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Immigrants’ Rights and Status in the United States Essay


In the United States, immigration is one of the most discussed issues because the number of immigrants moving to the country increases annually. The public’s attitude to this phenomenon cannot be explained as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ because immigration is associated with a lot of challenges faced by both migrants and citizens in the United States. Many Americans agree that more effective policies are necessary to regulate the issue of the constantly increased immigration rates.

However, the most urgent issue in this context is the problem of immigrants’ rights. On the one hand, the increased number of immigrants has changed the demographics of American society during recent years, and more rights for these people can be discussed as a necessity in this context. On the other hand, the opponents of the immigration movement state that more rights provided for immigrants can have adverse effects on citizens, and such a process can lead to the decreased control of the illegal immigration in the country.

Although many migrants in the United States are often illegal, and many projects are proposed to regulate the immigration processes, immigrants should be provided with more rights because they represent the large group of the country’s population, the future increases in the number of migrants are predicted, and rights of these people cannot be ignored since they contribute to the social development.

While stating that immigrants should not be provided with more rights, people ignore the fact that there are millions of immigrants in the country, and they represent one of the largest population groups in the United States. According to Hayduk, “more than 30 million people in every walk of life – one in ten – are immigrants who are not US citizens” (100). These data are typical of 2014-2015, but it is necessary to note that the number of immigrants, as well as their role in society, increases each year.

It is possible to state that the American citizen interacts with immigrants in each sphere of his or her life, but if the American citizens have the rights that are stated according to the principles of democracy and equality, the rights of immigrants can be viewed as rather limited (Hainmueller and Hopkins 530). It is possible to state that even if immigrants have no right to vote, they should be provided with equal rights to send their children to public schools, to receive adequate insurance, and to become legally employed.

The number of immigrants changes annually, and there are tendencies for the increases in the number of people who plan to move to the United States in the future decade. In their research, Hajnal and Rivera paid attention to the fact that in 2013, “the proportion of the country that is white has fallen from roughly 90% to 65%” (773). The white population in the United States is represented mostly by citizens.

However, the number of Hispanics, African people, and Asian people coming to the country tend to increase (Hainmueller and Hopkins 531). In the context of the situation, it is possible to note that more and more immigrants are expected to be limited in their rights because of the public’s opposition to the idea of giving them more privileges. To predict the development of social conflicts in the country and contribute to the creation of the positive climate in the United States, it is necessary to provide immigrants with more rights and enable them to act as equal representatives of the American society.

The public and authorities in the United States cannot ignore the rights of immigrants only because of their status. The researchers note while discussing the immigration question that it is important to refer to this phenomenon as the reality of the American society that should be taken into account not only by the public but also by authorities and policy-makers (Hainmueller and Hopkins 531; Hajnal and Rivera 774).

Those immigrants who have the legal status and have the right to be employed often serve the public’s needs as teachers, doctors, construction workers, and scientists (Hajnal and Rivera 774). It is also important to pay attention to the fact that those immigrants who came to the country illegally are also often employed, and they serve to the society as shop assistants and workers, for instance. As a result, these people contribute to the development of the country, and they need to be treated in American society with respect. Therefore, it is possible to state that the question of the immigrants’ rights is not easy to answer, and it requires further investigation.

The opponents of the idea that immigrants should be provided with more rights claim that illegal immigration is the problem for the United States that can be solved only with references to revising the immigration policies and limiting the migrants’ rights. Still, although illegal immigration remains to be the issue for American society, this problem can be resolved mainly with references to developing the adequate policy that can address the needs and interests of different categories of the population (Hajnal and Rivera 775).

It is almost impossible to agree that illegal immigration is a positive phenomenon, and these immigrants should be provided with those rights that are given to legal immigrants or citizens. Certain regulations are necessary in this case. However, while speaking about the legal immigrants and their rights in American society, it is important to note that equality in the distribution of rights and privileges is one of the main principles of the democratic society. Therefore, the wide rights should be guaranteed for legal immigrants who work to promote the development of the country.

Even though American society is usually associated with the idea of immigration, many migrants in the United States still have no wide rights. The opponents pay attention to the fact that illegal immigration is a risky social phenomenon, and more rights for immigrants can worsen the current situation in the country about illegal migrants and workers. Nevertheless, it is important to state that immigrants should be provided with more rights because they represent the large group of the U.S. population, they need the social support, and the flow of immigrants can further grow. Also, it is important to remember that these people have the same rights as citizens if they work to contribute to the progress of the United States.

From this perspective, it is significant to address the idea of equality and respect diversity in the country also in terms of providing immigrants with more rights while accentuating their contribution to the social development of the country.

Works Cited

Hainmueller, Jens, and Daniel Hopkins. “The Hidden American Immigration Consensus: A Conjoint Analysis of Attitudes toward Immigrants.” American Journal of Political Science 59.3 (2015): 529-548. Print.

Hajnal, Zoltan, and Michael Rivera. “Immigration, Latinos, and White Partisan Politics: The New Democratic Defection.” American Journal of Political Science 58.4 (2014): 773-789. Print.

Hayduk, Ron. “Political Rights in the Age of Migration: Lessons from the United States.” Journal of International Migration and Integration 16.1 (2015): 99-118. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 2). Immigrants' Rights and Status in the United States. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/immigrants-rights-and-status-in-the-united-states/

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"Immigrants' Rights and Status in the United States." IvyPanda, 2 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/immigrants-rights-and-status-in-the-united-states/.

1. IvyPanda. "Immigrants' Rights and Status in the United States." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/immigrants-rights-and-status-in-the-united-states/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. "Immigrants' Rights and Status in the United States." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/immigrants-rights-and-status-in-the-united-states/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Immigrants' Rights and Status in the United States'. 2 September.

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