While the Spanish government legalised 600,000 undocumented workers in May 2005 and the French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy is currently trying to get his bill reinforcing control over illegal immigrants passed through the French National Assembly, the United States, traditionally known as the biggest immigration country ever, is also discussing the statute of the 12 million aliens living on American territory. The House Resolution 4437 (Border Protection, Anti terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005), which aims at criminalizing undocumented immigrants and any people having provided help to an illegal alien, has already been voted by the House of Representatives in December 2005 but is now discussed by the Senators.
[...] Arguing that illegal immigrants are threatening the public order and national security to refuse their legalization is a particularly frequently used line of reasoning in the USA since though it is (very) close to basic xenophobia. In the cosmopolitan analysis, on the contrary, each individual is a “citizen of the world”, whose value is the same, wherever he was born. Consequently, he has theoretically the right to move all over the world as easily as in a unique and same country. [...]
[...] As a result, legal immigrants would suffer from the negative impact that undocumented workers have on the perception public opinion has about immigrants in general. Legalizing paperless immigrants would thus ruin unduly the benefits that legal immigrants acquired by entering the country legally. As a conclusion, open immigration does not appear as a very satisfying policy, even for a nation like the USA, which based its success and national identity on successive flows of immigration. There is no doubt that anyone should have the right to try to get a better life, but we must also recognize that only a socially and economically healthy society can give a fair chance to everybody. [...]
[...] But in this case, their legalization would be submitted to the same conditions than those for legal immigrants and a selection should be made. Yet the debate here is about a general legalization of all undocumented workers without any conditions. In addition, illegal immigration has negative consequences on legal immigration and it is unacceptable that people who conform to the legal rules should be disadvantaged by their respect of the law. If aliens were legalized, it would send a negative message to all foreigners tempted to come to the USA: why should they after that respect the legal immigration procedure if they have a chance to be legalized a few weeks after their illegal arrival? [...]
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