the government to apply the same. The government had the responsibility of ensuring justice for the sake of the innocent. The government allowing immigration was an act of mercy towards the immigrants and of injustice towards the natives (Doak). The obligation of the government was to do the opposite of that. Immigration led to more unemployment and underemployment of the native American population. This was an injustice to the existing population.
Immigration has both positive and negative impacts depending on the group under consideration. To the immigrants and employers, it has a positive effect in that it offers previously jobless people an opportunity to work and higher retained profits to the employers (Doak). However, the existing population suffers the brunt of the process in that the increased competition means lower wages, unfavorable environmental and job conditions.
Based on the views and testimonies of various researchers and immigration experts, an amicable solution to the immigration problem has to be found. However, deportation would be a step backward to the economy (Doak). Curbing the situation via more effective policing of borders would be the wisest thing to do.
- Doak, Melissa. “Testimony Of James R. Edwards Jr., Center For Immigration Studies, Hearing On The Ethical Imperative For Reform Of Our Immigration System, July 14, 2010”. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. N.p., 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
- Doak, Melissa. “Testimony Of Rupert Murdoch Speaking In Favor Of A More Tolerant Immigration Policy, Hearing On The Role Of Immigration In Strengthening America’s Economy, September 30, 2010”. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. N.p., 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
- Doak, melissa. “Testimony Of Steven A. Camarota, Director Of Research, Center For Immigration Studies, Speaking Against Increased Immigration, September 30, 2010”. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. N.p., 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
- Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Most Americans Believe Illegal Immigration Is A Problem”. Opposing Viewpoints in Context Content Level = Intermediate. N.p., 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
- Rich, Adrienne. “”Prospective Immigrants Please Note””. https://allpoetry.com. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.