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Immigration Essay

2390 words - 10 pages


DATE: 6/22/2011

The United States as we know has been built on immigration. Our society as we know it
is a melting pot due to the abundance of cultures that are immersed amongst us. Everybody
comes to the United States searching for that American dream with a white picket fence, happy
family and a dog. This is where the problems begin within our borders. Currently our
government is dealing with an abundance of issues about immigration that need some rapid
resolutions. We can add to the mix that immigration issues are part of the reasons for our
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Capitol Hill is gearing up for this fight again with current polls from US News and World Report
showing that nearly 70 percent of voters favor some path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if
they pay a penalty, pay taxes, and learn English.

Currently all states aren’t working in tandem and actually are fueling this fire with
everyone operating under individual guidelines. While many states are struggling with
the issue on how to deal with illegal immigrant students, North Carolina has banned them from
campus. The odd situation here is that it doesn’t affect students attending English language or
vocational classes. Pat Reilly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) agency, states “the federal government does not require schools or colleges
to check the immigration status of students, as North Carolina plans to do.” Also, only 112
North Carolina community college students who pursued academic education last year — out of
a total of 296,520 — likely were illegal immigrants, according to the community college system.
So if immigration doesn’t seem to be an issue within the state, why isolate a culture in this
manner that can only lead to additional prejudices.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of
1996 greatly restricts the provision of many federal, state, and local public services to
undocumented immigrants. The law also broke significant new ground in immigration policy by
declaring that "current eligibility rules for public assistance and unenforceable financial support
agreements have proved wholly incapable of assuring that individual aliens not burden the public
benefits system" and that "it is a compelling government interest to remove the incentive for
illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits, as stated in the American
Journal of Public Health. The motive behind the creation of PRWORA was great, except for the
fact that most state and local officials haven’t embraced it. With policymakers trying to handcuff
public health officials, it would make more sense to perhaps enforce border patrol efforts vice
something that puts the American citizens health at risk. A big concern should be about

healthcare with a majority of immigrants being in urban settings. So ignoring or refusing
healthcare could create problems within communities that can lead to an epidemic. This shows
partly why the immigration problems continue within the United States.

The immigration crisis seems to point at the Latino communities, and they have started to
fight back. The immediate trigger was the passage of HR4437, a bill introduced by Republican
representative James Sensenbrenner with broad support from the anti-immigrant lobby. The bill
was very draconian making it a felony for undocumented immigrants. The bill stalled in the
Senate, but...

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