The Illegal Alien – A Criminal or Economic Refugee?

The Illegal Alien – A Criminal or Economic Refugee?

Despite their contributions to American society, immigrants have been the targets of irrational and discriminatory attacks in times of national crisis and economic downturn. The paper explores nativist movements in the United States and the threat to the human rights of immigrant workers. It also argues that many “illegal aliens” are only “illegal” due to dysfunctionalities in the law (i.e. backlogs), that there is an economic need for migrant labor, that criminal penalties are unwarranted and unnecessary, and that the US-Mexico border requires increased border patrol personnel.