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Finding The Nation: The Issues With Modern Immigration Policies In The United States

1661 words - 7 pages

In the dawn of the 21st century the typical impression an American can hold when the word ‘immigration’ is brought up may include a lot of controversey. Immigration in the late 18th century was essentially a norm for the newfound American society. With Congress introducing bills like Arizona’s SB 1070 it is quite apparent that immigration is now one of America’s biggest discussions in U.S. Politics. Two interpretationa of the topic at hand can be illustrated by examining Jacob Hornberger’s essay “Keep the Borders Open” and Peter Brimlow’s essay “A Nation of Immigrants”. Jacob Hornberger makes it clear in his opinion that the main cause of an immigration problem is the establishment of laws restricting immigration; which he believes that the founders of the United States would not condone restrictions on immigrants. In comparison, Peter Brimelow takes a definitive approach by addressing America’s lack of homogeneity, which Brimelow feels is an essential characteristic of a nation. In both essays each author takes an indirect stance on the topic of immigration. Hornberger implies that people should be allowed to do and live freely. Brimelow argues that America is not so much a nation, but a ‘polity’ and the only way for the United States to become a nation is to restrict immigration and begin a process that would lead to unity and homogeneity.
Jacob Hornberger
Jacob Hornberger urges the reader to look at a time in American history not only before immigration restriction, but also government interference in its citizen’s lives. By this the author means Social Services, Welfare, and other programs. He states that “[T]he bedrock principle underlying American society was that people should be free to live their lives any way they chose.” and goes on to relate this to the concept of ‘freedom’ that Americas founding fathers intended on (Miller 525). The author feels as though the government is playing too big of a role in the American people’s lives leading to the utter failure of what this country was meant to be. In the 20th century immigration restrictions began to arise giving birth to even more negative consequences as described by Hornberger. At one point, America, on the world stage this country could be seen as a land of “freedom” in which a person could seek opportunity and escape the harsh restriction of a parent country. Hornberger then reveals the “voyage of the damned” along with other events in the 20th century when the United States put restrictions on persons allowed entry during time of strife or tyranny in parent countries. At this point, this idea of a worldly safe zone has now completely diminished.
In this argument Hornberger takes the more deductive approach of addressing his opinions or solutions to many of the concerns that have led the American people to question whether immigration laws should be more strictly enforced or relaxed. The three concerns mentioned that stood out amongst others are: immigrant abuse of...

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