Argumentative Essay on Immigration
Illegal immigration has been a problem for the United States for a long time. This phenomena is not new and thousands of illegal immigrants have come into US through either the Mexico border, the Pacific Ocean, or through many other ways. Some people have entered the country legally through a visit visa, but then have stayed illegally and are working in various places. Illegal immigration is a double edged sword; on the one hand it provide the local economy with cost benefits as the illegal immigrants are not paid so much, while they are more productive. On the other hand, these illegal immigrants do not pay taxes and their employers also do not pay their taxes. There are both pros and cons of illegal immigration and this paper shall take a look at some facts pertinent to illegal immigration in the United States.
“Every day thousands of illegals stream across the 2,500 miles of border with Mexico. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, the total number of illegals in America from this source increases by 275,000 annually. Already the United States is host to an illegal population of 7 to 12 million, of whom the vast majority are Mexican or Hispanic in origin. These illegal and uninvited guests help themselves to jobs, education, welfare and unemployment compensation. The many whose wages are paid under the table pay little or no taxes. And they are easy prey for unscrupulous employers and politicians” (Hayes 2000)
The U.S. population primarily is growing as a result of births in the minority and immigrant communities. We do not like to think about it--as it is a political correctness problem--but there is stratification of labor, mostly along education lines, where the tough jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, and services are taken by those without recourse into the white-collar world of employment. Especially when these low paying jobs do not require language ability, immigrants historically have jumped at these opportunities as a way to get their foot in the door. The U.S.-born unemployed do not think first about having just any job to help plant their feet. They first think about what their wages will be. If you are here illegally, you clearly have a competitive advantage (Howell 2006).
Most of the Americans and the American officials are of the opinion that illegal immigration is bad for the country and it should be stopped completely. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) is a law in the United States of America that pertains to the policies and regulations regarding employment. This law was enacted in 1986 for various reasons, which includes the fact that many illegal employees work in the United States. The two main requirements of the IRCA include: “(1) to hire only persons authorized to work in the United States and (2) to not discriminate on the basis of citizenship status or national origin” (LMD 1992). In order to be eligible to work in the United States, the workers must complete an I-9 form and must be able to prove their authorization to work in the United States to their employers. “Employers may not refuse to consider all qualified persons with work authorization, whether citizen or non-citizen. Employers must accept any document listed in the INS Handbook for Employers, and may not arbitrarily specify an INS document, or require additional documents. Employers may not refuse to hire a qualified worker whose employment authorization expires at a later date. IRCA imposes back pay and severe penalties on employers who commit immigration-related employment discrimination” (LMD 1992). I am for this immigration reform as I believe that illegal employment is a drain on the economy of the United States.
There are more than 10 million undocumented workers (excluding their families) in the United States (White). Most of these illegal workers are concentrated in California and Texas, although their presence can be felt all over the country. About three quarters of these illegal immigrants come to the United States after crossing the US/Mexico border. Many of these illegal immigrants are hired by US employers as undocumented workers and this is done because they can be hired at a pay less than minimum wage. Most of these workers are hired to work in the agricultural, manufacturing, and construction industries, or in backroom jobs. These workers are not given any kind of health care or any other benefits (White). These jobs are mostly opened illegally by US employers in order to save up on taxes and also save up on their costs by paying the workers less than minimum wage. It is for this reason that I believe it important for the immigration reform to be in place as it makes it harder for the employers to cheat the government out of the taxes etc.
One other benefit that can be derived from the IRCA is that of the social costs related with illegal immigration into the United States. When the illegal immigrants enter America, they do so without any papers or any authorization. This means that there is no record of where they come from or what sort of a background they have. They might be infected with a hundred diseases, such as polio, tuberculosis, etc. These diseases can spread and cause a lot of problems for the American citizens. Other than that, there are more costs that are added for a state as it has to pay for the education etc for these illegal immigrants. “In an already under funded programs they give these services a more heavy burden to deal with. Republicans have reached agreement among themselves on legislation designed to combat illegal immigration (Carney 1996). But with their package facing delaying tactics from Senate Democrats and a veto from the president, they finished the week of Sept. 2 uncertain of their next move” (Website).
It would be useful to consider the downside of implementing strict immigration laws. If the labor market were not being filled by illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border, these positions would have to be filled by someone else. If we were to bring more agricultural and service workers into the U.S. through a regularized process, the resulting body of immigrants would be less Mexican and more Arab, Muslim, South Asian, and African. For those who want an idea of how this would impact American society, take a look at Europe. This is an issue of culture, language, and religion. Author Samuel Huntington (Who Are We?) and others have argued that Mexican culture is not readily compatible with the Anglo-Protestant culture under which the U.S. has prospered. This may be true. but it certainly is more compatible than Iraqi culture (Howell 2006).
If the Mexicans were not coming in illegally, we would have to process--and keep track of--all of them. What would the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS, the successor agency to the Immigration and Naturalization service under the new Department of Homeland Security) have to look like to process the 500 workers who are sneaking into the country illegally on a daily basis? What would it cost? There roughly are 11,000,000,000 illegal immigrants in the U.S. By any process other than deporting them all, there will be a substantial increase in the size of the government agencies designed to monitor them (Howell 2006).
By making such an issue of illegal immigrants from Mexico, we are discouraging all immigrants about life in the U.S., including those that we need desperately. The issue is plugging up the immigration system for applicants who have math and science skills. Many claim that the education system is being overburdened by the children of illegal immigrants. Yet, such skills have not--at least over the last 20 years--been produced by that same system, forcing us to import our technological capability from India, East Asia, and elsewhere (Howell 2006).
One might argue that the immigrants are people after all and that they should not be discriminated against even if they come illegally into the country. A lot of public controversy has been sparked on the discourse of affirmative action, which is about the discrimination of the immigrants in the workplace. This started as a period of “passionate debate that began around 1972 and tapered off after 1980, and the second indicating a resurgence of debate in the 1990s leading up to the Supreme Court's decision in the summer of 2003 upholding certain kinds of affirmative action” (Fullinwider 2005). Other than this, there have been two paths that the development, defense, and contestation of preferential affirmative action have taken. “One has been legal and administrative as courts, legislatures, and executive departments of government have made and applied rules requiring affirmative action. The other has been the path of public debate, where the practice of preferential treatment has spawned a vast literature, pro and con” (Fullinwider 2005).
Many people argue that the immigrants are usually skilled labor and they help increase the local production of the United States. Others also argue that when the businesses pay them lower than minimum wage, their costs go down, which means that the costs of production as well as the prices goes down, and these help the citizens of the United States. It is also argued that the immigrants tend to send their US dollars outside America to their families, and this strengthens the value of the dollar, making it more valuable, thereby making the economy of US stronger.
Yet, we find that these benefits are far outweighed by the costs that the illegal immigrants bear on the US. Many immigrants have felt that they are being discriminated against in the workplace for one or more of the various kinds of discriminatory practices that occur within various organizations. Many of these employees are women who believe that they have been discriminated based on their sex. The Revised Order of 1972 affected a change that included women among the “protected classes” whose “underutilization” demanded the setting of “goals” and “timetables” for “full utilization” (Graham 1990). There are some theories that are presented in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that pertain to discrimination in employment, even if the employee is an illegal immigrant. The IRCA changes all that. An illegal immigrant cannot be considered an employee under the IRCA, which automatically takes care of the discrimination problem.
It can be concluded that the immigration reforms are a good practice for both the immigrants, and more importantly, for the US. The illegal immigrants pose many problems for our country and they should not be allowed to enter in the first place. But since it is very hard to implement total security, steps should be taken to reduce the illegal immigrant inflow into our country and the first step is to implement immigration reform. Much of what these people earn in the US is sent to their homes in their own countries and the US economy is deprived of their taxes. By staying in the US, they are spending each second doing an illegal act as just their presence inside the US borders is an illegal act.
Many people tend to think that eradicating illegal immigration is impossible and that it can never work. This is not true. Illegal immigration can be repealed if the government takes the proper measures. While there is no painless magic answer, illegal migration can be significantly reduced with a few effective measures. Some of those measures require money; some require political will; many can be accomplished by the President without new legislation. Adopted as part of a comprehensive approach, these measures will be effective. Adopted selectively, they will fail. As a first step, however, current law and regulations must be clarified. Employers are caught between competing legal mandates when hiring non-citizens; aliens with only a tenuous claim to presence in the U.S. remain here for years under the color of law; and some government officials do not know whether they are obliged to report information to or withhold it from the INS. Congress and the regulators must simplify legal requirements so that the average person, citizen or alien, can know what the rules are (Lempres 1994).
Interdiction can be effective because of the nature of the flow of illegal migration. Over 95 per cent of illegal border crossers come through Mexico, where the terrain funnels traffic into several crossing points. By far the busiest crossing point in the nearly 6,000 miles of land border is the 13 miles near San Diego. Over 40 per cent of the Border Patrol's total interdictions occur in that 13-mile strip of land. Moreover, the Border Patrol estimates that over 90 per cent of its total apprehensions occur in just 100 miles of border segments. The concentration of illegal traffic means that interdiction efforts can be focused for greater effectiveness. Physical structures such as lights, fences, and anti-automobile barriers can be placed along the high-traffic crossing points. Without new legislation, the Administration can build these structures and add Border Patrol officers at the hot spots (Lempres 1994).
Other than that, there has been a lot of prosecutions regarding illegal immigration over the past few years. But the government is not merely prosecuting illegal immigrants for immigration offenses; it is reinvigorating its investigation and prosecutorial efforts against corporate America as well. Various corporate scenarios in the United States show that corporate America currently faces in confronting federal prosecutions. Congress first deputized corporate America into controlling the flow of illegal immigration at our nation's borders in 1986--by making it illegal for employers to knowingly hire, or knowingly retain after hiring, illegal immigrants, as well as to fail to comply with the employment verification requirements--and then subjecting employers to stiff civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. Congress further deputized corporate America in 1996, and subjected corporate America to even higher financial stakes, when it made certain immigration offenses predicate offenses in RICO, and thereby opened the doors to suits from plaintiffs' lawyers for treble damages for having knowingly hired at least ten undocumented workers in a twelve-month period. Given the increasingly high stakes for employers, it is imperative that they expend the resources now to take the preventive measures outlined in this article. To do less will only perpetuate exposure to unnecessary and costly risk (Ciobanu and Green 2006).
Carney, Dan, (1996). " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 54, (36): 2531.
Ciobanu, Ileana M. and Thomas C. Green. (2006). “Deputizing - and Then Prosecuting - America's Businesses in the Fight against Illegal Immigration,” American Criminal Law Review, 43, (3): 1203+.
Fullinwider, Robert, (2005). “Affirmative Action”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2005/entries/affirmative-action/
Graham, Hugh Davis, (1990), The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy 1960-1972 (New York: Oxford University Press): 413.
Hayes, Ted, (September 25, 2000 ). “Illegal Immigration Threatens U.S. Sovereignty, Economy and Culture,” Insight on the News, 16, (36): 46
Howell, Llewellyn d. (July 2006). “Ironies of Illegal Immigration,” USA Today, 135, (2734): 19
Lempres, Michael T. (1994). “Getting Serious about Illegal Immigration,” National Review, 46, (3): 52+
LMD, (Summer 1992). “How to Avoid Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination,” Labor Management Decisions, 2, (2)
Website, “Immigration Problem in the US,” Online, http://www.cyberessays.com/Politics/32.htm
White, Deborah, “Analysis of Immigration Reform Proposal,” Liberal Politics: US, Available Online: http://usliberals.about.com/od/immigration/i/BushImmiReform.htm
The Benefits of Immigration in the United States
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The Benefits of Immigration in the United States
America is known famously throughout the world with the nickname 'The melting pot.' The reason behind this is that America is extremely diverse and has many different people. Immigrants give America the chance to know the culture of many countries. They bring in their culture, religion, economic benefits, and ideology to America. I believe that the United States should allow legal immigrants from all over the world because they bring many benefits to it. Immigrants are a positive influence on United States of America.
Immigrants have been the start of this great nation. So why argue now that allowing foreign people into America is dangerous? Some people might argue that legal immigration is the cause of overpopulation. This is not true at all because immigrants make merely half of America's population (mruthydotcom). Out of them about 40% of them are illegal immigrants making the U.S border patrol responsible for them (world overpopulation). Another argument that might be brought up is that immigration causes environmental damage. This cannot be proven but we can prove that it is the American citizens themselves that cause this by their expensive lifestyle. Americans consume more per capita than the rest of the world (world overpopulation). Every one in United States has resources like water, electricity, and arable land for granted and we don?t even realize what we can do with out the resources. If you compare them to immigrants who migrated from other countries you see that immigrants have more value for these resources. If you consider the environment they came from, they are more likely to preserve the resources available to them.
People might continue to argue and bring up the issue of terrorism. There is no solid proof that legal immigration is the cause of terrorism. Terrorism cannot be stopped and can be caused by anyone inside or outside the U.S. People can still fly over wherever they want to terrorize. Finally the problem of communication is brought into the argument of immigration. In a recent study it shows that more than 60% of the immigrants that migrate tend to learn English and speak it during their daily lives and this percentage is raising (VOA news).
Language is part of the few benefits that immigrants bring with their culture. United States benefits from cultures of the many immigrants that migrate to the U.S. the variation of different languages brings great benefit to the U.
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United States Immigration Benefits United States Should Environmental Damage Great Nation Border Patrol Other Countries American Citizens
S. Every one in United States speaks a common language which is English. But with different people coming from differ countries, they bring along with them languages such as French, Arabic, Spanish, Urdu and many more. These languages give Americans a chance to learn a new language and benefit from it in long run. Also in present day, languages, which I mentioned earlier, are given as an option in school curriculum. As I had mentioned before, some times immigrants are blamed that they don?t know how to speak in English, which causes communication problems among people. But again that is not entirely true because a recent university of southern California study shows that immigrants of today learn English more quickly than the immigrants of 20 years ago (Latour, 1). So in this case immigrants spread the knowledge of their language and in return improve their skills in English so that they can communicate and do business with other people in an easy way.
This brings me to my next point about immigrants and business. Immigrants bring many benefits to the U.S when it comes to business. Immigrants are more likely to start their own businesses and create more job opportunities for U.S. and foreign workers. Immigrants offer manpower that America really needs. Immigrants take up labor jobs that Americans dislike to do for example: factory workers, maids and cleaners. They get low wages for these jobs. In 1990, for example, recently arrived male immigrants were paid 32% less than native workers. So if immigrants don?t work at low wages, than the Americans would have to pay more, which the immigrants also end up doing.
Immigrants pay higher taxes than the native born. Immigrants have helped and benefited United States economy in many ways. The net benefit of immigration to United States is nearly $10 billion annually. They eventually end up paying 80,000 dollars more in taxes than they receive in government benefits over their lifetime (Latour, 2). So this tells us that the Immigrants coming into the U.S actually help the economy rather than damaging it.
Put yourself in an immigrant?s position. What if you were an immigrant migrating from a war struck country coming to America to find a better life for you and your family? You were coming to America because you heard it was a land of opportunity. What if you came and found out that you couldn?t live here because you are damage to the U.S? What if you were told that you couldn?t live on a land created for all men not just Americans?
To conclude I say that immigration brings great benefits to the United States. Immigrants and their hard works started this grand country made it what it is today. If immigrants could do it before then immigrants can do it again. Therefore legal immigration should not be banned in the United States of America. Imagine how many great improvements immigration will cause to the U.S in the near future.
1.Serena Parker. Immigration: Economic Savior or Social and Economic Burden? 02 May 2005. 14 May. 2005 .
2. Jose Latour. The Pros and Cons of Immigration. 17 July 2002. 14 May. 2005
3.John Cole. Why Immigration is Good . 5 August 2003. 9 May. 2005
4.Sheela Murthy P.C. Immigration is good for the U.S Economy. 5 February 2000. 9 May. 2005.