Introduction: The difference in the Republican and Democratic Perspectives on Immigration in the USA
The problem of migration of the citizens of other countries to the territory of the United States of America has been a legal issue addressed by the US government for many years. The question of legal conditions of immigrants’ life and work on the US territory is covered by the Constitution and many federal laws. However, the issue has evolved into an acute problem that is controversially presented by the current authority of the country. The rights and freedoms of the immigrants are limited without any constitutional foundation. That is why it is vital to analyze the issue from the perspective of legislative, executive, and judicial branches to find possible solutions.
The active immigration of people to the USA is one of the main contributors to the population of the country. Millions of people come to the state to find jobs and become legal citizens. The major parties’ representatives have different views on the immigration issue. The Republicans do not present a favorable view on active immigration to the USA and support strict laws that have to regulate illegal migrants’ life benefits on the territory of the state (Mayda et al. 11-12).
However, Democrats support the idea that the USA is a country of immigrants and has to respect and support even illegal individuals developing special programs for them (Mayda et al. 12). Such a difference in attitudes results in election preferences of a significant part of the voting population embracing migrants who support the Democratic Party more than the Republican one (Mayda et al. 5). Therefore, the issue that affects the life of the country is relevant, and actively discussed in the modern US society and has to be analyzed in depth.
The Constitutional Protection of the Issue of Immigration
The issue of immigration to the USA has a long legal and constitutional history. Even though there are no direct indications of migration as a concept in the Constitution, there are implications that clarify the constitutional approach to the problem. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution that was ratified in 1866 guaranteed protected citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” (“Primary Documents in American History”). Senate positively accepted the amendment, as well as President Andrew Johnson, and Congress did in 1866. The ratification of the law has changed the overall attitude to the concept of citizenship in America.
This document meant that everybody who lived in the USA including former slaves was recognized as US citizens. Equal rights, liberty of property, and the necessity to provide an identical attitude toward all the citizens of the country in courts were the stepping stones in the legal recognition of immigrants. The inhabitants of the state were given “the right to pursue any lawful trade or avocation, without other restraint” (“Primary Documents in American History”). More importantly, the Amendment states that no US state can deny any person “the equal protection of the laws” (“Primary Documents in American History”). Thus, the 14th Amendment contributed to the democracy of the USA and formed the Constitution that allowed the US to become a country in which the rights of every citizen are respected.
Legislative Branch: The Difference in the Approach to Immigration of California and Tennessee Laws
The legislative power establishes the law regulation of rights provision on the territory of the USA. Since its inclusion in the Constitution, the question of immigration has been addressed by both state and federal laws. The way different states carry out the implications of the the14th Amendment in practice differs from more democratic to strict. The California state law provides a variety of freedoms and rights for the immigrants who have illegal status.
It supports the people who have immigration issues but have no law violation experience in different spheres of life. California state law provides health services coverage “for individuals with certain immigration status” (“Report on 2016 State Immigration Laws”). Also, such individuals have more protection on the territory of California concerning many spheres of life including employment. For example, there is no obligation to report an illegal immigrant to the authorities if he or she did not commit any law violation (“Report on 2016 State Immigration Laws”). Such an attitude shows the state’s respect toward immigrants and enables their comfortable and fearless habitation on the territory of California.
However, such a policy does not cover all the states of the USA. There are such state laws that prohibit many freedoms and rights of immigrants, especially illegal ones. For example, Tennessee state law seeks an immigration policy that limits the flow of unlawful citizens. It develops an approach that “protects American society … and compensates the state for any financial burdens from illegal immigrants” (“Report on 2016 State Immigration Laws”).
It also provides strict verification procedures of documents that justify the lawful presence of individuals in the United States. The program of migration status information collection E-Verify is an important part of employment procedures in Tennessee when it is not obligatory in California (“Report on 2016 State Immigration Laws”). Thus, immigration and its illegal form are addressed by state laws differently. The opposing points of view of the representatives of the states impose a broader perspective of the problem development.
Executive Branch: The Difference Between the Current and Past Administrations’ Points of View on Immigration
Similar to the differences in states’ addressing the issue of legal and illegal migration to the USA, Presidents and their administrations also have different views on the problem. The controversial point of view of the current administration on the migrants’ flow to the country has attracted the world community’s attention during the past few years. Indeed, the President’s attitude toward any issue influences the tendencies in the political life of all the country. That is why modern USA society faces a lot of problems concerning immigration limitations and their lawfulness.
President Trump has established a clear anti-immigrant policy in his election campaign and continued to address the issue negatively. Being a Republican, President resembles the point of view of the party that does not recognize any tolerance toward illegal immigration. Among his extreme measures within the proclaimed policy were the intentions to build a wall between the USA and Mexico, as well as restrict Muslim immigration to the country (Aparicio). With this and other implications of immigration reform, President aims to deport undocumented individuals massively. To the minds of many, such policy is a violation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
The previous administration of President Obama also recognized the problem of undocumented migrants and their many presences on the territory of the USA. Although the millions of illegal immigrants who inhabit the country are harmful to the economy and have crossed the legal borders, Obama tried to compromise and provide protection from the forced deportation for crime-free individuals (Aparicio). The intention was not supported by the representatives of the Republican Party. Nevertheless, the democratic attitude to the issue expressed by the previous administration differs from the current President’s point of view.
Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court Cases Related to Immigration and Their Impact on the Constitutional Right
Since the problem of illegal migration has a controversial nature and differs depending on the state’s law or the perspectives of different parties’ representatives, it has different manifestations in courts. Many cases of deportation and illegal presence on the territory of the USA have been carried out unlawfully and argued in the Supreme Court. The most frequently used legal document that the participants use in the hearings is the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
Among the Supreme Court cases related to immigration, there is the Lozano v. City of Hazleton case. It incorporated the immigration “enforcement-oriented measures” to “prohibited landlords from renting housing to undocumented immigrants” (Johnson 83). Such a strict measure implied severe changes to the law. Nevertheless, the court did not win the case, as well as many other ones related to the issue due to the application of fundamental laws of the Constitution.
Another example of a court case is Zadvydas v. Davis held in 2001. According to the statements of the court within this case, every person who inhabits the USA has a right to be heard in the court (Zadvydas v. Davis). This example influences the procedures of deportation claimed by the current administrations, limiting it to the hearing of every immigrant in the court before the decision about their extradition (Aparicio).
Similarly, the historically significant case U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark held in 1898 acutely addressed the issue of the undocumented immigrants’ children born on the territory of the USA. According to the decision made during this hearing, such children should be recognized as US citizens at the moment of their birth (Aparicio). Thus, the immigration problem addressed in multiple court cases has made its contribution to the development of the system of laws regulating the issue.
Conclusion and Possible Solutions to the Problem of Immigration
According to the fact that immigration is a controversial problem, contemporary US society faces many difficulties in its lawful resolution. The long-lasting oppositions in the attitudes to the question between Republicans and Democrats mark the actions the US leaders take to stabilize the flow of illegal migrants to the country. A large number of people from different countries on the territory of the United States influences the elections because such individuals give their votes to Democrats who preserve their tight (Mayda et al.). Also, many politicians view the immigration issue as a limitation of the employment opportunities for US legal citizens. It affects the state laws that differ from a strict prohibition of illegal immigrants’ rights, as in Tennessee, to supportive programs’ implementation in California.
There is no clearly defined way to solve the problem. However, politicians have to preserve human rights and freedoms. Since the 14th Amendment recognizes immigrants as those who deserve equal rights to be heard and provided with equal laws, it is essential to keep to it. The policy of the current President is too extreme and has to apply the right base to practice. There should be a respectful way to limit the massive flow of illegal immigrants by the introduction of a more straightforward procedure of naturalization for people who, with their labor, can contribute to the US economy.
Aparicio, Josue. “Trump’s Immigration Policy: Borderline Unconstitutional.” GGU Law Review Blog, paper 40, 2016. Web.
Johnson, Kevin R. “Immigration in the Supreme Court, 2009-13: A New Era of Immigration Law Unexceptionalism.” Oklahoma Law Review, vol. 68, no. 1, 2015, pp. 56-118.
Mayda, Anna Maria, et al. “Immigration to the U.S.: A Problem for the Republicans or the Democrats?” IZA Discussion Papers, no. 9543. Web.
“Primary Documents in American History.” The Library of Congress, 2018. Web.
“Report on 2016 State Immigration Laws.” National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016. Web.
Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 2001. Web.