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The Musical Issue of Immigration - Accurate Essays

The Musical Issue of Immigration

The Musical Issue of Immigration


The Library of Congress reaffirms that Americans, from the time of the colonial period to the present time, have usually exercised their right of freedom of speech via song. Americans songs in particular have advocated for attention to social origins, both ridiculed and called for governmental social regulations, and offered an avenue for personal complaints on social concerns. Songs serve as a suitable avenue for transmitting the message because they are easily transmitted, require attention, relay emotions, and can be performed in various contexts, with or without the use of instruments. The message music carry can either be direct or be concealed, thus giving voice and power to individuals whose power may be socially constrained. Songs also serves as advocators for an end towards oppression as well as for social change. Consequently, paying attention to songs and the themes they cover presents a suitable chance to address issues that continue to affect many people in the society. The study examines the musical issue of immigration challenges that people encounter in the hands of immigration officers when moving from one place to the other. The paper identifies various options but recommends that sensitizing immigration officers about ethical guidelines is likely to address the social problem effectively.

Statement of Research

The musical issue that forms the basis of the research is the need to overcome obstacles that deter some people from moving from one place to the other while crossing the international border. The issue is a musical concern because various artists have come out boldly to address the matter through their musical compositions. The various songs that address issues associated with crossing international border due to certain discriminative factors advocate for social change and create awareness on the need to create a society where people practice their freedom of movement undeterred. It emerges that some people may fail to make it across certain borders because of their cultural background, while others fail to access other countries due to cruelty, lack of cooperation, and corruption displayed or exhibited by immigration officers. The problem associated with crossing the border is not only a major concern in the U.S. but also in other parts of the world because artists from various parts of the globe sign about it and hope that through their songs it will be possible to achieve the highly desired change where people can move from one place to the other without fear of being stopped or mistreated by those charged with ensuring smooth flow of people across the border or at other entry points such as the airport so long as they have relevant documents.

Background of the Musical Issue

The U.S. encountered significant waves of immigration during the colonial period, the first part of the 19th century and starting the 1880s to 1920. Many immigrants entered the U.S. seeking improved economic opportunities, while some groups, such as the pilgrims who arrived during the 1600s, came to the U.S. in quest for religious freedom ( Hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans made their way to the U.S. against their like. The initial most influential federal regulation regulating immigration was the Chinese Execution Act of 1892. Some states restricted immigration before the establishment of the Ellis Island in 1892, which serves as America’s initial immigration station ( New legislations in 1965 brought to an end the quota system that prioritized immigrants from Europe, and today, most of the nation’s immigrants come from Latin America and Asia.

Nevertheless, immigration advanced during the global economic depression of the 1930s and WWII (1939-1945). Between 1930s and 1950s the population of those born in the U.S. dropped from 14 million to 10 million, which represented 11% to 6% of the entire population, based on a report by the U.S. Census Bureau ( After WWII, Congress passed a special law permitting refugees from the Soviet Union of Europe to enter the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Cuba gained entry into the U.S. following the communist revolution that brought great unrest in the South American state. Congress passed the Immigration Act in 1965 that eradicated the quota based system that was based on nationality and permitted Americans to welcome relatives from other nations ( The consequence of this legislation was that the U.S. encountered a significant turn in terms of immigration patterns.

Another memorable event that disrupted immigration, particularly into the U.S. was the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York that resulted in the enactment of stricter measures that dictated entry into the U.S. Tough measures were enacted to guide entry into the U.S. because it emerged that all the hijackers who were responsible for the heinous acts were from other countries who were in the country on nonimmigrant visas, and so immigration regulations were evidently perceived as apparent tools in the fight against terror (Chishti and Botler). Nearly twenty years after the incident, national security is still on the watch out to ensure adherence to immigration laws (Chishti and Botler). The most affected groups were from Islamic states because it was believed that Muslims were responsible for the incident.

The review of Trump’s immigration policy poised a major challenge for citizens from particular countries who desired to enter the U.S. The Trump’s leadership deterred many people from entering the U.S. with the president claiming to protect the country from threatening entries (Anderson). The order led many people to experience significant challenges crossing into the U.S. Whereas the order targeted those who sought to enter through unlawful means while welcoming those who have valid documents and reasons that was not the case all the time because immigration officers took it upon their own hands to run business as they wish (Anderson). Such cases were particularly rampant in places where such officers lacked adequate oversight.

Attempts have occurred in the past to address the issues hampering valid immigration but it appears more must happen to overcome the issues that still manifest in the modern society. Laws such as the Immigration Act were formed in 1965 but even though the legislation provided more people with an opportunity to enter the U.S. it is still possible to encounter scenarios where some individuals fail to make across due to unclear reasons. Furthermore, immigration movements have emerged in the past to create sensitization on the need to end immigration-based discrimination (ADL). Anti-immigration movements such as the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) tried and still try to advocate for fair treatment when crossing the border into the U.S. (ADL), and even though these groups have made tremendous steps in championing for fair treatment, more needs to happen to deal with the social concern.  

Current Events about the Issue

Much information exist about the musical issue now that things have changed compared to the past. It is apparent that many people still encounter challenges crossing borders, especially when interacting with immigration officers. People or an individual may fail to a make it into another country because of their race. The problem is common when a person moves from a nation whose culture and practices are perceived to be inferior by the nation a person tries to enter. Furthermore, claims emerge that some immigration officers ask for bribe to allow some people pass without obstacle while blocking those with valid documentation because they cannot part with some money to bribe the officers. A 2013 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reveals how immigration officers indulge in corrupt dealing to smuggle migrants while some people encounter untold miseries trying to clear with immigration officers. Following these findings, the UNODC recommends that fighting corruption must be viewed as a critical aspect of any comprehensive plan to mitigate in the issues surrounding immigration (4). Moreover, some people fail to make it across the border because of other features such as sexuality, religion, political affiliation, gender, and educational background despite presenting needed documents or being in a position to access them.

Besides increased concerns regarding people being denied to cross the border due to various reasons, movements that castigate discrimination against immigrants have increasingly become vocal, and play fundamental functions in creating awareness on the need to mitigate the concern that also features in music. For example, in 2017 thousands of immigrants across the U.S. participated in historical protests and rallies against attempts to forbid immigrants and the severe anti-immigrant ideology of Trump’s leadership (NILC). Groups that advocate for the rights of immigrants are asking their audience to consider not going to work, staying away from particular products and even absconding school (NILC). The existence of such initiatives suggests that the issues surrounding immigration deserve long-term remedies.

Compared to the historical attempts to counter improper treatment on immigrants, current initiatives do not prove to be any better judging from the fact that the social injustice still persists. Some people still encounter unfair treatment at the airport and other entry points, which suggests that current regulations are not as effective as expected. However, the government tries to enact measures that it believes will end some of the unfair practices involving immigration. For example, those who try to engage in corrupt dealings are at risk of facing legal penalties as it happened with three men, one from New York and two from Atlanta, who appeared in court in 2012 for allegedly conspiring to bribe a federal immigration officer with the hope of getting clearance with their papers (ICE). However, such trials are not rampant and it is not common to come across instances where immigrant officials are responding to charges yet these incidences exist. Hence, it means that more needs to happen to avoid witnessing more devastating effects going forward. 

Possible Solutions

Social Issue One (Corruption) – Stricter Regulations

The analysis suggests that one of the issues surrounding immigration is corruption. Thus, dealing with the problem requires the government to enact stricter measures that forbid any forms of corrupt dealings that could amount to violation of existing guidelines. For example, it is imperative to take to court and possibly convict those who engage in corrupt dealings while clearing immigration documents. Taking law breakers to court and charging them for their misdeeds proves to be a suitable way creating fear and discipline among those who may contemplate to indulge in corrupt dealings.  So far, the state has charged some people who have indulged in corrupt dealings and based on the accounts people hear about prison, not many people would want to be on the wrong side of the law. However, the approach will only work if the government installs enough officers to observe adherence to existing laws. Otherwise, failing to make suitable follow-ups could derail the attempts to use legislations to avert mistreatments that people encounter when moving from one region to the other and must clear with immigration officers.  

Social Issue Two (Discrimination) – Emphasizing on Ethics

Officers working at the various capacities at the immigration department should be conversant with ethical guidelines that define professional duty to understand why discriminating some passengers due to various reasons is incorrect and improper. Both state and non-state agencies should take the initiative to conduct the awareness and ensure that every immigrant officers knows the key ethical theories that are likely to guide them in making moral decisions. Knowing about utilitarianism and how it works presents a better chance to relate well with clients because the ethical theory calls for doing what yields the greatest happiness for most of the people (Biagetti et al. 4). Hence, following utilitarianism will ensure that immigrant officers do not engage in practices that may harm passengers in any way. Another ethical theory that immigrant officers must understand is deontology that requires people to act in accordance with stipulated guidelines (Biagetti et al. 6). Knowing and adhering to ethical theories presents a better chance to avoid the musical issue that forms the basis of this research.

However, it is imperative to first weigh and find out the possible impact of applying each of the proposed solutions to find out if they are effective enough to deal with the identified issue. The assessment is important to ensure that everything happens in the appropriate way and nothing interferes with the enacted or recommended plans. However, disregarding the scrutiny could derail the mitigating measures.

Statement of Benefit

The most suitable solution in this case is to emphasize on adherence to ethical practice because the approach does not force people into changing their habit, but rather encourages them to willingly embrace ethical and professional conduct. Organizations that adhere to ethical guidelines are in a better position to improve how they relate with their clients and other members, which is the reason why ethical practice is what will help to address the matter in the most effective manner (Bulog and Grancic 11). Emphasizing on ethical practice is likely to work because immigration officers will learn that it is incorrect to harass passengers. However, enacting legislations may not be as fruitful as expected because such legislations have always existed but they still do not seem to address the problem.

In addition to ethical conduct, music presents a better chance to address the matter because such productions have the capacity to reach many people. For example, M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (2009) that narrates her ordeal trying to enter the U.S. shows the need to end racial discrimination that deters some people from crossing international borders despite presenting the needed documents. Therefore, songs will be equally instrumental addressing the matter.


Whereas adhering to ethical practice may help to deal with the musical problem, it is imperative to understand that not a single approach will work on its own. It is the reason why music comes in handy. Music is likely to be an avenue for calling for social change because people are expected to produce more songs that have the capacity to reach far and wide. Besides, song have the ability to relay the message using codes that are not likely to evoke opposition and criticism. Therefore, all stakeholders should strive to implement what will help to deal with the issue that may turn out to be unbearable if nothing happens to salvage the situation.

Works Cited

“3 Indicted for Attempted Bribery of Immigration Officer.” ICE, September 7, 2012, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

Anderson, Stuart. “A Review Of Trump Immigration Policy.” Forbes, August 26, 2020, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

Biagetti, Maria, Aldis Gedutis, and Lai Ma. “Ethical Theories in Research Evaluation: An Exploratory Approach.” Scholarly Assessment Reports, vol. 2, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-9. doi:10.29024/sar.19

Bulog, Ivana and Ivan Grancic. “The Benefits of Business Ethics – Ethical Behavior of Decision Makers: the Empirical Findings from Croatia.” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 8, no. 4, 2017, pp. 9-14. doi:10.2478/mjss-2018-0067

Chishti, Muzaffar and Jessica Bolter. “wo Decades after 9/11, National Security Focus Still Dominates U.S. Immigration System.” The Online Journal of the Migration Policy Institute, September 22, 2021, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

“Immigrants’ Participation in Protests What Every Worker Should Know.” NILC, April, 2017,

involved/community-education-resources/know-your rights/protests_what_every_worker_should_know/. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.  

“Mainstreaming Hate: The Anti-Immigrant Movement in the U.S.” ADL, 2021, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

M.I.A. “Paper Planes.” YouTube, 2009,, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

UNODC. Corruption and the Smuggling of Migrants. United Nations, 2013.

“U.S. Immigration Before 1965.”, October 29, 2009, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021. 

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