Undocumented Immigrants

by Sakiko Maruyama

There are a lot of undocumented immigrants in the world.  While some commit illegal entry deliberately, others aren’t conscious of their undocumented status until they need their ID.  We still don’t have a formal way to differentiate them.  Indeed, especially in the latter case, the boundary of documented and undocumented people sometimes seems to be ambiguous. Undocumented immigrants who belong to the latter situation undoubtedly think of themselves as citizen, until they know they are undocumented immigrants. Even if they notice the fact, they think they are citizen, because they fulfill citizen’s obligation such as going school, working, or paying taxes. But now, there are few measures to protect them.  A nation functions rather exclusive toward the undocumented immigrants and people easily connect undocumented immigrants with crime. We need to differentiate the innocent undocumented immigrants from the others.

Then, it becomes necessary to establish the standards for judging it. The US is proud of itself as a land of immigrants. The society of the US is supported by immigrants. It is important for the US to unify immigrants in order to strengthen the bonds of the nation. There are approximately 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in the US, so they are no longer the minority. The US takes the most positive attitude to this matter in the world. The US prepares the DREAM Act; it would provide undocumented youth with permanent residency or citizenship. This bill is based on the thinking that the undocumented children are innocent because they were took to the US by their families without proper documentation. It hasn’t yet been passed by the Congress, but I agree with this bill. The bill would make it possible to make a border between undocumented immigrants. It means that those children would be separated with their families, so this bill may be harsh to the families whose children are adapted to this bill. But needless to say, the US can’t accept all the undocumented immigrants and then, it seems to be a good standard so far.

Other countries except the US don’t positively deal with the matter of undocumented immigrants. It may take a long time for Japanese government that it comes up in the argument. I hope the DREAM Act will be passed by the Congress as soon as possible, and it affects other countries including Japan.

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