Les enjeux de l’immigration aux Etats-Unis

CAMBRIDGE – Un vif débat sur l’immigration enfièvre aujourd’hui les Etats-Unis. L’État d’Arizona a récemment adopté une loi qui oblige les policiers à vérifier le statut de résident de personnes arrêtées pour d’autres motifs – et qui contraint les immigrés à produire sur demande une preuve de leur statut légal.

L’administration Obama a critiqué cette loi, des groupes religieux l’ont dénoncée comme étant discriminatoire et une Cour fédérale a suspendu temporairement certaines dispositions de la loi en précisant que l’immigration relève de la compétence de l'Etat fédéral. Quelle que soit l’issue juridique de l’affaire, cette loi a rencontré un écho favorable dans d’autres États et reflète la place croissante que prend la question de l’immigration au plan politique.

Si les Etats-Unis devaient se replier sur eux-mêmes et limiter fortement l’immigration, leur position dans le monde en pâtirait sérieusement. Grâce au taux actuel d’immigration, les Etats-Unis sont l’un des rares pays développés à ne pas connaître de déclin démographique et à maintenir leur part de la population mondiale. Cette situation risque de changer si la réaction à des actes terroristes ou une xénophobie croissante les poussent à fermer les frontières.

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