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Article Critique

Immigration in the US has for long been a controversial debate, having both its pros and cons. On the one hand of attaining cheap and valued labour, it also poses an imminent threat to the Native Americans on the grounds of employment. One of the main reasons of the conflict also resides in the diversity of the ethnicities. Often there are clashes on the basis of colour, creed or any other discrimination the human conscience has crop up. Unsurprisingly, the US Government in various states is now coming up with stronger laws and stricter punishments to drive these illegal citizens away. The public, on the other hand, is divided in its very opinion on these so called aliens. When the Arizona Government pulled in rallies of supporters during the passing of its hard hitting immigration laws, Alabama told us a different story. Protestors took out to streets flashing ” I Heart AL, One Heart, One Alabama” insignias on Valentine’s Day in 2012.
Shortly after Arizona passed strict laws condemning the life of illegal immigrants living in the state, Utah, Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina followed suit. The new laws gave the police all rights to check upon the immigration status of everyone arrested and detain or stop anyone who might look ” suspicious”. In case the concerned person is found guilty to living in the United States without proper authority, he/she can be imprisoned for up to 30 days for the first offence. The first effects of the law soon began to take place when the attendance in high schools dropped drastically as the first laws came into effect. All students supposedly not from the US were required to prove their authenticity, leading to numerous parents decidedly going for the power of attorney way out, ensuring that in case of their deportation; their children would be taken care of. The employment sector took its fair share of the hit as well, when the agriculture department reported low produce as a result of numerous aliens leaving the state on grounds of illegal immigration. Also, it ” became harder to find construction workers”, says Jay Reed, President of Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama.
In contrast to the State Governments not finding takers for the menial and undesirable jobs, in some states the people have welcomed the Law for the sheer nature of its relation with increasing openings in employment opportunities. Statistics show that of the 11. 8 million people living illegally in the United States, 5. 2 per cent of the workforce for the entire nation is allotted to them. This sparks a fury in every unemployed Native American. In a report submitted by Samuel Addy, an economist in the University Of Alabama, he says that these laws would do more harm to the state’s gross profit and produce than aid the nature of state’s unemployment situation. He estimated that the gross domestic product in the state would suffer anywhere between $2. 3 billion and $10. 8 billion as a direct result from the bill in the four main occupations which are most often considered directly connected to the immigrant labour: Agriculture, construction, accommodation and food and drinking places. He also surmised that the states’ income tax would take a hit ranging from $56. 7 million to $265. 4 million. Hammon, a strong supporter and leader of the Alabama House of Representative’s Republicans dismissed the report as ” baloney” and was seconded by Senator Beason who stated that the state’s unemployment rate decreased by 1. 7 per cent from the September to December after the law was passed.
The Obama Government has been taking a very politically correct side in this affair, drawing flacks from both sides for incompetence. He stated that the Congress party would not be supporting the complete and vigorous eradication of illegal immigrants and also launched a ” DREAM Act” wherein an immigrant gets special benefits for serving in the US Army. Market analysts at the Migration Policy institute in Washington also put forward the involvement of these immigrants on the health sector. As it turns out, a huge part of nurses, janitors and home aids are these people under attack. Considering the rapidly progressing health sector, it stands to question if the United States is willing to bargain such a loss in quality service in exchange for nativity, especially when doctors are predicting a vast growth in demand for medical aid in the near future. The question though, remains: ” Are illegal immigrants for the better of the State, or its decrement?” Another very prominent topic would be if the current ruling party, Congress, should make it easier for these immigrants to become US citizens or not.
The solution, as suggested by the Alabama Republican Representatives, was passed as a Law in September 2011, which even most experts find confusing. With clauses for the number of immigrants allowed in a state per year, the criteria for getting visas and the application for citizenship, a lot of mix up and deportation has already taken place.

Key Points:

– Civil rights organisations warn that the laws will result in the ethnic profiling of Latinos.
– Unemployment in key sectors such as agriculture and construction.
– Since migrating aliens would lessen a State’s population, the gross domestic product and income taxes would suffer accordingly.
– As per the Laws set down, only 675, 000 immigrants may enter the State every year. Of these 675, 000, visas may be handed on the basis of family or job merit.
– The number of refugees, that is, people who can’t return to their native place for fear of persecution is also set. Currently 76, 000 refugees may find shelter in a state at one time.
– More than forty per cent Americans want lower levels of immigration.
– The rate of incoming immigrants has been declining in the recent years due to the failing US economy.
– One of the main reasons cited by the Republican Representatives for the drastic law was the vast consumption of state and national resources on the immigrants’ part.


Illegal immigration has reached significant levels of penetration into the US population. And as Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum points out, the US economy largely depends on these immigrants, who, at the of the day are paying their taxes to the Government and helping in the increase of gross domestic product. Also, given their sheer numbers, removing their entire existence is a very trying task. Not to mention, asking 11 million people to pack their bags and leave a country would prove disastrous of both ends of the deal. Though both the public and the official seem divided on the topic, they have the country’s best interests at heart.


Host, K. (2012). Immigration Conflict. CQ Press.