My involvement in U.S. immigration law began from a considerably young age. My parents emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and have been illegal immigrants since then. In our struggle to obtain U.S. citizenship, I found myself discovering immigration law in a more personal light than most people I knew. Possessing a unique blend of my own cultural heritage mingled with my perceptions of reality based on a U.S. education and upbringing, I have been unable to accept myself as part of either one of the two clashing cultures holistically.
Born and bred in the U.S., but born to Mexican parents who were illegal immigrants, I grew up in a middle-income household. My relatives with U.S. citizenship put in a tremendous amount of effort to afford my school, high school and college education respectively. Since the law did not permit my parents to work, I found them undertaking odd jobs to make enough money for basic survival. Under strict penalizations for providing employment opportunities to undocumented immigrants, various employers refused to give my parents any work.
The opportunity for learning the dynamics of immigration law came to me as I graduated high school and became exceedingly interested in the American immigration law and policy. I undertook modules that would facilitate my enthusiasm for exploring immigration law meticulously. I wanted to learn the legal and social implications of this societal issue and learn how to address is as a responsible member of this society. It has always been my primary interest.
I observed that three factors particularly impact existing racial equality patterns and its scope in the U.S, including “economic restructuring, racial discrimination and immigration” (Waters& Eschbach, 1995). Immigration law and policy witnesses a division between state and federal authority. Because of this, the immigration process becomes long and overly tedious. Pending decisions take years to be processed through state and federal courts. Some practices, such as Arizona's state law regarding undocumented immigration, are extremely unpopular among critics of immigration law and policy due to them being racist in nature.
I also feel that immigration law, such as that of Arizona State, violates ethical and moral obligations towards humans. Despite this, I acknowledge that immigration law and policy are intended to address the social issue of illegal immigration and that it is, in fact, part of a framework of American legislation. That being said, it becomes clear that immigration law and policy are crucial to regulate the inflow of immigrants into the country.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
I have read numerous ethnicity studies that classify racial and ethnic categories as “social constructions” and not just pre-existing natural tendencies (Waters& Eschbach, 1995). Furthermore, I discovered that there exists an undeniable link between U.S. immigration policy and international trade policy (Timmer & Williams, 1998). As Harris (2005) advocated, existing literature on U.S. immigration law and policy focuses largely on “illegality” revolving around undocumented immigration, especially Mexicans (De Genova, 2002). Having Mexican parents and growing up in a multi-cultural household has had a significant impact on my ...