Explain in what ways does immigration foster social change?

In what ways does immigration foster social change?

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Conflict Theory and Immigration: Some modern day conflict theorists look at immigrants as the new slaves. An article by the “Heller Immigration Law Group asserts that a majority of undocumented aliens are paying taxes – whether through a false social security card or tax identification number and through everyday purchases and rent. The true culprits of our broken tax system are the rich and corporations who take advantage of tax shelters, schemes and government subsidies. In Marxian terms this translates into the conflict between the working class and the owners of the means of production (Modern Day Slaves: Immigrants Heller Immigration Law Group April 4, 2006 http://greencard1.com/modern-day-slaves-immigrants/).”

The United States – a country of immigrants from a functionalist perspective! “Given America’s history and the length of time that immigration has occurred, the United States is often referred to as a ‘country of immigrants.’ As each year passes, however, it appears that this is a claim that is being embraced less and less, particularly now due in part to the economic downturn. The paradox this recent downturn has brought to light is that there a growing number of jobs that are “too menial” for displaced American workers. How can we understand the national debate surrounding immigration as sociologists?

A functionalist would see that immigrants fulfill the needs that are required for the American social system to continue to exist. Immigrants, legal or otherwise, provide the marketplace with labor needed to produce the output expected within the community. If the function of labor is similar to a person’s bodily functions (as the sociologist Emile Durkheim stated), each part contributing to the general health of the whole body (society), what happens when a part stops functioning? What happens if there are fewer of those workers who harvest our fruit, landscape our lawns, and clean our workplaces? The answer is that the American worker will be expected to fill those positions. As this has already been proven unlikely a functionalist might seek solutions involving some way to enable immigrants to keep working in those jobs (Blog by James David Nunn http://jamesnunn.net/node/146).”

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