This paper emerges from the context of present and projected U. S. immigration patterns and focuses on a fundamental question of individual human rights. Specifically, the paper poses the question – “On what foundation do we make the determination regarding the “right” of a person to decide where s/he may go and/or settle?” – and evaluates, from a moral/ethical perspective, the merits and/or limitations of various approaches to response. Inarguably, this question, articulated or simply tacitly understood, brings forth a spectrum of positions, each promulgated with greater or lesser conviction and vigor depending most often on the way in which, and degree to which, a person’s individual and collective interests are represented in the social upheaval and evolution ensuing from migratory processes. The texture of these positions reveals not only attitudes and reactions toward current, specific events, but also, fundamental assumptions about the balance of rights between and among various individuals and groups, the proper ways to make determinations when rights conflict, and, ultimately, justifiable foundations for ordering human societies and framing human relationships.
Thus, this paper, in the pursuit of delineating and weighing response positions, and arriving at a proper foundation for decisions: 1.) defines the most common points of confrontation as U.S. migrating groups, largely Hispanic/Mexican in the current context, encounter in-place populations; 2.) examines the detail of the arguments and response positions; 3.) and, engages in its own act of confrontation by testing the response positions from the foundation of recognized moral/ethical perspectives.
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA
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