Anti-Immigration Laws should be Abolished

Albert Einstein. Joseph Pulitzer. Vera Wang. The preceding names are those of first-hand immigrants or those who have parents that were immigrants. Immigrants have and are still shaping the United States, ever since the first settlers set foot on North American land. In technical terms, Native Americans discovered and settled North America first, therefore anyone who decided to settle the North American continent, after them would be considered an immigrant also. With that reasoning, who are we, to create laws that discriminate against other immigrants? Without immigrants, our country might look very different than what it is today. America has always had conflicts when it comes to the issue of immigration; the Chinese Exclusion Act and others are the products of these conflicts. There exist some valid arguments for the development of these anti-immigration laws; however, those arguments are mostly insignificant. I believe that we can find a system to separate the wheat from the chaff; we can develop an effective way of keeping those who intend harm to our country, out of the country.

In April of 2010, the state of Arizona passed the SB 1070, giving law enforcement the right to demand the necessary documents from people who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S. Following Arizona’s example, five other states, including Utah, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, have instated Arizona copycat laws in 2011. These laws are unhealthy because they promote racial profiling against people who seem ‘foreign’ based solely on how they look or talk. As a result, stereotypes and prejudices of various racial groups will increase. With the rise of prejudices, history may very well repeat itself, such as in the rampant slavery that used to dominate the South, or as stated above, another Exclusion Act.

We can advance in our quest to grant immigrants with good intentions opportunities to stay in the US by considering things such as education. The Dream Act, for example, is a current proposal that would provide conditional permanent residency to illegal aliens that graduate from US high schools and arrive in the US under the age of 16. Some critics may reject the proposal saying that the act will encourage illegal immigration and invite poverty into the country. I disagree; poverty is usually an outcome of misfortune, laziness, and substance abuse – people who work hard are rewarded with success – and graduating from high school is a sure sign of willingness to work and support the country, not destroy.

Building on the previous argument, it is shown that immigration has a positive effect on the American economy as a whole, and on the income of native-born workers. About five years ago, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) conducted a study and report on the impact of immigration on our economy. An average immigrant worker tended to increase the wages and employment among American workers, contrary to the myth that pronounces immigrants to be an economic burden on our economy. This is due the fact that immigrants have different skills, which allow higher-skilled native-workers to better their own productivity and income. Immigrants also fill the gaps that form in the lower labor markets, allowing extant citizens to become skilled at their jobs and move further up the ladder.

Consenting to the creation of discriminating laws will only cause Americans to look like hypocrites to the world, for we are a country found and shaped by immigrants. We need to protect our American values of fairness and equality for all (to a reasonable extent) as stated in the US Constitution. Think about your ancestors… How did you get here? You can make a difference; challenge unfair immigration laws.





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