What are our goals regarding immigration laws?

I went to a OneJax community supper.  One Jax sends out an invitation to the community. The limit is 12 people per table.   Controversial topic questions are suggested.  One of the topic questions was immigration.  BUT after the dinner,  I walked away with more questions than answers. 
 
1. Is the US overpopulated? If no, then why are we limiting immigration? If yes, then what are the arguments for allowing any immigration? OR to ask the question another way, what are our goals regarding immigration laws?
2. Is the world overpopulated? If yes, do we have an ethical (or perhaps even a selfish) obligation to help reduce world wide overpopulation?
3. Is the US in need of more workers?
4. Are guest worker visas unethical? In other words is restricting a visa to one employer thereby NOT allowing someone to negotiate for better wages unethical?
5. Do the religious clauses of the First Amendment have value?
6. What are the ramifications (pro and con) to birth right citizenship of the 14th amendment? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that the 14th amendment should not automatically grant citizenship to people born in this country and we should work to limit birthright citizenship even more than we do now.
7. Do we have an ethical obligation to help people in other countries? Have our trade, war and/or drug policies harmed people in other countries? If yes, what are our ethical obligations to right that wrong?
8. Do some immigrants (legal and illegal) come here primarily to get on welfare? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that they do and he wanted that kind of immigration stopped.

9. What does assimilation mean? If I correctly understood, someone at our community supper made the claim that immigrants previously made more of an effort to assimilate into our society. I was confused as to what exactly he was advocating for. And I wondered if his view was that diversity isn’t always good. IF someone wants immigrants to be better assimilated into our society, exactly what do they mean? And if assimilation is good thing, what kind of taxpayer funded education opportunities (if any) should be offered?

These articles address the comments made about birthright citizenship at the community supper

Quotes from this  LINK:

Like any other traveler to the U.S., pregnant women must also fill out an ESTA application form prior to arriving in the country. However, women who are intent on giving birth in the U.S. with a tourist visa often also misrepresent or directly lie about the advanced state of their pregnancy in order to connect with groups that help women take advantage of American citizenship laws.  Birth tourism and traveling to the U.S. specifically to give birth are considered technically illegal in the United States. In fact, in March 2015, authorities in California raided a series of “maternity centers” that helped wealthy, pregnant Chinese women travel to the United States to give birth to their children in the hopes of gaining American citizenship. The women reportedly paid $50,000 for travel and lodging in the United States while they waited to have their children.  While there are no set penalties for women who participate in birth tourism, the U.S. is reportedly considering placing limitations on its unconditional birth citizenship. Moreover, if a woman is caught intending to participate in birth tourism, this can lead to other consequences, including being barred for life from the United States.

Quote from this LINK:

Citizenship birthright remains available to any person born on US soil, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth. A number of attempts have been made, particularly in the last 20 years, to reform this situation. However, these reforms have remained unsuccessful. Most opposition points out that laws eliminating this practice will most likely harm the child more than the parents, making it an unpopular law to try to pass.

The so-called “anchor baby” does not guarantee immediate citizenship for the parents or ensure continued residency in the US for the child. In most instances, while the child will have US citizenship, the child would not be able to live alone in the US until reaching the age of majority. Thus, in most cases, the parent(s) and child are returned to their country of origin, and the child has the right to return to the US as a citizen after turning 18 (or can visit anytime before that).

American emergency care laws say that hospitals cannot turn people away, regardless of nationality or ability to pay.

Quote from this LINK

Ekaterina was one of dozens of Russian birth tourists NBC News spoke to over the past four months about a round-trip journey that costs tens of thousands of dollars and takes them away from home for weeks or months. … Why do they come? … “And the doctors, the level of education,” Kuznetsova added. …. Condo buildings that bear the Trump name are the most popular for the out-of-town obstetric patients,

As president, Donald Trump has indicated he is opposed to so-called chain migration, which gives U.S. citizens the right to sponsor relatives. [Yet Trump’s wife Melania sponsored her parents to come here:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/nyregion/melania-trumps-parents-become-us-citizens.html]   …. Reshetova came to Miami to have her first child, hiring an agency to help arrange her trip. The services — which can include finding apartments and doctors and obtaining visas — don’t come cheap. She expects to pay close to $50,000, and some packages run as high as $100,000. … There is no official data on birth tourism in the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter limits on immigration, estimates there are 36,000 babies born in the U.S. to foreign nationals a year, though the numbers could be substantially lower.

This article addresses the comment made about illegal and legal immigrants coming here in order to get welfare benefits.

Quote from this LINK

One of the most effective ploys by those attempting to vilify undocumented immigrants is to assert that those immigrants are stealing benefits from Americans. Donald Trump has deployed this falsehood on multiple occasions both in his speeches and on Twitter long before becoming president. It’s an insinuation quite divorced from reality.   …  Bill Clinton signed a bill over 20 years earlier in 1996: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, or “IIRIRA.” Congress legislated that not only would undocumented immigrants not receive welfare, but legal immigrants wouldn’t get benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or money for child assistance until they’ve lived here at least five years and even seven years after their arrival.  …  According to a 2010 report by the American Immigration Council, undocumented immigrants pay as much as $90 billion in taxes but receive just $5 billion in benefits. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimated that in 2010 undocumented immigrants paid as much as $10.6 billion in state and local taxes alone.  …  In fact, given IRS estimates that some 50-75 percent of undocumented immigrants pay taxes, we could actually reduce deficits by providing those immigrants a path to legal immigration and enabling them all to pay taxes. That’s right. By ensuring so many undocumented immigrants stay in the shadows, we significantly reduce the amount of available taxable income.

This article addresses the comment that immigrants previously made more of an effort to assimilate into our society.

Quote from this LINK

I will argue here that when Americans say they want immigrants to assimilate, they may think they know what they want, but in fact they don’t understand the concept or its place in our history.  Indeed, if Americans better understood the process of assimilation, they might well ask for something else.  ….  What I propose is to scrutinize what is typically understood by the term assimilation and then contrast it with a more adequate conceptualization of the process. …  Assimilation has several different dimensions—economic, social, cultural, and political.  [The following is a controversial assertion, eh?]  Based on her study of 77 immigrant-impacted American cities from 1877 to 1914, Olzak rejects the conventional view that intergroup conflict is caused by segregation. Instead, she argues that intergroup competition and conflict resulted from occupational desegregation. In other words, tensions are caused not by the isolation of ethnic groups but by the weakening of boundaries and barriers between groups. … Once again, we are reminded that assimilation is a multidimensional process in which gains along one dimension may not be neatly paralleled by progress along others. …  Catholic schools originally established in the nineteenth century by churchmen eager to thwart the assimilation of Catholics.  … we need to get beyond the romance of immigration enthusiasts as well as the melodrama of immigration alarmists. We need to introduce a sense of realism about how we think about these issues  ….  Do we honestly believe that disenfranchised immigrants can be introduced into a dynamic, competitive social and political system without their interests being put at risk?  Our immigration policy is arguably a social experiment with enormous potential benefits, but also enormous risks.

Some of my other thoughts on immigration

Before we make e-verify a requirement, we need to work out the kinks. If we do mandatory e-verify then it needs to be coupled with a path to get people documented. In response to this part of this ARTICLE :

Recently, the Western Growers Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, among others, blocked a bill that would have made E-Verify mandatory, despite several pro-business concessions. As a result, workers from economies devastated by U.S. agriculture will continue to be invited in with the promise of work in order to be cheaply and illegally exploited. Lacking full legal rights, these noncitizens will be impossible to unionize and will be kept in constant fear of being arrested and criminalized.

I really HATE the guest worker visas that tie a worker to one company. If we need immigrants, then the work visa should be renewable and transferable and offer a clear path to citizenship.  Quote from this ARTICLE:

The urgency around that shortage was clear at a congressional hearing last week when senators pressed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on additional visas for seasonal foreign workers.
A few quotes from this ARTICLE:
When we talk about enforcing immigration laws, it’s important to be quite specific about what we mean.  Sometimes, this immigration enforcement is explicitly violent, like when Border Patrol officials unleash teargas (a chemical weapon banned in warfare) on toddlers, when they rip children from their mothers’ arms, when they kick women huddled on the concrete floors of border cells and scream at them that they are animals. Other times it’s something humdrum and largely invisible: the border guard who calmly tells an asylum seeker at a port of entry that there is “no more room” in the U.S., the judge who silently decides that the terrified person in front of them hasn’t done quite enough to deserve a favorable exercise of discretion, the police officer who has a funny habit of always stopping cars with Hispanic-looking drivers, the countless bureaucrats who review immigration applications and deny them without explanation. All of these acts, from the monstrous to the mundane, have real-world effects on individual people.
Quote from this ARTICLE:
George Washington embraced a vision for an open America that could almost be read today as a form of deep idealism or altruism. “America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions,” he told newly arrived Irishmen in 1783. He assured them they’d be “welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s