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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Immigration: facts versus fiction


Few feasible solutions to immigration issues are proposed. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Deportation is not a realistic or financially viable option for the U.S..

However, deportation and immigration in general have been widely discussed among some presidential candidates. It has gotten to the point where the 14th amendment has been called into question.

In theory, anything is debatable. But I do not know many who would oppose the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution ratified on July 9, 1868 which grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” But Donald Trump and other politicians are certainly not like most people when it comes to immigration.

Trump’s immigration policy, which includes making Mexico pay for a wall at the border, has garnered criticism from certain voters. To be fair, Trump isn’t alone. Jeb Bush has also addressed the “anchor baby” issue although he said he was referring to Asians, not Hispanic immigrants.

The Republican opposition of the 14th amendment is based on the idea that it gives incentive to illegal immigration, and creates “anchor babies.” These are children of illegal immigrants who automatically gain citizenship.

But why is there so much publicity for immigration policy when only three percent of Americans rank immigration reform as a top priority?

Moreover, there’s a decline in the number of anchor babies.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 295,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2013, making up 8 percent of the 3.9 million U.S. births that year. This was a decline from a peak of 370,000 in 2007.

Today, about 29 countries in the world offer birthright citizenship. The U.S. isn’t exactly promoting a revolutionary, or innovative, right.

In addition, majority of Americans (57 percent), oppose changing the 14th amendment.

Some might say immigration is a hot topic because illegal immigrants are taking blue collar jobs.

However, history has shown that after mass immigration, the economy has typically improved.

For example, “in the early 20th century, when manufacturing jobs were dirty, dangerous, and heavily regimented, immigrant workers were the mainstay of industrial employment.”

The reduction in blue collar jobs might not even be primarily linked to immigration.

“Blue collar workers are truly becoming an ‘endangered species’ in the United States. In the old days, the balance of power between business owners and labor was more even because they both needed each other,” according to Business Insider.

“But today that has all changed. Thanks to robotics, automation and computers there is simply not as much of a need for physical laborers anymore and nothing is going to reverse that trend.”

Others, like Trump, might say that immigrants are bringing drugs and crime to the U.S.

This too, is speculative. According to the Washington Post, data on immigrants and crime are incomplete, but a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans.

Perhaps Republicans are using immigration to show they are loyal to the American people. But by calling for an appeal for a hallmark of the Constitution, are they not defying the spirit of the Constitution and the ideal of America as a land of opportunities?

Opinion assistant editor Sarah Kim is a political science major senior and may be reached at [email protected] 

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