Illegal Immigration in the US

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Although illegal immigrants can be seen as credible and dependable due to the advantages they offer to the US, it is important to understand the unforeseen repercussions that they inflict, which translate into concrete problems. Immigrants, however, should be accepted into American citizenship to mitigate their effect, according to Park, who believes that “every immigrant who comes here should be needed within five years to learn English or leave the country” (208). For instance, the increased competition for the limited unskilled job opportunities augmented pressure on the economy by using free social services which include healthcare, social security, and education and the growing crime rate perpetuated by unauthorized immigrants in the country. According to Krogstad and Passel (2014), the number of illegal immigrants has been steadily rising in America since the WWI and the WWII onset, despite their importance, “Remember, always remember, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists” (23). The best solution to the problem is that border security must be established, as President Reagan said, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation” (Krogstad and Passel 34). Moreover, illegal immigrants do not need to be accepted into the US illegally. Instead, they ought to be guided, admonished, and advised on the need to entering the country legally. Such a move would attract many benefits; including better compensation, not below the minimum wage, and access to social services like healthcare, education, and social security.

The other reason why illegal immigrants should be allowed to continue working in America and earn a living is that of natural understanding. Considering that both the historical and present circumstances create room and compel illegal immigrants to be what they are perceived as; unauthorized immigrants. The American government imported cheap labor from Mexico following the aftermath of both the First and the Second World War. Five years after the culmination of the Second World War, an amnesty was extended to five thousand Mexicans by the American government to live in the US (Stimpson, Wilson, and Su 1317). After all, America is referred to as The Melting Pot, meaning a home for immigrants and constructive diversity (Fitzgerald, Curtis, and Corliss 478).

Most illegal immigrants in America can be beneficial considering the hardworking efforts they deliver in performing essential tasks that do not require a skilled workforce. Indeed, as opposed to all preceding generations, the contemporary American communities have embraced a culture of paying people to clean their houses, mow lawns, “No one leaves home unless the home is the mouth of a shark.” (Park 33). Such workers pay for essential services cheaply while embracing diversity in culture, desire and need which has been made valid by immigrants who are willing to deliver such services at affordable prices, “The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here” (Park 169). On the other hand, a study by Park (206) confirms that illegal immigrants have been beneficial by offering to do jobs that Americans can do but, the same Americans are not willing to tender their services because of the characteristically poor working conditions; including meager payment rates. However, an argument that Americans cannot do certain jobs in entirety is misleading, because in reality there is no task Americans cannot perform, rather, it has more to do with the attached benefits and the aesthetic values than the capacity to deliver (Peri and Sparber 136). Indeed, provided the working conditions continue to be decent and the country still needs a more unskilled workforce, unauthorized immigrants should be considered objectively in the American society, and be embraced to feel welcome in contributing to building America, as long as the established statutes of the US law are upheld, “Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me” (Park 77).

Focusing On the Problem Currently

Illegal immigrants have diverted the American social justice and homeland security efforts and expenditure to their focus at the expense of the law-abiding Americans, following the escalating criminal activities they perpetuate. Approximately 60 percent of cocaine in California is smuggled by illegal immigrants, and the mounting homicides in Arizona are attributed to the Mexican illegal immigrants, “We asked for workers. We got people instead” (Meyer 26). Many American dollars are lost to incarcerate criminal immigrants, most of whom belong to the Salvadoran gang across 28 states. Currently, the crime rate in the American border cities has escalated, challenges most of which are related to drug abuse. It is testified that there are tens of horrific scenarios reported daily with the police and the criminal gangs engaging in perpetual shootings in American border cities.

“Illegal immigration is a crisis for our country. It is an open door for drugs, criminals, and potential terrorists to enter our country. It is straining our economy, adding costs to our judicial, healthcare, and education systems, “The economic impact of illegal immigration on taxpayers is catastrophic” (Meyer 25).

Killings and kidnapping are the heinous crimes on the rise. Nevertheless, the unauthorized immigrants are reported to be committing these injustices against their illegal immigrant counterparts, whose presence in the country is compromised both under the law and the social, ethical standing, “Whether we buy into the rhetoric or not, one thing has been made clear: Illegal immigration is a problem reaching a breaking point, and something must be done” (Stimpson, Wilson, and Su 1315). However, it should be understood that if this trend continues to grow and the drug barons begin to kidnap and kill American citizens, the situation could be dire across the social domain.

The Best Solution to the Problem

Dennis Kucinich once said, “I take issue with many people’s description of people being “Illegal” Immigrants. There aren’t any illegal Human Beings as far as I’m concerned” (Meyer 24). Illegal immigration is a thoughtful difficulty facing the US, considering that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are linked to such unfortunate experience of aliens in the country. The risks the Americans are predisposed to some among the many that compel those responsible for coming up with strategic measures to overcome the challenge, including the need to maintain border security on the forefront. About the 2006 Secure Fence Act, the president Bush administration chose to construct fences along the southern borders of the US, worth of 652 miles. In addition, up to 2012, the Department of Homeland Security had established over 651 miles of fence along the American borders. On the contrary, there is a need to training and equipping more security marshals to patrol on the American boarde3rs. The statistics as at 2015 showed that 20 thousand troops had been deployed, most of whom were reinforcing the barrier establishments along the Mexican American boarders. “Illegal immigration is not just a matter of interest in states along our border with Mexico. It is having an effect on local economies, schools, health care delivery, and public safety all across the country” (Stimpson, Wilson, and Su 1315). Moreover, apparently, the effects of globalization and technology should be utilized to make the work of patrolling officers easier and efficient. Indeed, utilization of cameras, drones, and sensors among other technologically advanced equipment is needed to reinforce border security. About this argument, Barrack Obama, the immediate former US president, argued that America had then “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible” (Meyer 25). To date, the boards of the US remain porous and, hence, many illegal immigrants are getting across, thus, the need for reinforcing border security to tame the perpetrators. The solution of maintaining border security is the best because the US and Mexico share a border of more than 1954 miles, yet most illegal immigrants from Mexico in the US are the most populous in the country. As such, there is need to develop a barrier that covers the whole length of that border to bar those poised to crossing onto the American soil illegally. Even though this solution would cost the country billions of dollars, it is worth the cost when measuring benefits against losses. For instance, the 9/11 terrorist attack has cost America trillions of dollars to date, in the fight against internal and external terrorism. While being interviewed, one Charles Krauthammer confidently said that “It’s not complicated. Build the damn fence” meaning such is the most reliable way to go (Stimpson, Wilson, and Su 1315).

Other Two Solutions to the Problem

The other solution would be to make illegal immigrants American citizens and end the benefits extended to illegal immigrants like automatic Americanization of children born on the American soil, to discourage future illegal immigrants. Alexis de Tocqueville says “The happy and powerful do not go into exile, and there are no surer guarantees of equality among men than poverty and misfortune” (Meyer 34). Social security, healthcare, and education are social services in America offered and sustained by the taxpayers` funds, hence, illegal immigrants who utilize such benefits but do not pay tax for these services hurt the US economy as an eventuality, as maintains Meyer, “Illegal immigration costs taxpayers $45 billion a year in healthcare, education, and incarceration expenses” (25). The increased number of immigrants now estimated at 12.3 million people, is benefiting from these services at the expense of the American citizenry. In 1992 for instance, five states alone accounted for 80 percent expenditure on the illegal immigrants, which are the taxpayers’ funds. The federal, local, and state costs were approximated at $2.9 billion in the very year in the states of Illinois, New York, California, Texas, and Florida. The economic burden has since escalated to $10 billion by the year 2002 and doubled further in the last financial year as confirms LeMay, “We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries” (207). Arizona reported four times more the cost of hospital expenditure in five medical facilities in 2013 compared to the 1982 cost estimated at the expense of $4.4 million. Colorado admits six illegal immigrant children in public school daily, valued at the cost of $600 per every admission, whereas Washington DC has 1,380 children of the illegal immigrants that have put significant pressure on the state`s economy. It is estimated by Meyer (2010) that for the following two decades, the American taxpayer will lose $345 billion if illegal immigrants of Mexican origin alone are allowed to access social services, as says LeMay “Illegal immigration is a genuinely national issue, and resolving it requires a national commitment not just to health care but also border control, law enforcement and other resources” (133). The most economic burden comes in when illegal immigrants give birth to children in America, and those children are automatically American citizens. The children would then be entitled to benefiting from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children with their parents as the guardians, hence, benefiting from the social services illegally.

Thirdly and, finally, the minimum wage should be raised so that Americans take up the jobs, especially in the unskilled labor market, so that illegal immigrants would have no reason to sneak into the US in the first place. On the contrary, it is true that illegal immigrants take away job opportunities from American citizens, but it is not realistic to argue that Americans cannot do unskilled jobs. It is correct to maintain that most Americans are unwilling to do similar jobs with relatively small benefits, unlike the immigrants, Stimpson, Wilson, and Su argue “We need to stop illegal immigration. We need to put people back to work. We need to cut taxes” (1313). Indeed, if unauthorized immigrants are not allowed inside of the country, then the only option will be Americans to do these jobs, and the employers will be obliged to pay not below the minimum wage, hence, creating more jobs for American citizens. “Besides taking jobs from American workers, illegal immigration creates huge economic burdens on our health care system, our education system, our criminal justice system, our environment, our infrastructure and our public safety,” says LeMay (134). Illegal immigrants frequently cost the employment opportunities not only for the Americans who do not offer skilled labor but also for the legal immigrants who do casual jobs. A good example is in the 1980s, whereby the Mexican legal migrants were unionized and were earning $4.00 in every single hour. When the illegal immigrants began to enter the country in large numbers, they offered cheap labor in the tomato farms in California, a situation that led to the loss of jobs for the legal immigrants who had been registered by the American workers` unions, as they agreed to work at $3.55 per hour. The skilled legal immigrants were forced outside of the tomato farms in California as an eventuality (LeMay 66). Unfortunately, the inception of cheap labor from illegal immigrants is significantly hurting the jobless Americans. Most American citizens cannot compete with the illegal laborers in the unskilled jobs like gatekeeping, janitors, restaurant attendants, security guards, farm workers, construction sites, taxi drivers, as well as child caring, according to LeMay, “Stopping illegal immigration would mean that wages would have to rise to a level where Americans would want the jobs currently taken by illegal aliens” (64).

Evaluation of the Solution to the Problem

Because of the many circumstantial challenges, illegal immigration has brought in the American society, together with the multiple benefits realized across decades, it is critical to consider that this issue needs to be solved in a just, rational, and impartial manner for all parties involved to enjoy their positions. Perhaps it is critical to making it clear that illegal immigrants are people not mandated to be in the US by law, “There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful” (LeMay 56). On the contrary, it would serve a great benefit if such individuals are addressed to an audience of concerned stakeholders, and challenged to embrace the policies put in place by the authority to be upheld on matters emigration. Such a move would create a stable and informed platform for immigrants to gain access to America legally. Furthermore, benefiting from education, medical, and social security services would be automatic and ease, considering that then they would be legitimately present in the country. Norman Manea once said, “The question of the stranger in a society which estranges everybody from it–while forcing everybody to assimilate their alienation–takes cover under dubious and sinister masks” (LeMay 45). However, if this strategy fails, then the American government can as well compel the home countries of the unauthorized immigrants in the US to pay for their needs abroad so that the American law abiding citizens are not overburdened unfairly in tax payments. On the other hand, rather than severely punishing the foreign governments in a controversial and contentious issue like immigration, which could compromise American foreign policy, perhaps it could be better to reinforce the border patrol and security at airports to tame the illegal immigrants who sneak into the country. Ideally, a negotiation can be reached between the government and the American employers that they hire Americans and pay them fairly, not below the minimum wage even in the unskilled labor segment, or else hire the illegal immigrants and be judged in the court of law. This would help in reducing injustices against immigrants who are paid lower than what they deserve, tame the unauthorized immigrants who enter the country primarily to secure jobs, while creating opportunities for both the legal migrants and the American citizens in the unskilled labor segment, as asserts Claudio Magris, “History shows that it is not only senseless and cruel, but also difficult to state who is a foreigner” (LeMay 22). On the one hand, legalized immigrants will get better pay and would later benefit from the social services whose tax they will then have contributed to. On the other hand, Americans will continue to have able and willing workers in large numbers, as both the American citizens and the legalized immigrants will not be burdened to pay tax for illegal immigrants, which then becomes an objective solution to the challenge.

Conclusion

People who enter and stay in the US illegally are said to be illegal immigrants under the American law. Moreover, those gain access to the country legally but fail to exit once their legitimately provided for period expires, are said to have flouted the immigration policies, and hence, under such circumstances, their residences are under question by law. There are a couple of problems caused by illegal immigrants in the US. One of the core challenges is that such people utilize the health, education, and social security services without paying for them. It should be appreciated that the American taxpayer spends billions of taxpayer dollars to put up such fundamental utilities, only to end up benefiting foreigners who are illegally present in the country. Secondly, illegal immigrants escalate competition for the available employment opportunities, especially the unskilled labor market. Lack of employment to Americans, especially the African Americans is a problem primarily contributed to by the illegal immigrants. Thirdly, illegal immigrants have escalated the crime rate in the US. Most illegal experiences witnessed include drug trafficking and drug abuse, as well as murder and homicide cases. Indeed, foreign criminals have compelled the Department of Homeland Security and other affiliated security organs to spent millions of dollars to tame the unfortunate crimes. The best solution to such challenges linked to illegal immigrants would be to capitalize on the synergy of all responsible stakeholders and the need for reforming boarder security

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Jennifer, K. Amber Curtis, and Catherine L. Corliss. “Anxious Publics: Worries about Crime and Immigration.” Comparative Political Studies, vol. 45, no. 4, 2012, pp. 477-506.

Garrett, Terence Michael. “Market Spectacle: Immigration Policy along with the US/Mexico Border.” International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 41, no. 1, 2014, pp. 32–41. doi:10.1108/IJSE-01-2011-0015.

Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Jeffrey S. Passel. “5 Facts about Illegal Immigration in the U.S.” Pew Research Center, 2014. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/11/18/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/. Accessed Nov. 1, 2017

LeMay, Michael. Illegal Immigration a Reference Handbook. Edited by Social Science / Emigration & Immigration. ABC-CLIO, 2007

Meyer, Maria Melanie. The Undermining of the American Dream Through Illegal Immigration. GRIN Verlag.

Park, Y. Constructing Immigrants: A Historical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of Immigrants in US Social Work, 1882-1952. Journal of Social Work, vol. 6, 2014. doi:10.1177/1468017306066673.

Peri, Giovanni, and Chad Sparber. “Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol. 1, no. 3, 2015, pp. 135–69. doi: 10.1257/app.1.3.135.

Stimpson, Jim P., Fernando A. Wilson, and Dejun Su. “Unauthorized Immigrants Spend Less than Other Immigrants and Us Natives on Health Care.” Health Affairs, vol. 32, no. 7, 2013 pp. 1313–18. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0113.

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