Ethical Obligation to Reform Immigration Policy

Subject: Law
Pages: 5
Words: 1133
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

Bill Hing’s work ‘Ethical Borders’ reveals how countries have a moral responsibility of restructuring their immigration guidelines with reference to the fact that Mexicans’ migration into the US has been the result of American policy choices. I agree with Hinge’s viewpoint since immigration policies regulate the inflow and outflow of people within a given nation. The US experienced fluctuations of immigrants throughout the 20th century because of different factors that related to the changing economic situations. The Immigration Control Act, which was enacted in 1986, also produced drastic effects on the number of immigrants who were settling in the US. As Hing reveals, the increase in the number of immigrants produces negative implications in terms of the quality of life of the general population of the United States (32). To make the problem worse, the nation also experiences a mass flow of illegal immigrants. There has been reluctance in the adoption of a policy to lessen the flow of illegal immigrants. Today, the US is the home to over 12 million illegal immigrants. Many people from these families have their roots ingrained in the US in relation to their homegrown nations. Why has the US failed in resolving the illegal immigration problems?

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In his book, Hing investigates the link between NAFTA, proliferation, and the unreported illegitimate resettlement of people in strange countries such as the US. In response to the question of what can be done to deal with the problem of immigration, immigration law experts provide a set of policy alternatives that can regulate the flow of immigrants into the US. One important policy framework is improving the living conditions in Mexico to ensure that people have fewer incentives that prompt them to migrate illegally into the US.

Hing says that it is important for the US to consider making various changes in its policies that address the issue of immigration. The changes comprise developing boundary rules, assessing Visa frameworks, establishing strategies for managing the course of offering immigrants a US residency, and the creation of caller workers’ curriculum. I agree with Hing’s perspectives of controlling the resettlement issue since they (perspectives) capture the root of the problem of illegal immigration. They also take into consideration the failing systems such as the Visa system.

Considering the implications of illegal immigration, it is necessary to review policies for its control. On the positive side, immigrants from Mexico have broadened the US cultural diversity. Besides increasing the amount of business within the US, they have also provided cheaper labor to the economy. However, as suggested by Hing, illegal immigration has led to the overpopulation of different cities to the extent of draining social services while at the same time increasing tension between the US citizens and the legal Mexican migrants (107). Considering that the border between the US and Mexico is the most crossed globally, the US also requires better strategies for reducing the porosity of the border. To this extent, Hing’s ethical rationale for managing the border becomes incredibly important.

The American federal government conducts various patrols along the Mexican border. However, illegal immigrants continue to flow into the US. Indeed, Crowe and Lucas-Vergona approximate that more than 800000 people cross the US-Mexico border illegally every year (1117). Mexicans use different strategies such as tunneling, smuggling of people, overstaying a legal visa, document forgery, swimming across, or simply walking across the border in unpatrolled areas to cross into the US illegally. Considering that these strategies may be facilitated with the help of some US citizens, especially in case of smuggling or document forgery, ethical rationale, as proposed by Hing, is important in lowering the rate of inflow of illegal immigrants.

Ethics refers to standards of behaviors or conducts. It involves the evaluation of individual values and the possession of knowledge on communal principles and individual standards (Byrne 498). It also entails the development of the capacity to make well-informed choices and the realization of the impacts of the choices made both on a short-term and long-term basis. Where choices result in undue repercussions that may impair the achievement of the set standards of conduct, codes of ethics demand that such persons should take responsibility for the repercussions of their choices. In the context of the immigration problem, and ethical rationale for controlling the flow of people across the US-Mexico border can encourage surveillance of the border by all Americans to ensure that other citizens do not suffer from non-compliance with the government directives of dealing with the immigration problem. For example, congruent with Hing’s ethical rationale, it is unethical for an American citizen to participate in the smuggling of illegal immigrants across the border or help in the forgery of documents.

As Brake, Challinor, and Rosenblum reveal, people immigrate illegally into the US for some reasons, particularly due to the low employment opportunities and poor living standards in Mexico (10). Therefore, consistent with Hing’s arguments, it sounds imperative to improve the living conditions of Mexicans in a bid to control illegal immigration. This strategy can be implemented through the increased direct foreign investments by the US in the Mexican economy. The strategy can strengthen the nation’s economy. According to Hing, through the enhanced economy, people consider migrating less, thus lowering the threat of illegal immigrants (108). However, for this strategy to work well, it is important to understand whether other related issues compel people to migrate from Mexico into the US, apart from seeking employment opportunities and/or acquiring better living standards.

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The main reason for the increased illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US is the need to look for employment (Camarota 70). Mexicans migrate without the assurance of securing a job in the US. The increased illegal immigration has the implication of escalating the population of unemployed illegal immigrants in the US. The situation leads to intense pressure on social amenities within the US cities (Hing 198). Without any assurance of securing a job, one would not arrive at a decision to migrate. In fact, when an employment opportunity strikes, one can secure it while in Mexico before making the appropriate migration arrangements. Therefore, the idea of creating guest work programs, as suggested by Hing, can help to mitigate the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico into the US.

Under the guest worker program, illegal immigrants can acquire the freedom to reside in the US, subject to proving that they have been employed by a US-based firm or a US citizen and that they have been registered under the program. Indeed, the US has a range of policy alternatives for dealing with the illegal immigration problem. Hence, directly congruent with Hing’s perspectives, the continued negative effects of the problem area due to the choices by the US government. Indeed, from the discussion of Hing’s specific proposals, I believe they are pragmatically feasible.

Works Cited

Brake, Kate, Ann Challinor, and Marc Rosenblum. Mexican and Central American Immigrants into the United States. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2011. Print.

Byrne, Erastus. “Business Ethics Should Study Illicit Business: To Advance Respect for Human Rights.” Journal of Business Ethics 10.3(2011): 497-505. Print.

Camarota, Steven. Immigrants in the United States: A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population, 2012. Web.

Crowe, Susan, and Jamie Lucas-Vergona. “What should be done about the illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States?” Decision Making 46.8(2007): 1115-1129. Print.

Hing, Bill. Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration. Pennsylvania, Temple University Press, 2010. Print.

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