According to this article, the repercussions of Arizona's controversial immigration bill go beyond affecting the hispanic community. Tranquility has been disrupted by pro- and anti-immigration demonstrators. Concerts, conventions and tourism have decreased in Arizona, some of it directly related to the immigration law. Finally, many Latinos have left Arizona for either Mexico or other states....
Throughout most of American history, border security has centered on the issue of immigration rather than the threat of invasion. And, despite having been known as "the land of immigrants", from its early days the United States has had restrictions in place on whom it let into its borders, on the basis of national allegiance and security; race; country of origin; physical health, mental, moral and economic fitness; and political ideology.
Today, most public policy debates surrounding border security focus on illegal immigration at the Southern border, primarily from Mexico, and its economic, social and political effects (e.g. displacement of American workers, strain on the welfare system, higher crime rates, diminution of American values); drug trafficking and the associated violence perpetrated by the drug cartels; and potential terrorist threats.
These issues have prompted some to demand greater law enforcement capabilities and activities, including building a border fence, increasing border enforcement resources, further limiting legal immigration on the basis of country of origin, education and job training levels, and actively pursuing deportation of those who enter the country illegally.
On the flip side, there have been increased calls for granting legal status to certain illegal aliens currently present in the U.S. (the DREAM Act is a most recent example), and for expanding legal immigration, for instance through more easily obtainable work visas and guest worker programs. This, so it is argued, would help focus border security on the true dangers presented by criminals and potential terrorists.
Dealing with border security issues on an immediate and daily basis but finding assistance from the federal government wanting, has prompted some states such as Arizona and Utah to take matters into their own hands, raising constitutional questions about the division between state and federal obligations and powers in the process.
In light of these issues, this topic traces the historical, political, legal, and social developments affecting American border security and immigration policy. It also includes the various ideological viewpoints informing the public policy debates on border security, and provides information on their underlying philosophies.
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