Immigration in Focus

By Jaivaun Dodge
Jambar Contributor

Joseph Howard Carens, author of multiple books and current professor of science at the University of Toronto, stopped by Youngstown State University to give a speech on the ethics of immigration.

Carens gave a speech in an attempt to deliver the other side of the immigration crisis happening today on Oct. 25.

Immigration is a focus of Carens’ latest book, “The Ethics of Immigration.” The book has won awards from the American Political Science Association, International Studies Association and Canadian Political Science Association.

He said he felt immigrants are being treated worse than and not getting the same legal rights as legal citizens.

“Immigrants should enjoy at least some basic rights,” Carens said.

“States should build a firewall between immigration laws and basic human rights … Even illegal immigrants should be able to call the police and not fear it will end in deportation,” he added.

Carens also said immigrants should be able to access private taxes to make it easier for irregular immigrants to be members of society.

He went on to explain how he thinks immigrants should be able to have a different status after living in an area for so long.

“Immigrants, after a period of time, should be able to have their status regularized,” Carens said. “When you live in a society for son long, you form connections and attachments that should not be broken because you settled without authorization.”

Sam Varga, a junior environmental science major, attended the speech and thought the speaker was decent.

While Carens had his views, Varga thought immigration should be unrestricted to those who take the time to register regardless of a visa.

“I think it’s fair to assume those who come in illegally aren’t going to respect the flag and other laws,” Varga said.

“He had some crazy laissez faire ideas about immigration and from a philanthropic point of view, I can understand them,” he added. “Realistically, some people who come here illegally are often sketchy, so I don’t really agree with his ideas.

When asked about ways he feels the nation can fix immigration issues, Varga said the U.S. should have a wall put up, but not as a barrier. He feels it should be used to get people into the country the “right way.”

Immigrants and immigration laws are widely debated and disagreed on by people across the nation.

Vince Valentini, a senior criminal justice major, said immigrants should only be in the U.S. if they are here legally.

“I feel like people should just do it the right and legal way,” Valentini said. “Yes, it can be a process, but at least you have done the right thing that will make life easier for you and your family.”

Immigrants and immigration laws will be debated heavily and widley until they are dealt with. Both sides have a compelling argument, but Carens speech seemed to open up different viewpoints to see the issue on a personal level.