Illegal Immigration in the United States
Illegal Immigration in the United States
Illegal immigration has attracted attention from multiple scholars. The specific emphasis has been on the undocumented immigrants living in the United States. These undocumented immigrants’ experiences comprise multiple cases of discriminatory practices that have made the lives of the immigrants extremely difficult (Ellermann, 2019). The illegal immigrants enter the country through the illegal border crossing with the aid of smugglers, visa overstay, border crossing card violation, among other methods, to secure jobs, seek asylum, and betterment their livelihoods. The immigration department needs to establish effective policies that can improve the lives of undocumented immigrants. This discourse seeks to expound on the extreme discrimination that undocumented immigrations continued to face due to unfavorable immigration policies.
The emergence of illegal immigration in the United States
The upsurge of illegal immigration was spurred by the enactment of laws against the immigration system. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first enacted ActAct to bar immigrants from Chinese origin, notable women from entering the United States. However, this ActAct exempted teachers, students, diplomats, merchants, among others. In 1921, the Immigration Act of 1921, also referred to as the Literacy Act, was enacted to bar the immigration of persons from Asia pacific zones. This was done e by imposing a literacy test to exclude the specific ethic race from entry. The enactments of these laws led to increased illegal migration as more Chinese and persons from Asian and pacific zones entered the country during this exclusion era. These laws did not hinder their entry as they crossed over through the Mexican border. The business of aiding the Chinese illegal entry as they fled the politically unstable country turned into a lucrative business at the entry points The two laws were gravitating towards nativism and thus, received a lot of backlash controversy, hence, they were revised by the amendment of the Immigration Act in 1924 during the First World War. Eventually, these two laws were formally amended by the enactment of Immigration and National Act of 1952 which saw the neutralization of all the laws concerning the nationality, naturalization and ethnicity in immigration (Singh, 2017) .a a lot of more amendments followed suit in the subsequent years as the rules pertaining immigration were adjusted.
Discriminatory practices experienced by illegal immigrants in America
Following the unprecedented international migration into the United States, many policies were developed to limit their access to basic needs. For fear of discrimination, most immigrants fared to step out to receive these services without the appropriate documentation. Discriminatory practices were widespread between the sectors ranging from health care, education, employment and notably racial profiling. A lot of ethnic and racial groups have faced open discrimination for being illegal immigrants in America today.
Immigrants have faced discrimination in their quest to receive an education. For instance, where children started from a low level of education due to lack of resources to afford high profile learning institutions and systems, thus they do not reach parity with other general population of the native-born. Their lack of appropriate documentation hindered them from accessing government resources such as subsidized education and, for some cases, free education. The fear of jeopardizing their stay led to many immigrants not accessing any form of formal education and left many of them illiterate and unexposed (Martinez, 2015).
Living under the fear of deportation, people will avoid seeking medical services; this has contributed to the deaths of many undocumented persons that have opted to survive on over the counter medication even for extreme and terminal diseases that require specialized treatments. Additionally, for those that come forward to seek these health services, they are bound to suffer discrimination based on their race (Martinez, 2015). Additionally, the language barrier has always lead to misdiagnosis. Most immigrants are survivors from war-torn nations, or abject poverty and will require mental health access; however, most of them refrain these essential services for fear of discrimination and deportation.
Securing a job has become one of the hardest tasks for illegal immigrants. Firstly, since most of them do not have the skill and second lack of documents to secure employment since, in most cases, the employers prefer work experience attained in the United States and a lot of certification from other counters are rarely transferable. Additionally, discrimination and exploitation are coming for those lucky to secure the jobs (Martinez, 2015). This is because many employers understand their desperation and urgency to secure employments that they take advantage of to offer them fewer desirables roles with minimum wages. They further recognize the sense that the illegal immigrant shaves no rights to contend their dissatisfaction; thus, they become the easy targets as employers exploit them for cheap labor to maximize their profits.
In the wake of ending illegal immigration in America, many law enforcement officers have been deployed to work hand in hand with the immigration department to identify and apprehend illegal immigrants. However, of major concern is how they mishandle them, recognizing that they cannot report them to authorities. This discrimination is profound, especially based on ethnicity, where the police use excessive force even for instances where the use of force is unnecessary. Additionally, the immigration courts continue to violate the law as they suppress evidence of injustice by overshadowing it with the reality of undocumentation. This makes it difficult for immigrants to prove their unlawful profiling by law enforcement (Martinez, 2015)
Reasons for illegal immigration to the United States
Firstly, gaining access to economic incentives motivate many people to flee their native countries’ homes an illegally immigrate to the United States, in the hope of securing employment and better their lives and those of their families. However, due to their main challenge of undocumentation, securing an employment-based visa is impossible regardless of their skill and desire to work legally (Singh, 2017). This challenge will force them to take upon employments way below their potential with minimum paying wages. This has highly led to employers’ exploitation of skills who are willing to employ them with no proper documentation.
Evading poverty in their native home countries has compelled a lot of immigrants to enter America illegally. Due to impoverished standards in their countries, many people have forced to feel their countries searching for better livelihoods. A lot of people envision the American dream, whereby they secure employment and overcome poverty. Notably, this is not the case since many of them commit heinous crimes such as theft and burglary to sustain themselves after failing to secure employment, consequently ending up incarcerated for these crimes (Tucker, 2020).
War and political instability
Many people in war-torn countries escape to America as refugees and asylum seekers evading war and political instability in search of peace. However, most of them do not secure their status. Enjoying peace away from civil problems in the home country, another possible reason that contributes to the unauthorized arrival of immigrants in the United States is prompted by escapees seeking asylums in the wake of evading repression in their country of origin (Panchanadeswaran, 2011). For some upon entry of the country as refugee status opt to remain permanently without proper documentation.
Societal outcomes of illegal immigration explain why the United States is experiencing a controversy regarding illegal immigration (Ellermann, 2019). Firstly, most of them settle for jobs less hat their qualifications due to desperation and urgency. These unfavorable terms have led them to suffer immense exploitation from employers who feel like they are doing them a favor by offering them thee jobs. Secondly, these immigrants are competing for jobs qualified Americans with proper documentation making their chances of securing the jobs slim to none despite having equivalent potential and skill. With their failure to secure the employments comes a financial burden, especially on tier hosts, to sustain them (Ellermann, 2019).
Moreover, the public has a negative exhibit of immigrants being harmful and dangerous people in society, which will facilitate high-level discrimination. In extreme cases, they get snitched on by the public that feels unsafe with their presence. There is little effort out by the governments to fight for the rights of illegal immigrants. A lot is happening, but most of these illegal immigrants face deportation to their country of origin, where they fled with the hope of securing employment or running away from abject poverty and war.
Illegal immigration continues to be a significant problem as more people find their way into the United States. Undocumented immigrants are still experiencing extreme discrimination and multiple disadvantages in American society. In the hope of securing a better life and chasing the American dreams, a lot of these illegal immigrants have been left more miserable living in fear of deportation. Access to necessities such as education, health care, legal rights has proved a difficult task. Their vulnerability has made illegal immigrants highly susceptible to discrimination based on financial status, education level, race and ethnic backgrounds. A lot of effort needs to be put in the wake to end illegal immigration in America while handling the victims with utmost respect and dignity.
Ellermann, A. (2019). Discrimination in migration and citizenship. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1561053
Martinez, O., Wu, E., Sandfort, T., Dodge, B., Carballo-Dieguez, A., Pinto, R… Chavez-Baray, S. (2015). Evaluating the Impact of Immigration Policies on Health Status Among Undocumented Immigrants: A Systematic Review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 17(3), 947–970. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-013-9968-4
Panchanadeswaran, S., & Dawson, B. A. (2011). How Discrimination and Stress Affect Self-Esteem Among Dominican Immigrant Women: An Exploratory Study. Social Work in Public Health, 26(1), 60–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/10911350903341069
Singh, S., Schulz, A. J., Neighbors, H. W., & Griffith, D. M. (2017). Interactive effect of immigration-related factors with legal and discrimination acculturative stress in predicting depression among Asian American immigrants. Community mental health journal, 53(6), 638-646.
Tucker, S. U. (2020). Experiencia Compartida: The effect of discrimination on Latino attitudes toward illegal immigration. Sociological Spectrum, 40(1), 48-57.