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In many countries, social justice refers to the equitable and just distribution of the common resources, opportunities, and privileges. It also calls for an equitable distribution of benefits and drawbacks across the gamut of society (Charmaz 359). In this essay, the issues of employment and immigrant rights in society are the subjects of concern. Immigration-related societal issues include access to employment and human rights. Given that social justice calls for equity in society, it follows that fairness in providing people with work opportunities and rights must also be practiced. The society has a moral obligation to distribute job opportunities equitably to all members of the society without discrimination. Furthermore, the immigrants too should be treated with dignity just like any other member of the community when it comes to the distribution of privileges such as job opportunities.
The first viewpoint on the issue of equitable employment opportunities and access to equal rights to all members of the society is the aspect of the selective interpretation of the concept. Employment should be given equally in the society, regardless of the cultural differences, racial differences and background consideration. Some employers have in the past discriminated against persons from minority tribes such as the non-white Hispanic Americans, African Americans and those with low social status. Jobs were administered based on the social classes and how connected an individual is. That, therefore, negates the principle of social justice which advocates for equity and fairness in the distribution of opportunities.
Secondly, immigrants have become an integral part of the society both in the United States and in every country around the world. The manner in which a society treats people who are not inherently from that society tells a lot about the level of equity in that society. Immigrants are part of the community, and they also pay taxes. They deserve nothing short of full rights given to the actual citizens of the country. Apart from getting job opportunities, their children should also be given opportunities to attend schools based on merit. That will allow them the opportunity to pursue their dreams and turn around the fortunes of their families.
The second position on the matter is, extending employment opportunities even to the immigrants should not be seen as a way of denying the legitimate members of that society their legal privileges. Previously, there has been a debate as to whether all the immigrants should be given equal rights and opportunities just like other members of the society. Policy makers and legislators and senior government officials have sharply differed in the past on whether full access to rights should be given to every immigrant. Although that may increase the number of undocumented persons entering the United States, social justice tenets demand that they should be treated fairly just like the citizens of that country.
Furthermore, giving the immigrant's job opportunities is not tantamount to denying the U.S. born citizens their rightful opportunities. When the immigrants work across the country, it does not mean that the native-born citizens will lack jobs. Various research studies have shown that immigrants do not offer competition to the United States born citizens. Their arrival does not take away jobs meant for the citizens. In fact, the presence of the immigrants just complements the work that the people of the United States do. Furthermore, they also contribute to increasing the productivity of their employers. For example, the immigrants who do not have skills do work in the unskilled sector such as farms and factories. When a farmer hires them to work on his farm, they enable the farmer to expand his production than he used to get before. That illustrates the point that hiring immigrants has a positive impact of complimenting the work of the employer. Most of the immigrants arrive when they have little skills (Jacobson). Therefore, it would not be easy for them to get employed in places which requires expertise. Even if that was the case, giving such people opportunities is one way of empowering them and building an equitable society.
Although everyone in the society deserves better treatment and also access to full rights that are enjoyed by all, there are certain circumstances when such privileges are restricted or even denied. Undocumented immigrants may find it difficult to partake in the opportunities that their fellow but legit immigrants do participate in. Many governments do not just accept people into their borders without documenting their identities. In fact, there might be plenty of opportunities to offer but residing in another country without legal documents may not allow one get access to those privileges.
Additionally, one may also be denied the right to enjoy employment opportunities under certain circumstances, irrespective of whether they are immigrants or born citizens of that country. No one can claim social discrimination or injustice when an immigrant is denied freedom of movement or right to a job opportunity after they have been convicted of an offense. That only demonstrates that rights come with responsibilities. No one can be excused for doing wrong in the society and then expect to be treated similarly with other members who have not committed any offense or crime (Rincon 36).
Apart from employment, the immigrants also have an entitlement to other rights such as access to decent healthcare opportunities. The provision of health services should not have any form of discrimination based on race, religion or background. Healthcare is a basic human need because if withheld from the person who needs it the most, it can lead to death or permanent distortion of certain parts of the body.
Employing immigrants to work in the health facilities offering services in the refugee camps or the immigrant-dominated settlements is also another way of empowering the community such the minorities and the immigrants themselves. Such job opportunities will not only benefit them but will also give them a chance to interact with people they easily identify with (Braddock 5).
Finally, for the immigrants to acquire full rights they should not just be allowed to seek employment opportunities only, but they should also be given the freedom to create opportunities for others by becoming employers. That can be achieved when they are allowed to go to the best schools to get knowledge that is needed to drive the economy of the countries they reside. Besides creating employment for others, they also need to fully participate in the affairs of the state in such capacities as policy-making and governance. The existing laws should be adjusted in a such a way that gives them the platform to run for political office in a competitive election. When a representative of the immigrants participates in making the laws of the country, they will articulate the issues that affect their fellow immigrants and that in turn helps in improving their conditions of living.
Another alternative cause of action to solving the problem of unequal distribution of resources and opportunities to all, especially the immigrants, is to expand the economic opportunities. Opening more businesses and industries will create employment for the immigrants and the native-born citizens. The increase in the possibilities will stop the debate of seeing immigrants as job competitors. For that reason, equity should be administered to everyone in the society without discrimination.
Charmaz, Kathy. "Grounded theory methods in social justice research." The Sage handbook of qualitative research 4 (2011): 359-380.
Jacobson, David. Rights across borders: Immigration and the decline of citizenship. Brill, 1996.
Rincón, Alejandra. "Undocumented Immigrants and Higher Education: Sí Se Puede!." New York (2008).
Braddock, Jomills Henry, and James M. McPartland. "How minorities continue to be excluded from equal employment opportunities: Research on labor market and institutional barriers." Journal of Social Issues 43.1 (1987): 5-39.
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