Immigrants and Immigration Policies
International laws have a provision that mandates states to draft immigration policies and related laws. However, it does not give the right to violate human rights through these laws and policies. Immigration laws and policies of the United States have failed to uphold the rights of immigrants. The failures include denial of freedom from unlawful detention, denial of protection from return to prosecution, and the denial of the right to family unity. Immigration policies are supposed to protect and give justice to immigrants. However, they go against the International Covenant on Civil Rights and Political Rights, and the Refugee Convention. It is ironic because the United States is a party to these international treaties.
Failure by the United States to implement a fair immigration policy is threatening its economy and diplomacy (Shea 23). Also, it is threatening to sabotage its national security. If this stalemate continues, the United States will lose its status in the international arena as a country that upholds justice at all levels. To this effect, the U.S needs an overhaul of its immigration laws and policies to match the international immigration policies.
The U.S. needs to implement immigration and citizenship policies that should serve the following purposes. First, they should bring reforms to the immigration system to make it more efficient in dealing with immigration issues such as the involvement of immigrants in the labor market (Shea 28). Secondly, they should enforce immigration laws and punish those who violate them fairly. Thirdly, they should offer legal citizenship to more than 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S (Shea 29).
Effective immigrant policies include those that attract skilled immigrants to satisfy the needs of the labor markets, those that reduce the time needed to process immigrants’ documents such as visa and work permits, and those that verify immigrants who are allowed to work in the United States. Also, policies that give power to state and local police forces to implement these immigration policies help improve the human rights situation for immigrants (Shea 33).
In addition to the above-mentioned recommendations, policies that uphold American values need to be implemented. This can be effectively achieved by implementing policies that cover the incarceration of immigrants, penalties for immigrants, and legal violations for refugees. To this effect, policies that reduce penalties for minor immigrants and offer protection to refugees are vital. The establishment of an immigrants department both at the white house and at the police department to handle immigrant issues is vital in improving the human rights situation of immigrants. Besides, policies should be implemented to protect immigrants who are under state custody for violating the law.
Action should be taken at the national level because there are effective international laws that take care of immigrants’ rights. However, national laws and policies are inadequate and need an overhaul. Much can be done to improve the immigrant situation in the United States. The only requisite condition is the implementation of policies that handle all issues that affect immigrants. Immigrants’ issues include attainment of work permits, policies on incarcerations, policies on deportations, and penalties for violations of the law.
Women and migration
Migration provides new opportunities for men and women to improve their lives. However, it can make them more vulnerable because of factors such as degrading working conditions, exposure to health risks, and collisions with immigrant laws (Shea 43). Even when migration is intended to improve the economic status of immigrants, getting a job in a new country is difficult. Immigrants are subjected to gender and ethnic discrimination. Most of the immigrants are offered low-paying jobs that make it difficult to earn a decent living.
This is due to their immigrant status and their level of skills that are mostly of low standard (Shea 47). Gender inequality and immigrant status work together to the disadvantage of women. However, women benefit more from migration than men do.
The migration of women is often affected by their social status as mothers and wives. For example, according to the book, the migration of Puerto Rican women into the United States is affected by marital and familial responsibilities. Women who are in stable marriages are less likely to migrate to the U.S than single mothers or divorced women. Besides, the lack of resources such as money and network makes it hard for these women to migrate. However, with the current shift in gender roles, more women are migrating in search of more economic and social opportunities. It is becoming easier for women to migrate than it was a few years ago.
In terms of the role of women in the host society, women are more advantaged than men are. For example, in the Dominican Village of Miraflores, migration has transformed life greatly. Women are more attracted to men who have migrated at least once. This is because these women want husbands who can assist them with household chores and take care of children just like men who have been to the United States do. Once women migrate into the United States, the burden of taking care of their families decreases because their husbands assist them with household chores.
Migration is more beneficial to women than men because it helps configure gender relations and responsibilities. For example, it offers women an opportunity to participate and offer their expertise in various fields of the global labor market.
Poverty is one of the reasons for migration. However, because of the expenses involved in migrating, those who migrate possess the financial ability to cover the expenses. Poverty mostly affects women and children. Female migration can help reduce poverty because of new opportunities that include better jobs and health services. This helps reduces gender inequality and alleviates poverty. Migration helps raise the socio-economic rank of women.
Most women use their earnings to acquire property because they remit their earnings more than men do (Shea 63). Besides, they gain more control of their families’ income by ensuring that the remittances are sent to their families back home. Despite limitations in labor opportunities between men and women, women are gaining more control of their lives and families.
The availability of education opportunities encourages more women to migrate, and hence raise their level of education. Migration offers more opportunities for women in careers that are unavailable or that are reserved for men in their native country. Also, it emancipates women from the traditional role of a home carer and from degrading traditional practices that only apply to the female gender. Such opportunities include household jobs that earn income, unlike working in their households without income. Migration offers women a chance to seize job opportunities in nursing, teaching, and domestic work.
Shea, Therese. Immigration to America: Identifying Different Points of View About an Issue. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. Print.