Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Ethics of Immigration Restriction

  1. Jan 11, 2004 #1
    Has anyone ever considered the philsophy relating to restricting the immigration of people for reasons other than because a particular individual poses a threat?

    Right now, there are many people in nearby nations who would love to come to the USA, but can't. Is it right or acceptable to restrict them? A person who happened to be born in one area of the United States has free reign to go whereever in the nation (s)he wants, accessing the resources (both natural and man-made, people, objects and services) available. A person born in Maine has the opportunity to go to California and make a fortune as an actor, or go to Texas and make a living in the oil business, or go to Silicon Valley to work in the computer industry. Yet a person who happened to be born in the Dominican Republic or Mexico cannot legally do this.

    Is it ethically necessary or acceptable to prohibit their accessing these resources, or is it ethically bad?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2004 #2

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Dan, America is actually quite lenient on allowing immigrants to enter...most other 1st world nations, such as Canada, Australia, and England don't allow such easy access...ever heard anything about the Australian Refugee Camps in the hot desert? there have been numerous articles regarding the inhumane treatment of all people, including children...recently i chatted online with an Australian asking what it was like there to live, and he enlightened me to this fact, which i was very shocked to hear...

    I believe that America should have its doors open to those who wish to immigrate LEGALLY as my mother's side migrated from Sicily and Czechoslovakia, but my ancestors also worked hard, paid taxes and abided by the law just as (most) American citizens do...allowing people to freely come in and out of the United States can put other American citizens at risk...
     
  4. Jan 11, 2004 #3
    FEAR

    i always try to look at the source of an issue before dealing with a question.

    most reasons for limitations on immigration invariably lead to fear. fear of losing jobs, being victims of terrorists or fear that we might drop lower on some social scale.

    removing fear, why not???

    if an immigrant can take my job, i'm probably gonna lose it anyways.

    if i'm low on the social ladder, whats another step?

    am i really ever safe from terrorism???? wouldn't all the money being spent on "security" be better focused on understanding and relieving the plight of the hopeless/desparate potential terrorists. trust me, if i wanted to terrorize anywhere in the world, including Isreal, i would. a police state is not an answer.

    so, bottom line, is it ethical? without a solid foundation for the rules and regulations it can not be ethical.

    peace,
     
  5. Jan 14, 2004 #4
    most people dont know the truths of american immigration...

    one of my good friends:

    he met a south american girl who was here on a visa (legally) they fell inlove... he went back wiht her to her country... they came back here to get married, and they denied her her residence... said it would take at least 2 years during which she wouldnt be allowed to enter the US...
    but there is more: she doesnt know much english yet...so she made a stupid little mistake on her immigration form becuase no one explained it to her... so she got charged with fraud and is now permanently banned from the US.

    a friend of my parent's:

    they are a couple who is unable to have kids... so they adopted a starving child from Korea... BUT immigration then told them that they have to wait 12 months before the child can enter the US... now they arent wealthy people so they cant afford to travel all the way there... so its already been 12 months... and that child grew up his first 12 months with a different family while they were trying and trying to get him sooner...


    my own old situation:

    i immigrated here when i was 12 years old... i applied for my residence through my father (a US citizen) requesting me... it has been 8 years now and the papers are nowhere to be seen... we have spent a total of $30,000 (yes 4 zeros) in legal fee's and INS fee's and 8 years of our lives trying to get a simple residency card... and i was not allowed to work until recently... and the second i leave the country, i get banned for 10 years... thats not fair at all


    now in all these 3 situations... neither person is a threat to society... not at all... but yet immigration law remains ignorant to individual cases...

    i thought i would share my personal experiences with everyone so that you can be informed about what all these new "anti-terrorism" laws are really doing... they arent doin anythin against terorism...if they want to get in... they will! they are only harming the innocent people trying to help others or survive themselves
     
  6. Jan 14, 2004 #5
    I have to agree with kerrie. I understand that the immigration process is a difficult and frustrating one. However, you have to weigh the pros and the cons. True, these laws do not stop all terrorists, but they serve as a major deterrent. Short of erecting a 20 ft steel wall around the entire country and manning it 24/7 with guards, there are no guarantees. But it's better that an open access system where people opposed to american ideals can just walk right in and destroy American from within. We have to protect ourselves. It's a sad but true fact. It's the very small percentage of terrorists who ruin it for everyone else.

    As far as the illegals taking away our jobs. That is happening anyways legally. 20 years ago manufacturing jobs were in an outsourcing trend, and many jobs were lost to overseas labor. Now thaet is happening with the white collar jobs in the medical and IT fields. They recently began erecting heat sensing thermal detectors at all the major border crossings. This will cut down even more on the illegals. If they institute a plan where they boot everyone illegal from the country, then go to the companies and say " you must sponsor them legally" then all those below minimun wage jobs that all the illegals work will disappear, because it will be too costly to the companies, which are just as at fault for hiring illegals, as the illegals themselves.

    So look at the choices- you can come here legally- it takes 12-24 months. You register, pay taxes, get the education and good jobs available, OR you risk life and limb coming here illegally, Work a job below minimum wage regardlesss of education or experience because none of the good paying jobs are available to illegals- companies won't risk it. Work that minimum wage, looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life, and if you get caught, you're either deported and banned for life from the US, or you pay a fine which usually is in the 10's of thousands of dollars, and still have to go through the legal process anyhow. Meantime, you'll be working for so little money, that it probably isn't much better of an existance than the country you come from, if you take into account the cost of living vs your below minimum wage income. The choice is simple.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2004 #6
    Protecting ourselves from the "threat" of immigration is completely necessary. The threat goes far beyond the individual immigrant though. It's a collective threat. We seem to be too focused on the "threat" that a single person, let's say a terrorist, may pose. Keeping terrorism out of our land is imperative, yes, but we neglect to focus on the big picture.

    We have to remember to live for eternity. In the long run, the "benevolent" immigration that some speak of is actually far more malicious than a few muslim extremists who may have gained access to our land. We have become so apathetic toward our people that we let nearly anyone nonchalantly waltz right into our country.

    Massive immigration, particularly from Mexico and other 3rd Worlds, is an assault upon the people and culture of this nation. If we want to preserve what is left of this country, limiting immigration and protecting our borders are definite prerequisites. But, our borders continue to remain almost completely open. This is a deliberate assault upon American culture (or at least what once was) and the American people. We must elect one who will protect his own nation above all. Bush and his neo-con posse are spending billions of dollars basically protecting Israel's borders, why do they refuse to protect our own?

    This immigration not only affects our culture and complexion, it has a profound impact on many other elements in society. Immigration is usually parrallel to crime, poverty, drugs, lack of education, etc. Look at California, or should I say Mexifornia. The state has gone to hell and is only bound for worse. 30% of California's prison population is composed of illegal aliens. Many of these illegal Mestizos leech Medicaid and other forms of welfare from our government, thus costing us more money. Why should we have to pay for people who have no right to be here in the first place?

    Oh, how politically incorrect that rant was..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2004
  8. Jan 28, 2004 #7

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    I would disagree vehemently. In the long run, immigration is essential.

    I disagree. The immigrants are not invaders. Rather, on the long term, they ARE the people and culture of this nation. What consitutes the American culture, these days in any case? The detah of culture historically arises from ignorance of the world around it, and I would consider migrants to add to America's culture, rather than remove from it. A return to the attitudes of the Puritan settlers is, obviously, unthinkable.

    Look at the long run, again. The cause of such crime is not inherent goodness of americans, but in the attitude of paranoid xenophobia, or protetcive isolationism on both sides. The alienation of the immigrants are the cause of their problems, and history shows clearly that integration can be very successful. And though they may in some cases leech off social security, on the whole the migrant population contribute greatly in an economic way to the national productivity.

    And having workers pour in is infinitely preferable to remaining uncompetitive in the global workplace, and thus having jobs pour out directly to plants in the 3rd World.

    The campaigners against suffocating PC can do better by ignoring it, and making it unneccessary/irrelevant, than be proud to flout it, thus giving it credibility.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2004 #8

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think you can argue whether it is wise or foolish, but with the exception of political refugees, I think it is not a matter of ethics.

    Let me illustrate. High US immigration levels may seem beneficial to the people of Mexico. It supplies cheap labor to US farms, allowing them to produce food cheaply. This, in turn drives down the price of agricultural goods in other nations, including Mexico. While the US is a large net producer of argicultural goods, many countries have these goods as their only export. Low US prices cripple developing economies. So while immigration helps impovrished individuals, it can hurt impovrished nations.

    Njorl

    PS - Mexico actually benefits from immigration because of the US currency sent back to reletives, but other poor natios as a whole are harmed by Mexican immigration to the US.
     
  10. Jan 28, 2004 #9
    What are you affraid of? only fear would motivate such a response. to me, our loss of freedom since 9-11 and the homeland security act is far more damaging than letting others into our country.

    do you really believe that you can stop terrorism with laws, inspector, guards and police??????? i do not. the only way to eradicate the need for terrorism is to go to the cause of the problem. terrorism is nothing more that a painful boil that just popped, revealing that there is a very bad infection within the world body.

    we need to feed, clothe, shelter (inside and outside our borders) and teach the angry that a better way exists other than terrorism. we attempt to cure the infection.

    continuing to GUARD OUR STATE will lead to a continuous loss of freedoms and ultimately a police state. i'd rather die living free in an attack than worry about the safety of the next plane, train ride or attending an event.

    Philosophically, HOW DO YOU STOP TERRORISM?

    peace,
     
  11. Jan 28, 2004 #10
    I don't understand... We have.. a country. And.... we own it.. And we don't want other people to come take some of it... So um, what possible reason would it not be ethical to keep it for ourselves?
     
  12. Jan 28, 2004 #11
    How exactly have you come to this conclusion? The invasion from Mexico has already began to destroy the west half of our nation. Immigration, whether it be legal or illegal, from places like Mexico is not going to help our nation in any way. The economic man is the only one who profits off of these parasites. He exploits them. He compromises the quality of his American population for material gain.

    Well, of course they will become the people and culture of this once-great nation if current trends persist. These questions we must ask ourselves though: Do we want this new America? Or, do we want to preserve what little integrity we have left of our European-American culture? I say it is our obligation to preserve this country, its people, and its traditions. As the complexion of our population begins to change more and more each year, our nation takes yet another step closer to its now inescapable fate. Maybe you do not see what I see at this moment in time, but in 50 years or so, I can assure you; you will.

    I could care less about political correctness. It doesn't exist in my world, and I never let it restrict my views.

    What am I afraid of? I'm afraid I will have to live in a third world slum in the later part of my life. I am afraid that one day one of my family members will be the victim of gang violence. I'm afraid of the loss of property value, the sense of community, and the moral integrity that once existed.

    But yes, we have replaced our true freedom with blind, self-righteous "patriotism." Dissidents are now persecuted and the 1st-Amendment hardly exists.

    Well, in our case, you stop playing world police. More importantly, you stop sending billions of dollars to Israel. You become less globalized and more isolationalist.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2004
  13. Jan 29, 2004 #12

    NaD

    User Avatar

    I'm not quite sure I see the "ethics" part to it - I think it's more about people wanting to bring people who would make their country a better place to live in. It's all about labour and capital. BUT, as we don't see that happening in USA or Canada for that matter, when people with PhDs are denied immigrant status and illiterate people are brought in simply because of their geographic location (quotas, etc., which I think are stupid and unfair, just like affirmative action), I think what's going on is quite unfair if not unethical. And yes, I think it's quite "ethical" to allow people within the country to move where they pleased -- because they have already contributed to their country/society, whereas those who are seeking immigrant status have no claim on the country's resources because they have not contributed to its economy YET. So in choosing who is allowed to immigrate and who isn't, they are exercising their right. That's my take on this.
     
  14. Jan 29, 2004 #13
    Ethically, how do you own a country?????????

    We happen to reside in the US and (ethically) been charged with its care. Unfortunately, we stole the land from the natives and think that we are entitled to do with it as we please.

    Laws and regulations are not ethical. The only reason they get enacted is because of fear. Fear of losing what we think we have. Fear of terrorism. Fear of an economic loss because you might have to support the poor immigrants.

    All of us would not be here if there were laws back in 1492! isn't that where the ethical question should start.


    peace,
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2004
  15. Jan 29, 2004 #14
    Please be honest, we have slums, gang violence and value loss in metro residential areas already. do you think keeping other cultures is going to change or speed up the process??

    it'happening and enacting new immigration laws is like the pols misdirecting us with a placebo. the pols do not want to address these problems directly. so, it is much easier for them to say hey this new law will stop the erosion of our quality of life. by the time we realize it ain't so, they are retired on full pay and nothing has been done.

    it's like banning smoking is gonna improve the quality of our air!!! no, banning SUV's with only one occupant driving 25 miles to and from work, will! unfortunatley, that isn't popular, and we get misdirected with the smoking laws. now there is a very silly unethical piece of legislation. the very same people that complain about the smell of smoke drive big hydrocarbon belching vehicles. more carcinogens spew out 1 exhaust pipe than a whole pack of cigarettes.

    sorry, but when we look at an ethice question, i believe we need to look at the original reason the question arises. if fear is the motivator, legislation is not an answer without evaluating the basis of the fear, etc etc


    peace,
     
  16. Jan 29, 2004 #15

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Please be honest, we have slums, gang violence and value loss in metro residential areas already. do you think keeping other cultures is going to change or speed up the process??

    Damn straight I do. At present the LA police are forbidden to explore illegal immigration as a membership source for vicious street gngs because of political correctness.
     
  17. Jan 29, 2004 #16

    NaD

    User Avatar

    How do you own a country? Well, for starters, you own a country when you are the ruler.

    The land is not the issue at all. It's the culture and economy that we're talking about -- both established by European settlers / colonialists.

    And I'm already not supporting poor illiterate immigrants? My tax dollars go to support them and the various programs that encourage/advocate multiculturalism. It's about getting the RIGHT people into the country, not just ANYONE. It's not like we have an underpopulation problem and need to bring people JUST ANYONE, as long as they're human beings. We have an economy that has not collapsed (yet), and we're not dying off. The question remains: Do we bring in unskilled and illiterate people, or do we bring in the skilled people? If we open up our borders to just everyone, we might as well give up on the country and hand it over to others. Which is slowly what's happening, actually -- slowly but surely.

    could be. but we are here and our ancestors built this country (or at least its bases), and we have every right to protect/defend our heritage and civilisation. As long as we are in power, we should have the say on how to run the country. It seems pretty logical to me. I don't know what's so illogical/unethical about it..?
     
  18. Jan 30, 2004 #17
    lol.. Well, I really don't think there are very many Mexican immigrants who have PhDs.

    Well, that's life. Life is survival of fittest. Saying it is unethical to conquer a piece of land is ridiculous. Do you think that the Native Americans "stole" the land from the animals that were here before them? Of course not. It's basically the same concept. It's just like the food chain, except not food. Only the strong survive.

    You mean fear of losing what we DO, or once did, have. Never looking out for your own interests and only for the interests of others does not constitute "ethical" behavior.

    Absolutely! The problem is already out of control, yes, but does that mean we should just give up and let our country rot away? Why would we do such a thing? The United States has probably already passed the point of no return, but this is not necessarily an absolute statement. Having this defeatist attitude when it comes to our own nation is certainly not going to contribute to the restoration of greatness.

    You're absolutely right. These illegal CRIMIALS are not punished. So what do they do? They tell the rest of their family (which tends to be thousands of people.. haha) to sneak on over and have their share of exploitation. Actually, if you want to learn a few things about these illegals, I suggest you listen to this broadcast. (Yes, the source is quite biased when it comes to certain issues, but that doesn't discard the reality of the situation. By the way, who isn't 'biased'?) http://www.natall.com/internet-radio/ts/122003.ram [Broken]

    I couldn't agree more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  19. Jan 31, 2004 #18

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yeah! Those damn Mexicans comin' here and ruining the glorious Anglo citidels of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio, Sacramento, uh ... notice anything about those names smart guy?

    Njorl
     
  20. Jan 31, 2004 #19
    The names really aren't relevant. What is relevant though, is what the state once was and what we want it to be. Not to mention that these places have Spanish names, not Mexican (if that makes sense to you). California was given its name by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes. This is all beside the point though. The point is that the state is corrupt. It gets worse each year as millions of legal and illegals flood into our country. Soon enough our primary language will be Spanish. I don't know about you, but I do not want our culture to change, let alone that drastically.
     
  21. Jan 31, 2004 #20
    i don't want to bust your bubbles, but you suffer much, much more from the crimes of the powerful elite. be thankful they allow you to keep what you have.

    all you gotta do is go along with what they want you to do. keep out aliens!!! and your assets are protected. ARE YOU SERIOUS???


    our internal problems will not get worse with more immigrant! it might get better if you push the elected officials to do a better job and not just please their contributors. that is what burns up our taxes.

    please address the issue of 'ethics', not your concern that you will lose some undefined asset. these laws are robbing your freedoms! our freedoms are more important than loss of property value.

    THIS IS THE LAND OF THE FREE! LET'S LIVE UP TO AN IDEAL THAT'S WORKED FOR 300 YEARS. ethically, we should not deny anyone entry. these actions by homeland security are simply pacifiers for the masses. we can never be safe and they will use this time to further limit our freedom and add to big gov's power.

    let's remember, we can't take it with us, and passing it on to our children isn't necessarily doing them a favor.

    i am not a liberal, but as a conservative, i hate not being able to just hop on a plane and go, when i want, without a 3 hour circle jerk.

    i repeat, if you were a terrorist, do you think these measures would stop you????
     
  22. Jan 31, 2004 #21

    NaD

    User Avatar

    How can you prove it? Prove it and I will believe you. After the 1965 chain immigration, things have gone downhill. Far quicker than things went downhill before the immigration in-flow started.

    that IS about ethics. it's about the ethics of being legal or not. it's about the ethics of keeping the promises you made when you got elected - to make the country a safe/secure place to live in, where people are not silenced for their views, including their views on immigration.

    the land of the free? yes, but may I remind you that the bases on which this country was founded (speaking about USA) was about true freedom -- true freedom meaning, freedom for all regardless of their views, and their skin colour (including white people, who are now silenced by the waves/trend of political correctness and multiculturalism/diversity propaganda). In the name of freedom they silence us, in the name of security they lock us up for expressing our views. in the name of multiculturalism they bring in thousands of illiterate people who proceed to ruin our country, kill our men, women, and children. in the name of immigration they tell us what we're supposed to do - our country - our policies. our choice? no. lemmings' choice. lemmings who would sell this country for even 10 dollars if it ever came down to personal profits. that is not what this country was founded upon. and if you think it was, then you are truly delusional, OR, misinformed by the politically correct multicultural education (an education that has gone down the drain due to immigration...)
     
  23. Jan 31, 2004 #22
    Well, you're right, in a sense. What you have to realize is that our country IS being destroyed by the Mestizo invasion and several other malicious elements. These "powerful elite" though, are the ones deliberately destroying our country for their own personal collective and material gain. So yes, they are the ones who are actually causing the problems in this country. The primary concern with Americans today, is that we have all become far too materialistic. We tend to be apethetic about anything that isn't between our TVs and the shopping mall.

    How you can even suggest this blows my mind. Of course it will get worse. Unless of course, you are some liberal, self-hating, "diversity-monger."

    Absolutely. We have lost our freedoms though. When we are no longer able to live in a clean, safe environment; we are at that moment denied our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Putting an end to immigration isn't going to give us some financial reward, it's about the quality of life in your own country.

    That's absurd. We are "ethically" obligated to let anyone into our country? You are off your rocker now. Maybe we should invite Al Qaeda (spelling?) to waltz right on over and do as they please. You do seem to think it's our moral obligation to let millions of Mestizos come to exploit our government services, and corrupt our neighborhoods, so it wouldn't surprise me if you would let terrorists come here.

    Well, you must be a neo-conservative.

    Probably not, but they sure as hell would make it quite difficult for me. If we can prevent just ONE, it's well worth it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2004
  24. Feb 1, 2004 #23
    you guys are making the assumption that all was peaches and cream prior to 9-11. what i am saying is that we were in a state of 'ignorance is bliss'.

    the world was going to hell and we were ignoring it because we got ours; 'let them get theirs'. well the world jumped and bit us on the butt! even our domestic problems were being ignored because we were all fat and happy. amazing how metaphysically we brought about 9-11. it is/was a wake up call.

    rather than understanding the cause and effect we chose to wage war and pass laws limiting our indiviual freedoms, all in the name of security.

    we will not be safe, no matter what measures you enact, until we go in and resolve the worlds problems with assistance and immigration, if necessary.

    waging war and passing laws are window dressing. please do not be misled by the politicians who are affraid to deal with the real problems because they aren't popular.

    let's show our leadship that we want freedom and world peace. that's what they are being paid to do. they violate the ethics of their office every day and passing restrictive laws are just another way to create the illusion that they are doing something. let's challenge them to stand up and perform; not send our children to war and close our borders to the needy.

    hey all our time, money and effort really works on the mexican border doesn't it????


    peace,
     
  25. Feb 1, 2004 #24

    NaD

    User Avatar

    World peace is impossible to attain. If it had been possible to attain, the world wouldn't have witnessed wars since the beginning of humanity (as far as written history stretches, at least)...

    And as long as there is difference, there will always be power relations. Because different people can't be equal. Because they don't want to be equal. Because superiors want to hold their superiority and inferiors want to be equal to the superiors. And that is what immigration tries to do. And it is a band-aid on the problem, but it's not the solution. On the long run, it only makes matters worse.

    Our country/counrties is/are not a place for illiterate people to crash, make use of welfare and abuse the system. And that is what they are doing - the majority of them anyway. We don't want lazy bums here. We want people who work hard for their own survival and the benefit of our country/economy. If each country didn't have its own economical purposes/intentions/goals, what justifies the existence of borders? It's about national interest. And immigration is nothing but propaganda to weaken countries. How many immigrants does Japan accept from Europe and North America per year? Think about it.
     
  26. Feb 1, 2004 #25
    NaD

    very poor reason. argue for our limitations, etc. aren't we proud to be more/better educated and on the dawn of a new age? hell if we don't make the first step, we will never have peace. i do not want to condemn my children to a world at war. let's begin the process for peace.

    oh i see, everybody in the world is dumb and lazy except us. if your opinion of others is that low, how do you go out at night or even let your children out of the house?? please rexamine the fear behind your stance. if our gov(s) do what they are suppose to do, immigrants and natives will not be able to abuse any welfare system.

    i am third generation american and have enjoyed a nice life. it was very dicey back in the 40's but we got through with no help from big brother. why do we, now, provide so much??? my answer is, votes. we do need to change our political process, however, that's another topic.

    if we are the world leader we must allow immigration or no one will take in the abandoned (in their native land) of the world. this attitude will only help POLARIZE the nations not heal our differences. we must set the example, because if we don't who will??

    peace,
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook