“In the wake of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965. This new law abolished the national origins quota system and barred racial considerations from expressly entering into decisions about immigrant visas; it also imposed for the first time a ceiling (120,000) on migration from the Western Hemisphere.” (Johnson, 2006).
Historical Framework for the Issue of Illegal Immigration
Towards the end of the 19th century, Congress passed the first immigrant exclusion law restricting criminal and prostitutes, and followed up with the Japanese, Asian and Chinese. Even with this law in place the immigration still reached a record high of 1.3 million personnel in 1907. In 1965, Congress then passed the Immigration and Nationality Act amendments that ended the quota and initiated the concept of family sponsored immigration. In 1987, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform Control Act (IRCA) which authorized two programs to identify and legalize illegal immigrants who are able to document their entry into the U.S. prior to 1 January 1982 (America.gov Archive, 2003). The immigration migration is a phenomenon of crucial importance to the United States as long as the immigration guidelines and procedures are followed, but with the vast number of amendments being reconstructed and enacted by Congress, on almost a daily basis this put additional strain on our border patrol, government agencies, and our military forces who have been tasked to assist in the protection of the U.S./Mexico border alongside the local police officers.
On October 1, 2004, Mr. Jim Gilchrist, U.S Vietnam Marine veteran, founded the multi-ethnic Minuteman Project after he had been frustrated dealing with the United States Government to enforce the immigration laws. The Minutemen, who formed the name from militiamen who fought in the American Revolution, has described themselves as “a citizen’s neighborhood watch on our border”, and have continued to get the media attention on dealing with the illegal immigration issue plaguing the United States. The Minutemen organization has portrayed more of a negative connotation rather than the positive that they had initially strived for. On May 25, 2005 there was the Garden Grove Incident dealing with protestors. On October 4, 2006 they had the Columbia University incident where their stage was stormed by student protestors. The T-Shirt incident on April 6, 2005 in which minutemen had an old man poses with a racial discrimination T-shirt, and in August 2007 there was a fake murder video published by the organization (Sanchez, 2011).
Even with this negativity, on April 28, 2005, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the Minutemen Project on a Los Angeles radio station KFI. The issues of the constant illegal immigration border crossings, violence and murders on the borders of the immigrants and law enforcements officers, the immigration laws will continue to be pushed through Congress in order to keep our borders safe and ensure the diverse cultures visiting the United States are entering with the appropriate documentation instead of through the desert with a backpack, bottles of water, and for some, with bags of drugs. Is the Media Portrayal of biased or unbiased Illegal Immigration? On October 6, 2010, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced that record numbers of deportations of criminal aliens, declaring that these figures have demonstrated that President Obama’s administration is focused on enforcing our immigration laws that prioritizes public safety and national security.
One of the political issues on July 7, 2011, according to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (2011), a memorandum was published entitled “Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits” which is also the entire product of the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) for the 2010 tax processing year (Impact on Taxpayers). Illegal immigration laws that are in place are not only bottlenecking the system, becoming costly to taxpayers and increasing the deficit, but the ranchers along the border are either having the illegals trespassing onto their land, destroying their fence line along the property, and on a few occasions ranchers have been killed. Mr. John Ladd, a rancher on the Southern border of Arizona, has a ranch sprawling over 14,000 acres between Mexico border and state highway 92. His ranch is the major corridor for the smuggling of drugs and human beings into the United States. The border patrol makes frequent arrests on the ranch, but most of those are released back into Mexico where they regroup and try again until they are successful (Gisorg, 2010).
On average, one mile of border fence costs US taxpayers $4 million. Is it worth the expense? The measurements of this fence is 21 feet (6.4m) tall and 6 feet (1.8m) embedded into the ground, and cemented in a 3 foot (.91m) wide trench. With all of this material, manpower, monetary cost and security, on December 16, 2010, a video was shot showing two young American students visiting the border and on their first try, these girls made it to the top of the fence in less than eighteen seconds. How much time do you think it will take if you visit the beach of Tijuana and just swim out to the fence line and cross over? Does the public’s perception encourage or discourage prejudice, labeling or stereotyping? There are media commentaries that intentionally sensationalize the story being reported; it all depends on where their station ratings stand. Even unintentional biased reporting can be portrayed depending on what the listener’s views are on immigration.
I cannot justify what their true intentions are, but as a viewer there are times when my perception is that they are not telling the full story, or the story is biased to the side of the populace majority. One of the best media outlets I’ve come across depicting the conflict between bordering countries was by the Coca-Cola Corporation. Two guards who are patrolling their border, walking back and forth along a stretch of about 15 feet with hatred and discontent showing on their faces not uttering a word. What brought these two cultures to a brief truce was a 16oz bottle of Coca-Cola (Gisorg, 2010). Even In the portrayal of the movie ‘Borders’ which depict the immigration issues with Mexico and the United States. Chris Burgard’s award winning television series takes an impartial look at the agonizing and complex issue of our southern U.S. border.
This film fosters debate, open discussion, and hopefully a more balanced outlook towards a national problem that has polarized our nation.” (Rick Dixon, Star Tribune, 2011). During the viewing, you may perceive that all Hispanics are probably in this country illegally, drug runners or coyotes. This actually encourages hatred of most Hispanics because they are perceived the same as terrorist in this land. This show demonstrates how individuals should be fighting again crime and illegal immigration of all types, and the question you should be asking yourself is if you believe in your government, and what is the true border between justice and crime.
Does this issue affect the U.S. economy and labor force?
Presently illegal immigrants arriving into country are taking advantage of the job workforce that average Americans deem beneath them. They are willing to take on those jobs that we perceive as demeaning, and underpaid. Due to this immigration issue, the United States, as paid over $4.2 billion dollars towards labor for the illegal immigrants and over $100 billion each year on medical, housing and education. According to the Arizona state treasurer Dean Martin, they are losing between $1.3 and $2.5 billion each year on illegal immigrant on incarceration, education and their families. This does not account for the legal services that are provided through the court system. As a manager, what inclusion strategies would be implemented? When dealing with the issues of illegal immigration and the media coverage as a manager, there are strategies that can be utilized to foster a collaborative working environment for employees.
Coordinate with Human Resources to schedule diversity and equal opportunity training, plan a quarterly cultural luncheon/potluck, and during each holiday ensure there are decorations representing every culture in your organization and allow those individuals to explain what each trinket means. When dealing with stereotyping, encourage employees to ask questions concerning that cultural difference they don’t understand or have perceptions about. Most organizations will have a media device placed in the office, and employees will hear of negative connotations dealing with the diverse groups around the United States. If listening to these stories makes you stop and think, then it will also make you wonder about that culture. Not all individuals in are the same, and not all cultures are radical, illegal immigrants or a threat.
The media is the media is the media. As long as there is conflict it will be reported to the masses. Illegal immigrants and immigration laws are tied to the hip and will always be part of society and culture. Unless the United takes a lesson from the 1981 television show called ‘Escape from New York’, produced by John Carpenter, place a twenty-five foot solid cement wall that is fifteen feet thick around the state. There will always be illegal immigrants either from Mexico, Cuba, and other countries seeking domicile in the United States.
America.gov Archive. (2003). The Immigration Act of 1965. Retrieved from http://www.america.gov/st/educ-english/2008/April/20080423214226eaifas0.9637982.html Canoy, M., Beutin, R., Horath, A., Hubert, A., Lerais, F., Smith, P., & Sochacki, M. (2006, September 10). Migration and public perception. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/policy_advisers/publications/docs/bepa_migration_final_09_10_006_en.pdf Gemano, R. P. (2010, December 16). 2 Girls Undermine US Border Strategy in Under 18 Seconds [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHjKBjM1ngw&feature=related Gisorg. (2010, August 9). Gaming the Border: A Report from Cochise County, Arizona [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRof_dizXH4 Johnson, K. R. (2006). The History of Racial Exclusion in the US Immigration Laws. Retrieved from http://academic.udayton.edu/race/02rights/immigr09.htm Morgenstern, M. (2011). TheBlaze. Retrieved from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/govt-audit-illegal-immigrants-received-4-2-billion-in-tax-credits-last-year/ Pemberton, J. S. (2011, February 3). Coca-Cola Border [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-STkFCCrus Sanchez, C. (2011). HATEWATCH. Retrieved from http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2007/08/13/new-video-appears-to-show-vigilante-border-murder/ Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. (2011). Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits. Retrieved from http://Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits
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