Illegal Immigration and
our Justice System
SOC305: Crime & Society
October 15, 2012
Illegal Immigration and our Justice System
Over the last decade our country has time and time again tried to address the issue of illegal immigration with little or no success. As a country we cannot agree in a direction that we want to take to handle this issue. Do we want to completely seal are borders and punish violators to the fullest extent of the law or should we allow them to continue to come in illegally as long as they “promise” to behave? Our justice system is faced with creating a solution for this challenging problem and ultimately will be held accountable if it does not work, but how do you create a solution when no one can agree. Simple, you enforce the laws that have been passed until you can agree on a better solution.
To understand this problem, you have to understand the history of our countries immigration laws. The United States current immigration laws come from the Immigration Act of 1924. “That law restricted immigration into the United States to 150,000 a year based on quotas, which were to be allotted to countries in the same proportion that the American people traced their origins to those countries, through immigration or the immigration of their forebears.” (Nagi, 1999). So basically our country created a law that allowed for people to immigrate into our country as long as the “status quo” did not change. In 1996 illegal immigration laws were revised with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which now allows 700,000 legal immigrants into the United States each year. (The Illegal, 1997). This removed the quota system and allowed everyone an equal chance at immigrating to the United States. Deciding to allow 700,000 immigrants into the country each year was not done lightly. They did not just pick a random number out of a hat; they choose this number based on our growing economy and the...