One-Page Response: Illegal Immigration

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State how this is a free country and immigrants should be entitled to these rights.

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The United States is truly a land of immigrants. Some arrived here legally, some illegally. The term aliens refers to people living in this country who are not U.S. citizens (referred to as “illegal” or “undocumented worker”). As such, they may not vote and they may not run for political office, and they are subject to deportation. However, they must legally pay taxes just as if they were citizens because they are making their livelihood here. Since the passage in 1986 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, illegal aliens who can prove that they have lived in this country continuously since before January 1, 1982, are entitled to amnesty—meaning they can become legal residents. That same act also stipulates employers who routinely hired undocumented workers without any penalty, now must verify a worker’s legal status for all employees. If businesses hire an illegal alien, they are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Those who are in this country illegally also have constitutional rights because many of the rights mentioned in the U.S. Constitution refer to “people” or “persons,” not citizens.

Currently, it is estimated that there are 11.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

Fourteenth Amendment – Section 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; 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.

The portion in BOLD above has allowed illegal aliens rights such as:

  • Children of illegal aliens may not be excluded from public schools
  • Legally admitted aliens are entitled to welfare benefits
  • Entitled to own property
  • Entitled to First Amendment rights of free speech, religion, press, and assembly, as well as, the Fourth Amendment protection against arbitrary arrest and prosecution.

Directions

  1. Go to http://immigration.procon.org/ and read the information found under the following sections on the site:
    • CORE QUESTION
    • Definitions
    • Legislation, 2000 – 2007
    • Historic Legislation, 1790 – 1996
  2. Next, read pros and cons listed in the following categories:
    • Immigration Quotas
    • Economic Impact
    • Immigrant’s Rights and Access to Services
    • Taxes
    • Amnesty and Legalization Debate
    • Deportation Debate
    • Borders
    • Federal Immigration Law Enforcement
    • State and Local Law Enforcement
    • Crime
    • Terrorism
    • National Identification Card
  3. Select any ONE of the issues listed in the pro/con categories above and write a One-page Response about Illegal Immigration and your conclusions.
  4. Consult How to Write a One-page Response to help draft your response to this assignment.

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