Assume you are an investigative reporter for a major publication (magazine or newspaper) who has been assigned to research important issues (ethnic, racial, gender, or class) that are causing problems and affecting people in a local area, workplace, or specific part of the world. Your goal is to provide both an in-depth analysis of and put a human face on this issue by writing a series of articles that the editor plans to publish in two major parts.
You will write Part 2 of your series of articles, which focuses on the benefits and challenges of the proposed change(s) as well as responses to the challenges. You will include the feedback you receive on both Part 1 and Part 2 from your editor/professor in your presentation due in Week 10, in which you will be required to provide a summary of your articles in a PowerPoint or Google Slide presentation for a meeting of the National Association of Journalists.
Write 3-4 pages (750–1,100 words) in which you, in using the ATTACHED DOCUMENT,:
- Analyze 2–3 likely challenges (economic, social, political, legal, et cetera) to achieving the proposed change(s).
- Provide a logical response to each of the challenges.
- Analyze 2–3 possible benefits (economic, social, political, legal, et cetera) that could be realized following the proposed change(s).
- Include 5 or more credible and reliable references in addition to the textbook. (Three sources can be the same as the ones used in Part 1. The others must be new sources.)
Immigration in the USA
SOC 400: Sociology of Class, Gender, Ethnicity and Race
Professor Dr. Terry Lunsford
May 1, 2023
Immigration in the United States has been debated hotly for decades. Individuals,
government agencies, institutions, and researchers have brought forth different views on
addressing the immigrant influx from other regions. The number of immigrants over time has
increased. Though immigrants have significantly contributed to US society and economic
growth, several issues and challenges continue plaguing the immigration framework. This paper
will examine current and historical variables impacting American immigration. It will analyze
serious issues, problems, and problems and proper prospective solutions to improve the
condition. It is vital to determine how to balance the nation’s immigration policies with the needs
of the immigrants and the broader American society.
The Immigration and nationality act of 1965 is a law that led to the abolishment of the
previous quota system. The system majorly favored immigrants from northern and western
Europe. It opened opportunities for immigrants from other parts of the globe. Despite being a
positive step towards inclusivity and diversity, it also contributed to the growth of immigration
and a more sophisticated and challenging immigration system. (Waslin, 1). The war on drugs and
crime started in the 1980s. The American government invested heavily in border security and
law enforcement to combat corruption and drug trafficking. As a result, there were increased
restrictions and deportation on immigrants, particularly for people with criminal records.
Globalization and economic policies in several industries like construction, hospitality, and
The United States experienced a labor shortage during World War II, so the government
established the Bracero Program to bring temporary agricultural workers from Mexico. (Chavez,
2). Poor working conditions, low wages, and labor exploitation followed the program’s early
success. Undocumented immigration is a concern now because many Bracero employees stayed
in the United States after the program ended, and these difficulties persisted.
The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 and the Cold War: With the passage of the McCarran-
Walter Act, immigration law was standardized, and the government was granted the authority to
deny entry to any foreign individual who represented a threat to national security. (Markowitz et
al., 3). The law punished those who were believed to be Communists or to have ties to
communist groups. Many refugees from communist regimes in Eastern Europe were turned away
because of this law. The law also contributed to the problem of prejudice and hostility towards
immigrants because of their assumed political convictions.
In the wake of the Great Depression in 1929, many Americans blamed immigrants for
their country’s economic woes and high unemployment rates. A surge in anti-immigrant
sentiment and the current problems with illegal immigration, and the debate over border security
are both direct results of this trend.
These historical events heavily influence the immigration problems the United States
faces. For instance, the National Origins Act of 1924 significantly slowed immigration from
nations other than Western Europe and helped pave the way for the growth of the illegal
immigration problem. Unauthorized immigration is a problem because many Bracero Program
workers lingered in the United States after the program ended. The McCarran-Walter Act is to
blame for prejudice and discrimination against immigrants because of their assumed political
Immigration from certain nations, notably those in Asia and Eastern Europe, was severely
curtailed by the National Origins Act of 1924. The statute preferred immigrants from Western
Europe to keep the population stable. In addition to creating the undocumented immigration
problem, this rule drastically reduced immigration from nations other than Western Europe.
Historically, the American economy has been significantly dependent on immigrant
labor. Due to the economic changes, immigrants were prone to working for low wages with little
job security and benefits. It resulted in poor working conditions and exploitation for many
immigrants. The national security and 9/11 attacks led to the introduction of strict measures after
the September 11th attacks. (Ullah et al., 4). The effect of actions strongly affected the
immigrants, more so those from Muslim-majority countries. Moreover, immigration policies and
political polarization have impacted immigration. Recently, political polarization has led to
difficulties in passing detailed immigration reforms. Therefore, there is inconsistency and
inaccuracy in immigration policies. The Trump administration policies like the family separation
and travel ban worsened the condition for asylum seekers and immigrants.
The Trump administration brought the zero-tolerance policy, which saw the separation of
up to thousands of families at the American – Mexico border. Children were taken away from
their parents and detained. The policy has been broadly condemned as inhumane and resulted in
significant trauma for the families involved. (Pierce, 5). The deferred action for childhood
arrivals (DACA) program offers temporal protection from deportation for undocumented people
who came to the US as children. However, the program has been in a dilemma since the Trump
administration tried to end it in 2017. Therefore, there has been fear and uncertainty for over
800,000 DACA recipients.
Immigration and border security policies have recently had a significant debate,
particularly as regards asylum seekers and undocumented people. The Trump administration
policies like the travel ban and border wall have been critiqued. Biden’s administration’s efforts
to reform the system have faced much resistance from political groups. Employment and
economic issues have also impacted immigrants, particularly those with temporary or
undocumented status. They face discrimination restrictions, lack of benefits, and low wages.
Thus, they have experienced economic challenges and increased poverty for their families and
themselves as economic and social issues to the broader community.
One of the groups affected by the immigration problem in the United States is
undocumented immigrants. The Pew Research Center found that at least 10.5 million
undocumented immigrants lived in the US in 2017. This group faces many challenges, including
the constant fear of deportation and limited access to essential services and rights. Karen
Hernandez and Sister Angela Velasquez applied for DACA after President Obama’s Executive
order in 2012. Angela Says, “I took advantage of the opportunity as soon as it came out.” DACA
enabled them to work, but President’s Trump administration overturned the order. Karen says, “I
was freaking out,” and “I started thinking, are we going to have to go back to Guatemala? It was
scary.” (Monica, 6). Asylum seekers are another group affected by the immigration problem.
Most people flee their homes nations due to persecution, violence, and any other kind of danger
to seek safety in the US. However, due to the complex and lengthy process of seeking asylum,
many get held at detention centers for an extended period. An associate attorney for research
refugee protection says, “Jailing asylum seekers is fundamentally dehumanizing and cruel.”
The immigration system in the United States can be improved in several ways. One, there
is a need to have detailed immigration reform. It is one of the most significant changes that could
be made. It will address most of the current issues facing immigrants in the United States. It
could include the creation of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, improving
security measures, and reforming the visa system to reduce the visa backlogs. An example of
such a reform is the 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bill. It was an attempt at a detailed
solution, but it failed. In 2006, 2007, and 2013, comprehensive immigration reform bills were
proposed, but none were passed into law. Besides, executive orders have been issued by
presidents to address immigration issues. For instance, President Obama 2012 issued the deferred
action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program that offered temporal relief from deportation for
undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. (Kim et al., 8). However, these
executive orders have been overturned. President Trump overturned DACA in 2017.
Secondly, there is a need to increase funding for the immigration courts. The country has
seen a backlog of over 1.3 million immigration cases. This has led to lengthy waiting times for
hearing and increased time spent in detention centers. An increase in financing to the
immigration courts and hiring extra judges and support staff could assist in alleviating the
backlog and fostering efficiency in the system. (Wasem, 9). This technique has been utilized in
other nations like Canada, where financing of the immigration courts has been increased to
decrease the waiting period for hearings.
Moreover, there is a need to increase the funding for border security. An example is the
secure fence act of 2006, which offered funding for constructing a physical barrier along the
Mexican-US border. However, such measures’ efficiency has been questioned, and this
construction has faced heavy opposition.
Additionally, there is a need to expand access to legal representation. Most immigrants
need more resources or financial constraints to accessing legal presentations. Expansion of legal
representation access could assist in making sure that the immigrants could navigate and
understand the sophisticated legal system. This will increase the likelihood of getting a fair
outcome. Programs like the New York immigrant family unity project have proven to work in
providing legal representation to detained immigrants, resulting in higher rates of successful
cases. An instance of a legal application in solving the immigration issue is filing several
lawsuits to challenge Trump’s administration’s attempts to restrict immigration. (Schmidt, 10).
The lawsuits had a positive outcome with temporal relief for immigrants. However, overall, the
impact has uncertainty. Overall, these recommendations will need a combination of economic,
political, and social interventions but could result in a detailed, efficient, and just immigration
system in the United States.
1. Waslin, M. (2020). The use of executive orders and proclamations to create immigration policy:
Trump in historical perspective. Journal on Migration and Human Security, 8(1), 54-67.
2. Chavez, L. R. 2020. Covering immigration. In Covering Immigration. University of California Press.
Covering Immigration (degruyter.com)
3. Markowitz, D. M., & Slovic, P. (2020). Social, psychological, and demographic characteristics of
dehumanization toward immigrants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(17),
9260-9269. Social, psychological, and demographic characteristics of dehumanization toward
immigrants | PNAS
4. Ullah, A. A., Hasan, N. H., Mohamad, S. M., & Chattoraj, D. (2020). Migration and security:
Implications for minority migrant groups. India Quarterly, 76(1), 136-153.
5. Pierce, S. (2019). Immigration-related policy changes in the first two years of the Trump
administration. Migration Policy Institute.
6. Monica, C.(2019). These sisters both had DACA. One took matters into her own hands.
7. Jihan, A. (2022). U.S. detention of asylum seekers “inhumane and wasteful.”: Report.
8. Kim, C. Y., & Semet, A. (2019). Presidential Ideology and Immigrant Detention. Duke LJ, 69, 1855.
9. Wasem, R. E. (2020). More than a wall: The rise and fall of US asylum and refugee policy. Journal
on Migration and Human Security, 8(3), 246-265.
10. Schmidt, P. W. (2019). An overview and critique of US immigration and asylum policies in the
Trump era. Journal on Migration and Human Security, 7(3), 92-102.
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