The Ethics and Challenges Defining Contemporary Illegal Immigration into the US

The issue of illegal immigration is one of the greatest societal problems that the US continues to face. The country has committed significant resources into programs aimed at stopping the immigration. Even then, several challenges continue to make the programs ineffective. The challenges include the country’s porous boundary, especially in the south. Given that the country has a rather long international boundary; it is not easy to monitor its whole length always (Barkan, 2003). Many people continue to enter the country illegally and undetected. Another challenge is the poor economic prospects that human populations have in different nation-states globally. The prospects continue to motivate or push foreigners to migrate into the US, albeit unlawfully, to enhance their economic wellbeing. For instance, the recent worldwide economic meltdown saw quite high numbers of migrants move into the US illegally (Torre, 2009).

Besides the challenges defining unlawful immigration in the US, there are various ethical concerns characterizing it.  One of the questions that many Americans share is whether or not migrating to a nation-state unlawfully is morally permissible. There is a common contention that it is morally allowable since for the typical immigrant, it is his or her only option for enhancing his or her economic or social wellbeing (Borjas, 1994). Another common contention is that it is morally allowable since those who do it only do so after failing to secure the US government’s permission to enter the country. Notably, those who come to the US unlawful usually have no reasonable chances of migrating lawfully. Those holding that it is morally impermissible usually assert that those who come to the country unlawful ultimately harm its interests, for instance via terrorist attacks (Torre, 2009).

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