When 10 years, as more people of European descent

            When it comes to immigration laws, many of the
statutes that were thrusted upon the minority were cruel. In America’s Harsh
and Unjust Immigration Laws, William G. Paul, president of the American Bar
Association, describes the injustices of the immigration laws. The immigration
laws are harsh, as the United States’ policy on illegal aliens denies due
process to those trying to obtain freedom, safety, and prosperity for
themselves and their families (Paul 14). The Illegal Immigration Reform and
Immigrant Responsibility Act are laws that reclassify past infractions retroactively
so that they become deportable offenses, which undermines on of the principles
of underlying the Constitution, the separation of powers, by removing the
historic role of the courts as protectors of individuals from government
overreaching (Paul 14). Thousands of individuals have become entrapped by the
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act with no chance of
appeal (Paul 14). Not only are there many immigration laws that are directed toward
Hispanics, but there have been many immigration laws directed toward Asians as
well. According to Wendy Leung, author of Asians Join Immigration Reform
Call, 1.5 million out of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants
in the United States are Asian (Leung). In A
Standing Menace to Republican Institutions: A Brief Overview of the Chinese
Exclusion Act of 1882 and America’s First Attempt to Ban a “Defined” Group
from Entry into our Nation, James E. Lockemy, the chief judge of the
Southern Carolina Court of Appeals, reveals that Asians were actually the first
minority that the United States attempted to ban from entering the country
(Lockemy). On May 6, 1882, 135 years ago, the United States issued the Chinese
Exclusion Act of 1882, which was the first major law restricting a certain
group’s immigration into the United States (Lockemy). Within 10 years, as more
people of European descent began arriving to the United States, the Chinese
were seen as cheap labor, whether it be laborers in the mines or laborers
placing tracks on railroads, taking jobs away from so-called “native” Americans
(Lockemy). These immigrants had no say in these unjust immigration laws, and were
being deprived of a better future for themselves and their families. Although minorities
were, and continue to be, targeted by these harsh immigration laws, they can still
protest through civil disobedience, and recently, minorities are using this
tactic in order to show their opposition to being unjustly targeted. In Youths Join Protest Over Deportations,
David Nakamura, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, describes the events of
a young Hispanic teen, Elias Gonzales, who traveled across town to prepare for
a peaceful protest on deportation along with and six other minors, ranging from
ages 11 to 16 (Nakamura 12). Elias, who had not seen his father since 2008, because
he had been living in the U.S. illegally, shut down the intersection of New
Jersey and Independence avenues for 38 minutes by sitting in the middle of the
street as part of a broader escalation among immigrant rights groups (Nakamura
12). They did not move until officers handcuffed them and put them in police vans
(Nakamura 12). The Asian minority are retaliating as well, where as of 2006,
they have joined the immigration reform call, as these stories of immigrants
and refugees facing deportation have raised the need for comprehensive reform
(Leung). The groups, which include the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and
the Pilipino Workers’ Center, called for Washington to provide means for undocumented
immigrants to obtain citizenship, eliminate the backlogs in the family-based
immigration system and end unjust detention and deportation of immigrants and
refugees (Leung). The minorities targeted by immigration laws do not have a say
when these unjust laws are created. However, they do see the injustice behind
these laws and are using the means available to them to fight back with civil
            There are many unjust laws that work against a
minority. These unjust laws, which includes segregation and immigration laws,
target minorities, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. However,
the minority can strike back through civil disobedience, as it is a lawful and
peaceful way of drawing attention to their causes and injustices. The
segregation laws that were in effect during the Civil Rights movement proved
that the African American minority could fight and eventually bring about change
with civil disobedience. The minorities that are currently fighting the
immigration laws will be able to achieve their goals as well, as long as they use
the tactic of nonviolent direct actions. Minorities face injustice every day, but
there is hope that a day without these racial inequalities can eventually be achieved.
Within this unjust society, the minority can disobey these unjust laws, as long
as they retaliate with peace.

The segregation laws were unjust laws that
allowed a majority to treat the minority poorly. In Eyes on the Prize,
Juan Williams, a national correspondent for The Washington Post,
mentions how segregation and its laws are ways in which a society tells a group
of human beings that they are inferior to other groups (Williams 19). These
segregation laws divided the majority from the minority, making the minority
feel weak due to the way they were being treated. Segregation laws were most
prominent during the Civil Rights Movement, which occurred from 1954 to 1965
(Williams XIV). Throughout this era, many African Americans were denied of
their rights and fought through the legal system, knowing that segregation was
wrong on the basis of the nation’s highest law, the Constitution (Williams
XIV). In “Good Law” Versus “Bad
Law”: Civil Disobedience During The Desegregation Process In The United
States Of America, Pawel Laidler, a Jagiellonian University Associate
Professor of political science, recalls how segregation laws were not only
established to prevent black citizens from participating in elections by
prohibiting them to vote, but these laws were also established in public
facilities, such as transportation schools, and public offices (Laidler 29). Back
then, in the early 1960’s, there were no blacks in the Senate, and only five
black representatives (Williams 257). The African American community barely had
anyone to represent them, let alone defend them. However, they fought back
during this movement with civil disobedience. In Moral Judgement, Historical Reality, and Civil Disobedience, David
Lyons, a Professor of Law and of Philosophy at Boston University, points out that
many philosophers argued that unlawful protests can sometimes be justified, as
they looked back at the Civil Rights movement (Lyons 31). These philosophers saw
that this movement’s civil disobedience was partially justified as these laws
targeted the minority, and Dr. King knew that it was time to take action. Dr. King,
along with Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi, believed that their systems
required fundamental change and they did not regard themselves as morally bound
to obey unjust laws (Lyons 40). Dr. King also believed that individuals who
stand up on the basis of civil disobedience realize that they are following
something that says that there are just laws and there are unjust laws (Weber
216). The Civil Rights movement tackled various issues, such as the right to
vote and the right to a decent education, in many different ways, from black
nationalism, black power, marches, protests, court battles, and sit-ins
(Williams 287). Through these various acts of civil disobedience, the Civil
Rights movement led to implementations of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting
Rights Act, which ended the fight over the proper meaning of equal protection
of law (Laidler 40). Over a period of ten years, the civil rights movement not
only dramatically altered the nation, but also transformed a race (Williams
287). In Latino, Asian, and Black
Segregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Are Multiethnic Metros Different? William
H. Frey, a Professor at the University of Michigan, found that from 1980-1990,
black segregation levels decreased in 88% of metropolitan areas, meaning that
black segregation levels were lower and were likely to decline in multiethnic
metropolitan areas (Frey 35). These declines were consistent with other
broad-based societal forces emanating from the Civil Rights movement, and from
it, there has been a growth of the black middle class, changes in racial
attitudes, and increases in black suburbanization (Frey 40). These various
results show how segregation laws have been eradicated due to the influence of
the Civil Rights movement and its various acts of civil disobedience. If the
African American community had not fought back against this injustice that
targeted them, segregation laws would most likely still be prominent to this
day. The African American minority were targeted by these segregation laws, and
they retaliated through civil disobedience. Through civil disobedience, the
African Americans were able to accomplish their goal, equal rights for all.  

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A law can be either good or bad; just or
unjust. It can either work for the people or against them. In Civil
Disobedience in America, David R. Weber, a member of the faculty at The
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, uses the works of Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr., an American civil rights activist, to describe the differences
between a just and unjust law. Dr. King stated that “a just law is a law that
squares with a moral law. It is a law that squares with that which is right, so
that any law that uplifts human personality is a just law. Whereas that law
which is out of harmony with the moral is a law which does not square with the
moral law of the universe. It does not square with the law of God, so for that
reason it is unjust and any law that degrades the human personality is an
unjust law” (Weber 215). These unjust laws are codes in which a majority
inflicts upon a minority, which that minority had no part in enacting or
creating; the minority had no right to vote in many instances because the
legislative bodies that made these laws were not democratically elected (Weber
216). The minority includes African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, who have
all been negatively affected by different types of unjust laws. Some types of
unjust laws that work against the minority consist of segregation laws and
immigration laws. These unjust laws work against the minorities, and one way to
fight back is through civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is an opposition
to legal violations of the principle of religious liberty and statutes that
seemed to implicate individual citizens in immoral actions, and is used as a
tactic to achieve social or legal change (Weber 18). The minorities of this
nation live in a cruelly unjust society and they must organize a revolution
against these injustices, not against the lives of their fellow citizens, but
against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means
which have been called for (Weber 224). A law should be disobeyed when it
targets a minority, and that minority should retaliate through civil