Illegal Immigration and American Economy

Feldmeyer’s article

Feldmeyer’s article, “immigration and violence: the offsetting effects of immigrant concentration on Latino violence “(717) explores the link between violence and Latino immigration. While conducting the assessment, the author relied a lot on the social capital/community resource theory and the social disorganization theory. Besides, the author has also collected data on violence (that is, robbery, homicide, and Violent Index) from various sources, including the New York State Arrest Data, the California Arrest Data, and the U.S Census data.

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The data collected consists of roughly 400 censuses conducted between 1999 and 2001. Feldmeyer (718) utilizes structural equation modeling methods to assess the indirect and direct effects of Latino immigrants’ concentration on violence. The author has also examined the effects of structural factors like family structure, poverty, employment rates, and heterogeneity on immigration

In his research findings, Feldmeyer reveals that immigrants’ concentration has little to do with Latino violence. In fact, the author argues that immigrants’ concentration “may even reduce some forms of violence, immigration simultaneously stabilizes and destabilizes structural conditions in Latino populations” (Feldmeyer 723). Besides, immigration could also have a counterbalancing effect on Latino violence through community resources and social disorganization measures.

Based on these results, the authors arrived at several conclusions. First, the concentration of immigrants has little effect on Latino violence and could reduce various types of violence. Secondly, immigration concurrently destabilizes and stabilizes structural conditions among the Latinos. Finally, Feldmeyer (725) argues that there is a need to explore both the indirect as well as the direct consequences of immigration on crime.

Feldmeyer (726) argues that despite the limited research that has thus far been conducted to examine the link between crime rates and immigration, public opinion has time and again linked fashionable inclinations in immigration to such social problems as an increase in violence and crime rates. Public opinion polls show that Americans are increasingly getting convinced that immigrants play a huge role in crime and violence, besides taking the job opportunities of Americans and harming their way of life (Feldmeyer 727).

As such, examining the allegations made by the study’s respondents is vital because it is projected that by 2050, the Latinos population shall account for nearly 30 percent of the American population (Feldmeyer 726). Therefore, if at all the issues under investigation by Feldmeyer are positively related, this would have far-reaching ramifications on the American social, economic, and political environment.

The current article is relevant to the research topic since the effects of immigration impacts on the economy as well. For example, immigrants end up taking jobs meant for Americans, increasing the rate of unemployment. In addition, immigrants depress the country’s healthcare system and social security fund. These services are funded by the American taxpayer. There are also claims that immigrants end up spending the money that they earn working in America back home, instead of investing in the American economy.

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On the other hand, some scholars have raged that immigrants are in fact an asset to the American economy because most of them end up taking low-paying jobs that Americans would not take. In addition, they tend to work harder than average Americans. This is an issue that the author should have tried to capture in his article. Besides, the author should also have tried to examine other ways in which Latino immigrants have had a positive impact on the US economy.

Blendon et al. article

In this article, Blendon et al (1) examine the American public’s perspective on the effects of immigration on the U.S economy. Historically, the United States is recognized as a nation of immigrants; however, the number and type of immigrants and the circumstances behind their admission to the United States has now turned into a controversial public issue for over a century. In a bid to answer the study’s research questions, the authors utilize various historical and recent data on immigration trends in the U.S.

The first question was aimed at examining how receptive the American public is of immigrants. The second question examined the American public’s opinion on whether immigrants are harmful or helpful to the American culture and economy. The third question examined contributions made by illegal immigrants to the US economy compared with contributions made by legal immigrants. Finally, Blendon et al (119) have assessed the American public’s opinion on the steps that the government should take regarding the plight of future illegal and legal migration.

The authors have utilized two main sources of information to generate useful data that is used in their study. Most of the data was derived from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Public Radio, and the Kennedy School of Government. The researchers also conducted national telephone surveys involving 2,204 respondents. In their study, Blendon et al (116) have also provided historical and current data derived from public opinion polls conducted countrywide between 1938 and 2004.

Based on the research findings, the authors reveal that although the United States has historically appeared to be more tolerant of immigrants, this is not the case as the economy is not doing well. The American public is concerned that they will lose their jobs to the immigrants. In addition, the public is also concerned that taxpayers are paying a lot of money to facilitate the provision of services to illegal immigrants. Also, the public alleges that as the number of illegal immigrants in the US increase, so does the risk of terrorism. A considerable number of Americans also opine that immigrants pose a threat to American culture.

Although most Americans would want the federal government institute tougher measures to stop illegal immigration in the future, in addition to making it hard for illegal immigrants to find work in the US, on the other hand, the rising Latino community could prove decisive in the political arena as a possible swing vote and for this reason, there is a little incentive by politicians to enforce tougher immigration laws. The issue of immigration has both positive and negative effects on the economic and social development of a country. In this case, it would have been better if the authors had considered asking their respondents their opinion on the positive impact of the legal and illegal immigrants on the overall economic and societal development of the United States.

Hirschman’s article

Hirschman’s article, “Immigration and the American century” (2) is an attempt by the author to explore the long-term effects of immigration on American society. One of the leading long-term effects of immigration on the American society that the author has endeavored to examine is the socioeconomic role of immigration immigrants and their children. The author has also noted that many of the policies and academic analyses conducted before the twentieth century mainly dwelt on the short-term issues of immigrants in American society. As such, it was hard to realize the full effects of immigration on our society (Hirschman 3).

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The author has further noted that as the wave of immigration increase in depth and breadth, it tends to create population diversity, thereby bringing with it new cultures and languages. However, with time, even as immigrants and their descendants embrace the American way of life, in effect becoming more “American”, on the other hand, there is a resultant change in the American culture and society.

Hirschman (5) further notes that at the beginning of the twentieth century, immigrants from all walks of life and their children formed the larger part of the American workforce in major industrial cities across the United States. These workers helped to provide the much-needed labor to drive the American economy. Lately, however, the arrival of new immigrants and their families into the United States has been met with resistance by the American population, who allege that the immigrants, both legal and illegal, have resulted in an economic and demographic slowdown at various cities in the United States.

Hirschman (9) also contends that the presence of immigrants in the US economy is a necessary evil because they could be a replacement to the native-born workers lost through displacement. Besides, they have also helped to create jobs through their entrepreneurial spirit. In the twentieth century, immigrants, along with their children, played a crucial role in American politics. Politicians see immigrants as potential voters who can influence their economic policies.

Besides, immigrants have also been instrumental in developing the American popular culture. Intermarriages between Native Americans and descendants of immigrants have led to the birth of an improved national identity rooted in civic participation, as opposed to ancestry.

I find the article relevant to the topic at hand because an influx of immigrants into the United States is bound to have both negative and positive effects on the US economy. Besides contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP), immigrants and their children also play a critical role in enabling the creation of new industries that specifically targets low-wage workers, and this has a profound effect on the economic growth of the country.

The author seems to have dwelt on the role played by immigrants and their children on the declining economy demographics of different cities in the United States but does not quite address such other important issues as the decline in the availability of affordable housing in cities with a high population of immigrants. There is also the issue of massive degradation of the landscape and loss of biodiversity through increased human settlement. Since immigrants are more likely to accept low wages in comparison with the Americans, there is also the risk of wage decline in various industries, something that the article has not addressed.

Works Cited

Blendon, Stephen, Pelletier Brodie, John Benson, Elizabeth Hamel, Elizabeth Raleigh, Marcu Rosenbaum and Drew Altman. “Immigration and the U.S. Economy: The Public’s Perspective.”Challenge, 43. 2(2005): 113-132. Print.

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Feldmeyer, Ben. “Immigration and violence: The offsetting effects of immigrant concentration on Latino violence.” Social Science Research 38.3 (2009): 717-31. Print.

Hirschman, Charles. “Immigration and the American century”. Demography, 42.4(2005):595-620. Print.

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