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sabato 08 agosto 2020

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Neighbors to the South

US eyes over Mexico and Cuba.

22.03.2008 - Mary Lynn Woods

Illegal immigration to the United States has caused problems and prompted reform most pointedly in reference to its southern neighbors. There are twelve to twenty million illegal aliens in the United States. The difficulty of finding work, low wages, and job stability are all factors in many Mexicans’ desire to immigrate to the United States.
There are a few proposed approaches on how to respond to the growing numbers of illegal immigrants from Mexico. First, some political officials suggest the deportation of all illegal immigrants back to their home country. This suggestion is easily met with an opposition that argues that such an action is unfair and unenforceable. Another proposal is best exemplified in the form of a bill offered by Senator John McCain of Arizona who is now the Republican nominee for President of the United States. The basic gist of his bill is to legalize and eventually grant citizenship to illegal aliens. Proponents of this argument are eager to cite that mexican laborers are willing to do jobs that Americans refuse (such as farm labor or building homes) without benefits such as health care. Another facet of this approach is to offer guest worker visas to immigrants who will work under a specific visa.
The large numbers of Mexican immigrants have become an intricate part of the American economy; to remove so many people would create far more jobs with low wages than Americans could replace. Also, to legalize these immigrants would bring in significant revenue to the United States in the form of taxes on the new citizens.
Much less frequently, illegal immigration makes headlines when the alien is from Cuba. America does not have full diplomatic relations with Cuba, and travel between the two countries is highly restricted. Communist Cuba refuses its citizens easy access to the United States. This policy easily lends itself to the stories periodically heard on American news programs: numbers of escapees in homemade rafts seek refuge in America.
Illegal immigrants from Cuba have different challenges than those from other countries due to the stilted relationship between America and Cuba since the middle of the last century. This complication causes much dispute among Americans in deciding whether or not to grant asylum. Those who wish to defect are judged on a “wet feet/dry feet” precedent. If they are found at sea with “wet feet,” then they are deported. If they are found on land with “dry feet,” then they are permitted to seek asylum.
Though these are very different circumstances for Mexicans and Cubans, they highlight a central point. And that is that America is still seen as a place for hope and freedom and opportunity to its neighbors.  



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