Should Undocumented Immigrants be Deported?
Contrasting the exodus of refugees in Syria, the United States, too, has witnessed “one of the largest peacetime outflows of people” in recent history (Economist 2014)-deporting record numbers of undocumented immigrants (exceeding 400,000) in recent years (Pew Research Center 2013). This is especially concerning to some because many of the immigrants crossing our borders are unaccompanied minors (New York Times 2014), because many undocumented immigrants-from refugees from the Middle East and North Africa (National Geographic 2015) to those from Central America-flee their countries to escape rampant violence and severe poverty (Washington Post 2016, Pew Research Center 2014), because unauthorized immigrants have children while in the U.S. and deportation threatens to tear families apart (Huffington Post 2014), and because many immigrants accept grave risks for the promise of a better life (New York Times 2016, Guardian 2015).
Not only have status quo immigration policies fueled black-market smuggling networks and growing animosity toward immigrants of racial, cultural, and religious minorities (regardless of their legal status), but some (like Carens 2008) have argued that our current immigration policies toward undocumented immigrants violate fundamental rights.
In thinking about the contrasting claims Carens (2008) and Walzer (1983) draw about the rights of migrants, and also about the contrasting conclusions defended in the majority and dissenting opinions in Plyer v. Doe (1981), what do you believe the rights of undocumented migrants are? Should immigrants who are unlawfully living in the United States be subject to deportation? In answering this question, you must discuss one real-world example that illustrates your conclusion.
PLEASE NOTE: with these sorts of normative questions that we’ll be engaging throughout the semester, where there is no clear right or wrong answer, you must do more than merely state your opinion. This would fundamentally fail to satisfy the expectations of these thesis-driven and evidence-based writing assignments. Your task is to take a stand on the issue and to defend this position by writing an educated and informed response, incorporating specific ideas from the readings that support your thesis.