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Federalism vs. States, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 501

Essay

A1. There are over 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. In 2010, illegal aliens comprised five percent of the U.S. workforce in 2010 and in addition, eight percent of the babies born in the U.S. during the same year had at least one parent with undocumented status (Preston 2011). These statistics help us understand why immigration reform may have emerged as one of the major political issues over the last decade. First of all, deporting every single illegal immigrant is not practical or economically feasible and the common sense dictates that an immigration reform with a path to citizenship is an inevitable reality. In addition, there is a growing backlash against illegal immigrants due to high unemployment rates. Despite the urgency of the issue, the political stakes involved have prevented an amicable solution to the problem. As a result, some states such as Arizona and Alabama took matters in their own hands and passed their own respective immigration bills. Federal government sued Arizona’s state government on the ground that the state surpassed its constitutional powers in passing the bill.

A2. Immigration is a federal issue and as such, states should not pass their own respective immigration bills. First of all, whenever federal and state laws come into conflict with each other, federal laws take precedence. There are already federal immigration laws in place, thus, there is no need for state immigration policies. It should be left to the federal government to change immigration laws, leave them as they are, or create temporary provisions to address important immigration issues. If states’ immigration policies are going to be the same as federal immigration policy, it would just be a waste of taxpayers’ money but if states’ immigration policies turn out to be different, federal immigration policies would take precedence according to the U.S. constitution. Moreover, there are fifty states in the U.S. and if each state starts having its own immigration policy, it would lead to nothing but utter confusion.

A3. This issue is important because it is not only an ethical issue but also has economic consequences for the U.S. It is strange that businesses hire illegal immigrants for cheap labor yet oppose immigration reform because they expect labor costs to go up once workers are legally in the system. It is nothing less than a slavery in which workers are being paid less than what is owed to them according to labor laws. Moreover, children of illegal immigrants do get free services such as education which are paid by taxpayers yet illegal immigrants do not pay taxes out of fear of being discovered or because they don’t have social security numbers. It is not economically possible to deport everyone, thus, an earned path to citizenship is the best solution. The additional revenue from fines and taxes will also help the country fund its healthcare and social security programs.

 

 

Reference

Preston, Julia. 11.2 Million Illegal Immigrants in U.S. in 2010, Report Says; No Change From ’09. February 1, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/us/02immig.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

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