The Realities of Illegal Immigration

Decent Essays

The U.S. border policies in recent years have all had one thing in common: they fail to stop illegal immigration. In fact, immigration continues to increase prodigiously, especially amongst Mexicans. The United States Census Bureau calculated that Mexican immigration quintupled between 1970 and 1988 (Gibney, 1989). Upwards of nine million immigrants came to the United States in the 1980s, and somewhere between 200,000 and one million enter illegally each year. Fifty-five percent of them are thought to be Mexican nationals (ibid.). Furthermore, if such policies continue to fail, what alternatives should the U.S. pursue? Or as Donato (1994) posits, "Understanding the consequences of immigration policy also entails study of the causes of policy formation." Donato (1994), opines that further research in this area reconciles economic development with sociological insights about migration which should enable practical policy reform (ibid.). All segments of society must be able to fully integrate into U.S. society, which includes political participation.

Political participation in civil society is crucial for any society, especially a democracy such as the United States. An early proponent of political participation was Samuel Huntington. Although he is a giant in advocating political participation, he too practices jingoism and ethnocentrism (just as U.S. immigration policy does) nicely when it comes to immigrants, especially Latino immigrants (1993). For example, Huntington

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