Towards Perceiving Illegal Immigrants as American Citizens

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The issue of illegal immigrants in the United States has sparked much debate among politicians, particularly because it became a key debate topic during the 2017 presidential campaign. While researching the position of immigrants in the world, I came across a range of published materials, including newspapers, journals, and website material. The majority of the writers related the prevalence of illegal immigrants to economic growth. I produced a detailed overview of the impact of immigration on the growth of the nation by synthesizing the details. My goal in this paper, therefore, is to illustrate that immigrants do not the right to stay in the country, and should return back to their country. To achieve this, the paper will be organized into two sections. First, the current trend of illegal immigration in the country over the recent years. The second section will highlight different costs that illegal immigrants have caused to the U.S economy.

The number of illegal immigrants in the country has been growing rapidly over the years. In 2014, there were 111 million immigrants in the U.S who entered the country illegally. In the same year, more than 8 million of the immigrants formed a total of 5% of the U.S workface. Mexico which forms the largest source of immigrants into the country accounted for 52% of the total immigration during 2014. Some of the new areas of illegal immigrant origins include Florida, Texas, New York, and Illinois. A significant fact about the immigrant is that they have lived in the U.S. more than two-thirds of illegal immigrants. In 2014, more than 35% of the immigrants were found to live in the U.S for median 13.6 years (Krogstad, Passel, and Cohn n.p.). With the fact that there is a huge number of immigrants in the country, it is evident that the impact the country greatly, and this should be given a major concern.

One of the impacts of the increasing number of illegal immigrants is the lowering of the minimum wages offered to the citizen employees. Undocumented workers currently provide their services on undercut wages and take jobs that are meant for the Americans. According to Davidson, illegal immigrants have lowered the wages in America; those who do not have high-school diploma have faced an undercut of up to 0.4 to 7.4% (n.p). The author narrates the experience of an illegal immigrant, Pedro Chan, who is an experienced constructor but is offered low wages ($25,000 annually) by his boss because of his citizenship status. With thousands of immigrants having the same experience, the result is lowering of wages since employers opt to employ them. In an article by ProCorn.org, one of the opponents of illegal immigration, Michael McDonald, states, “Illegal Immigration Reduces Wages… Those unregulated workers are often underpaid, which keeps wages lower in a particular occupation and region.” If the illegal immigrants go back to their countries, then there will be an increase in the employment wages for the American citizens.

The presence of illegal immigrants has resulted in the increased tax among the U.S citizens who are the taxpayers. Although Persaud argues that illegal immigrants increases growth in the economy, it is clear that most of illegal immigrants in the country do not pay taxes, and as a result their expenditure is catered for by the citizens (n.p). According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.” These costs include the amount spent on meeting their basic needs. In addition, the education costs of the immigrants have increased tremendously over the years. FAIR commission stated,

“We subsequently expanded that estimate to include emergency medical expenditures and incarceration costs of illegal aliens and arrived at an estimated cost of $285 million per year as of 2006. We also estimated that those costs could rise to $812 million per year by 2020 based on a continuing rapid rise in illegal immigrants” (FAIR).

The costs that the commission estimates are only for the education sector. The country incurs more of the taxpayer’s money on other activities including emergency medical treatments, food provisions for the needy immigrants, and incarceration-related costs. If the population of the immigrants is not controlled, the economic burden on the taxpayer will continue to rise.

Illegal immigration has also been associated with insecurity in the country. There are thousands of immigrants that pass through the border annually. Apart from the fact that they might be increasing the risks of terror attack, it is evident that they promote smuggling of drugs and illegal drug abuse (Davis n.p). According to Nixon and Santos, the presence of illegal Mexican immigrants has promoted the smuggling of drugs into the country. They highlighted that the security analyst, Eduardo Guerrero-Gutierrez, argued that smuggling of drugs is linked to possible terror attacks. He argued, “All of these people that are deported — Mexicans and Central Americans, standing around with nothing to do — are potential recruits for cartels.” Illegal immigrants may increase the risk of insecurity if their numbers are not restricted.

Works Cited

Davidson, Adams. “Do Illegal Immigrants Actually Hurt the U.S. Economy?” The New York Times. It’s the Economy, www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/magazine/do-illegal-immigrants-actually-hurt-the-us-economy.html.

Davis, Bob. “The Thorny Economics of Illegal Immigration.” 9 Feb 2016. The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-thorny-economics-of-illegal-immigration-1454984443

Davis, Hanson, V. “The Hidden Costs the Rest of Us Must Pay for Illegal Immigration.” Newsweek. N.p., 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

Federation for American Immigration Reform. “The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers (2013).” 2013. http://www.fairus.org/publications/the-fiscal-burden-of-illegal-immigration-on-united-states-taxpayers

Gibson, D. W. “America without Migrants.” Nation, vol. 303, no. 16, 17 Oct. 2016, pp. 20-24. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=118708566&site=ehost-live.

Krogstad, J.M., Passel, J.S. & Cohn, D.V., 2017. 5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S. Pew Research Center. Available at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ [Accessed May 4, 2017].

Nixon, Ron, and Fernanda Santos. “U.S. Appetite for Mexico’s Drugs Fuels Illegal Immigration.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

Persaud, Felicia. “The Facts Show Trump Is Wrong about a Rise in Illegal Immigration.” New York Amsterdam News, vol. 107, no. 40, 29 Sept. 2016, p. 18. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=118584007&site=ehost-live.

Procon.org. United States, Congress. Register of Debates. Government Printing Office. Procon.org, immigration.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000788. Accessed 24 Jan. 2017.

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