The issue of immigration has caused a nationwide debate across social and legal platforms. An increase in court cases challenging decisions made by state courts with regard to immigration issues signals the raising importance of immigration in the American society. As the discourse, progress has been unwavering conflict between intellects on the issue of immigration. The discourse presents a clash of ideas from sociological and legal think tanks. The clash signifies the confusion that besets the wider society. The following is a peek into immigrant integration. The amicus brief will raise significant sociological issues on the need for court decisions to reflect immigrants integration efforts. While many Americans feel that immigrants are a threat to American culture, it is worth noting that culture is a conglomerate of multivariate aspects that originate from different places.
Amicus writes to offer a sociological perspective on the consideration of basing electoral districts on total population rather than the registered voting residents. The brief espouses that a person remains a person whether they are from the given country or not. As a social being, such a person has an alienable right to partake in social capital as any other naturalized or native. The argument that allocating representation to districts in terms of total population as opposed to registered voters discriminates the democratic participation; thus is unjustified. Additionally, people have argued that some districts in Texas have a huge number of immigrants; and allocating electoral districts based on total number of people may alienate the constitutional one man one vote principle.
If electoral districts were to be based on the number of registered voters, it raises significant issues to social justice in America. Firstly, the allocation of electoral districts based on the number of registered voters rather than total population creates disparity in distribution of social capital. The move will disadvantage huge numbers of people, especially minors, individuals in incarceration, the hospitalized, and immigrants. The effect of the courts decision on immigrant population, should the court uphold the appellants argument, is central to the discussion. The brief holds that immigrant integration to the American society is critical for the overall social system. Political participation is one of the ways to foster integration. The amicus brief focuses on how representation is a key ingredient in immigrant integration.
In an interview by Faraci (1), Marisa Gerstein and Alba of National Academy of sciences noted that immigrant integration is important for the society. The panelists espouse that the more the immigrants blend with the American culture, the more their lives improve in terms of education, health, and job opportunities. Similarly, negative social aspects of the society, into which they integrate, may also creep in; thereby affecting the social wellbeing of the immigrants. For instance, unwanted family patterns, crime, and health issues may come with integration. The amicus brief holds that the issue of integration is affected by socio-economic and legal status factors. The two factors identified above are critical to the current discourse of political participation. Consequently, the amicus brief will focus on how the phenomenon of voting rights among immigrants fits into the concept of immigration. Similarly, the brief will also investigate what full integration means for immigrants. The brief will show why it is wrong for the appellant in the case before the Supreme Court to argue that allocating electoral districts based on total population instead of registered voters and how it may create undue advantage for a given population of immigrants.
When rethinking integration, there are two salient points to remember. The first point is that the issue of legal status was nonexistent in the early days of immigration. The second factor is that the number of undocumented immigrants has grown with time and now the legal status is more prominent to modern immigrant integration than in earlier integration. The current disposition gets complicated considering the large number of immigrants comprised of both undocumented and temporary legal immigrants. The issue is therefore one that affects how immigrants integrate into the wider society.
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According to Paxton (254), it is easier for a country to create and maintain democracy if it has a dynamic associational life. When people interact, join social groups, and form trust with each other, they aid in democratization and creation of opposition that routes authoritarian regime. With such democracy, the relationships expand, thereby increasing access to political participation and good governance. It is the true nature of democracy. Therefore, fostering equal democratic processes is the basis of creating good governance and ensuring that immigrants in the nation also are represented. The case applies to the Texas western districts. Creating electoral districts based on population gives all people the opportunity to participate in the society.
Acknowledging that integration for immigrants is a lifelong process, the amicus holds that steps taken by the Texan district create fertile ground for integration. Integration involves the culmination of everyday experiences between the newcomers and the hosts. However, it does not mean that the newcomers should be denied political participation (Jimenez 4). The experiences of the newcomers from their home country, the laws of the hosts, and the democratic institutions that control formal and informal political association shape political participation of immigrants. The above statement best mirrors the current discourse because we find that the institutions that create democracy have realized the need for states to reconstitute their own electoral districts. Additionally, states know their constituents well. In that light, a claim that allocating electoral districts based on population will create an undue advantage for the undocumented Hispanics is farfetched. The undocumented immigrants from Latin America will not form part of the voting population. As a result, even when an electoral district has more people than another, it does not create undue advantage because the population may not necessarily be a voting population. However, allocating a group an electoral district is a step to foster integration of the existing immigrant communities.
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The situation is not unique in America because migration as a social aspect is not exclusive to the United States. Similarly, political and socioeconomic pressures concerning the re-evaluation of rules that control immigrants entry and integration, as well as the privileges of the immigrants haunt political leaders around the world (Bloemraad and Provine 46). Since independence, conflicts has arisen as to who is a member within the US constitution. The debate makes the issue of civil rights a key determinant in the integration of immigrants because it shapes the perception of the locals towards the newcomers. The issue at hand stems from the longstanding conflicts between majority/minority, political institutions, and conceptualization of rights. It also shows why integration of immigrants into the society remains an ongoing problem. For instance, the appellants and their supporters have already established that creating districts based on total population will give immigrant populations the sway in political processes in Texas. The phenomenon hampers trust between immigrants and hosts. Trust is a key issue in fostering political association and participation in the society. It also brings to life the often-ignored misconceptualization of rights. The characteristics of the total population mentioned above are worth looking into to support the brief. The population comprises of minors, inmates, immigrants (temporary, permanent, and undocumented), the elderly, and the sick. The mentioned groups of people also need political representation. Creating an electoral based on a limited population does not create undue advantage for immigrants within the group. In fact, it creates a good environment for integration because the individuals can also participate in decisions that affect their social and economic wellbeing.
Articulating civil rights into the integration debate creates a completely new level of the discourse. Historically, disagreements over rights as enshrined in the US Bill of Rights have led to litigation in the country. The current case is an extension of the tradition. It shows that integration of immigrants has a long way to go. It also represents the ever-growing divide between the political majority and minority in the US. In the context of the case at hand, civil rights take the meaning of positive measures to foster socioeconomic equality whether in terms of a political process, affirmative action, labor market, or education. The efforts work together to ensure the under privileged populations such as immigrants get the opportunity to participate in the society. According to Bloemraad and Provine (49), anti-discrimination protection has been significant in fostering integration. The approaches have stemmed from court cases and civil-rights legislature. Therefore, the amicus brief identifies the case before the Supreme Court as one the many processes that have helped shape the integration of immigrants into the American society. The US Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution heralds the rights and freedoms of an individual, prohibiting discrimination of individuals due to racial group orientation. The law reflects in the Texan district decision to allocate electoral districts based on population. The development creates a strong foundation for integration of immigrants because now they can access fair political representation.
In a parting shot, democracy is about creating level ground for all by ensuring that ones who hold the power do not oppress the majority, who may also be the minority in power distribution. The court would there be in order to rule against the appeal because the appeal is against fair representation and calls for discrimination of immigrants in the political process. As identified above, political participation is also an integral part of immigrant integration. Through fair representation, the immigrants get a voice, which they can use to demand for resources or fair treatment. The representation is also a furtherance of the American civil rights protection policy.
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