HLSS508 US Immigration Homeland Security Paper

Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Respond to Jonathon:

The idealism surrounding immigration explains how visible the issue is on the public policy arena. Public debates on immigration are driven by concerns about the economy, social services, and ethnic or racial relations among others. Recently, immigration debates have grown to cover a spectrum of foreign policy issues too. In the United States, for instance, the hotly debated subject of immigration has featured issues such as relations with Latin Americans, international trade, national security, and human rights. The U.S. administration has enacted policies that aim to protect citizens from the threat of immigration. The current policies, however, have demonstrated a failure to uphold human rights and undermine national security, creating a need for dignified, humane policies.

The Trump administration is popular for its hostility towards immigration. Such intolerance is illustrated by the ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy that has had debilitating effects on the victims. Some of the policies include proposals to build a border wall, detention, and prosecution of adults crossing the border illegally, and the 2017 decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Undocumented immigrants have had horrible experiences in the hands of law enforcers. Such policies, states Sara Bermeo, a Duke University Professor, are founded on the belief that all migrants move to the U.S. for economic opportunity (Hoban, 2018). Migrants from Central America, she argues, flee violence and waiting for a visa would result in harrowing experiences like death, forceful initiation to the life of crime, or death. The harsh immigration policies are inspired by views that immigrants overload social services, deprive American citizens jobs and that they overcrowd the American population, and harm the environment. Others have also argued that opening doors to immigrants will pave the way for terrorists (Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, n.d.). While the issue of immigration is laced by negative beliefs, it is important to acknowledge the economic benefits of foreigners including international trade and global entrepreneurship.

According to the Human Rights Watch 2018 and 2019 reports, the U.S. scored poorly on human rights at home and abroad. Trump’s Republican Party passed laws and issued executive orders that greatly violated human rights (Human Rights Watch, 2019). The policies ordered detention, prosecution, and separation of undocumented parents from their children at the U.S. border. Thousands of families were separated, imposing trauma and stress on both children and their parents. Even though Trump ordered the detention of parents together with their children, most families remain separated. This move violated the victims’ right to seek asylum as stipulated by International Law and the right to be free from pain (International Justice Resource Center, 2018). Additionally, the highly challenged decision to end DACA has induced anxiety among approximately 800,000 young migrants with work permits and protection from deportation enabled by the DACA program. Similarly, Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries is considered discriminatory (Human Rights Watch).

The mentioned immigration policies and actions do more harm than good. The separation of children from parents and their detention act is inhumane and not only violates human rights but also threatens the safety of the people residing in America. Therefore, there is a need for an improved approach to immigration. The U.S. can ensure due process in immigration proceedings in which migrants receive a prior notification on the legal proceedings to determine their status, review of their detention by an appropriate authority, and time to prepare a hearing among others to allow the migrants enough time to prepare for their fate. Another solution would be the expansion of foreign aid trade benefit programs that would strengthen developing countries and reduce the migration of its people to the U.S. for economic opportunities. This approach would save the migrants from harsh experiences in a foreign land and protect the U.S. against the threat of immigration.


Hoban, B. (2018, Aug 6). The state of US immigration policy and how to improve it. Brookings. Retrieved fromhttps://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2018/08/06/the-state-of-us-immigration-policy-and-how-to-improve-it/

Human Rights Watch. (2019, Jan 17). US: Backtracking on human rights. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved fromhttps://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/us-backtracking-human-rights

International Justice Resource Center. (2018, June 27). The human rights standards implicated by U.S. immigration policy changes.International Justice Resource Center. Retrieved from https://ijrcenter.org/2018/06/27/ten-human-rights-standards-implicated-by-u-s-immigration-policy/

Watson Institute for International Study, Brown University. (n.d.). US immigration policy: What should we do?. Watson Institute for International Study, Brown University. Retrieved from https://www.everyday-democracy.org/sites/default/files/attachments/US-Immigration-Policy-What-should-we-do_Everyday-Democracy.pdf