Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Immigration in the 21st Century

When unemployment is up, anything that looks like you’re taking jobs away from …people who are lawfully here—citizens of the United States—is going to meet a lot of resistance.”
- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

The current economic crisis has put a spotlight on immigration, both of undocumented low skill workers and H-1B visa technology workers. Some feel that these foreign born workers depress wages and also lead employers to replace native born American workers because they can pay foreign workers less. Others see a direct connection between economic expansion in the U.S. and the increase in the number of undocumented and H-1B visa workers.

The immigration debate has implications beyond economics. Border security has become the main immigration issue in the Southwest. A constant flow of people and drugs move north into the U.S. with money and guns in return moving south into Mexico fueling an increasing burden on law enforcement in the Border States of both the U.S. and Mexico.

Immigration has also raised concerns about the nation’s education and health systems. School funding has become an issue as the number of children born in the U.S. to undocumented workers rises. Hospitals where there are large immigrant populations have seen an increase in medical related costs that are not reimbursed.

Immigration has become a more complex issue as Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrant communities continue to establish enclaves in the U.S. from Arizona to Minnesota to Georgia.

On September 25th high school students from across the country will look at immigration’s impact on the job market, border security and education during The Exchange live webcast. All schools are invited to participate in the conversation about this current constitutional issue. For more information on the National Constitution Center’s national student program contact us at

No comments:

Post a Comment