According to Thomas (1995, p. 24), Illegal immigration refers to migration across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. Under this definition, an illegal immigration is a foreigner who has either legally crossed an international political border, be it by land, sea, or air or a foreigner who has entered a country legally but then overstays his/her visa in order to live and/or work there in. In politics the term may imply a larger set of social issues and time constraints with disputed consequences in areas such as economy, social welfare, education, healthcare, slavery, prostitution, crime, legal protection, voting rights, public services and human rights. Indeed illegal immigration is a crime that if the necessary measures are not put in place to curb it, serious consequences will continue to accrue as a result.
Illegal immigration would be living in a manner that violates the laws of the country. The causes of immigration to the United States include cases like, war. One motive of illegal immigration is to escape civil war or repression in the country of origin. For example people in Germany that were considered minorities fled their country in fear that they would be oppressed and arrested. On economic push factors include persecution (religious and otherwise), frequent abuse, bullying, oppression and genocide and risks to civilian during war. Political motives traditionally motivate refugee flows- to escape dictatorship for instance. After decades of armed conflict, roughly one of every ten Colombians now lives abroad. Figures from Colombia indicate that it is the fourth leading source country of an authorized immigration to the United States. The estimated number of unauthorized Colombian residents in the United States has almost tripled from 51,000 in 1990 to 141,000 in 2000.The largest per capita source of immigrants to the United States comes from El Salvador, for which up to a third of the population lives outside the country, mostly in the United States. Despite the fact that the U.S governments role in Salvadoran conflict was unique in sustaining the prolongation of the civil conflict, the government and the U.S immigration and notarization service (INS), extended little sympathy to the people affected by the war. (Edwards and James, 2006, p. 23)
Another reason for illegal immigration to the United States is poverty. Natural disasters and overpopulation can amplify poverty driven migration flows. According to CBS 60 minutes, U.S marine lance corporal, one of the first U.S service men to die in combat in Iraq, a former street child in Guatemala have been orphaned at age eight, first entered united states as an illegal immigrant in 1997 to escape poverty and dreamt of been an architect, Prostitution and slavery: Illegal immigrant may also been trafficked. At the end of the legal intentional slave trade by the European nation and the United States in the early 19th century, the illegal importation of slaves has continued, albeit at much reduced levels. Although not as much common as in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The main methods of immigration includes, border crossing. Immigrants form nations that do not have automatic visa agreement, or those who would not otherwise qualify for visa, often cross the borders illegally in some areas like the united states –Mexico border, the Mona channel between the domonican republic and Puerto rico, the strait of Gibraltar
Human smuggling is the practice of intermediaries aiding illegal immigrants in crossing over international borders in financial; gain, often in large groups. Human smuggling differs from but is sometimes associated with human trafficking. A human smuggler will facilitate illegal entry in to a country for a fee but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is usually free. It involves the process of using physical force, fraud or deception to obtain and transport people overstaying a visa. Some illegal immigrants enter a country legally and then they overstay or violate their visa. For example most of the estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants in Canada are refugee claimants whose refugee applications wear rejected but who have not yet been ejected from the country.
According to the definition, illegal immigration to any country is a bad thing and it’s against the law in that it violates the immigration laws of the destination country and hence as a result, it should be stopped. (Thomas, 1995 pp. 26-27)
Illegal immigration in the United States
According to Camarota (2004 p. 30), Illegal immigration has been a longstanding issue in the United States, creating immense controversy. The Pew Hispanic Center states that, (57% of illegal aliens are of Mexican origin and about 24% are of non Mexican Latin American origin (81% Latonos)). They also report that while the number of legal immigrants (including LPRs, refugees, and asylees) arriving has not varied substantially since the 1980s; the number of illegal aliens has increased dramatically and since the mid 1990s, has surpassed the number of legal immigrants. This illegal immigration however bad they are, they have some benefits.
Benefits of illegal immigration
According to Kondoh, (2004 p. 28), Illegal immigration has been pointed out as a costly problem, an economic necessity and a political football as the debate surrounding it has gathered steam. For all the heat that the debate about immigration has generated, the net economic impact of immigration on U.S economy appears to be remarkably small. First one thought of illegal immigration, before we address illegal immigrants. By bringing new workers in to the economy, immigration allows existing capital, land, technology to be used more efficiently. Also on the plus side, immigrants pay property taxes, sales taxes, social security taxes and income taxes Illegal immigrants tent to have low skill level which means they end up in jobs in agriculture, construction, household services, landscaping, loe end manufacturing restaurants and lodgings. Employers in these e industries (and consumers of the goods these industries produce) are primarily ones who benefit from illegal immigration. In a recent study, Patricia Cortes a graduate student at IMT finds that (U.S cities that have higher larger immigrants inflows have lower prices for housekeeping, gardening and other labor-intensive services. Ten percent more immigration lowers prices for these services by about 1.3Illegal immigrants by virtue of their low income level and their tenures attachment to the legal economy don’t pay at all that much taxes yet their kids still attend school and their U.S born kids still get access to Medicare. Gordon also argues that immigration whether legal or illegal adds workers most of whom get jobs, which makes the U.S economy larger. If there are economies of scale, as when producing more lowers the cost of production, the prices of some goods fall, benefiting those who buy these goods at home and abroad and hence as a result, illegal immigration benefits the economy of that country since there are more workers and production increases and hence as a result the economy grows. (Most of the benefits of immigration go the immigrants who earn higher wages in the U.S than they would at home. With migrants getting most of the gains from immigration in their wages, and owners of capital and land getting most of the rest in higher profits and rents, the surplus triangle is 1/10 of 1 % of GDP.Pro immigration people stress that immigration is positive, a net economic benefit, and in a $ 13 trillion economy, 1% is $13 billion. Anti-immigrant people stress that immigration adds $13 billion about two weeks growth in an economy growing 2.5% a year Economists agree that immigration generates a small net economic benefit for the U.S and in doing so redistributes income from workers to owner’s capital and land.
The national research council data suggests the answer yes for illegal immigration. Making often-heroic assumptions about how well immigrants and the children will fare in the U.S. the NRC calculated the present value of a typical immigrant arriving in the U.S. In the mid 1990s to by $89,000, that is taking in to account the taxes paid of immigrants and assuming that their children and their grandchildren are like their U.S born counterparts, the NRC estimated that the present value of the taxes paid will exceed tax supported benefits consumed by $ 89,000 over the next 50+ years. However the same study emphasized that the key to the benefits of immigration to the U.S are their level of education, those with more than a high school education had a net present value of almost $ 200,000, while those with a less than a high school education had a net present value of negative $13,000. (Edwards and James, 2006 p. 23)
Burdens of illegal immigration
According to Pelner, (2005) The United States was formed by the immigration of many people from all over the world. Americas take pride in knowing that we are a people of vast ethnic background and culture. Hoewever, at the present time, the flow of illegal immigration as well as large influx of other legal immigrants is placing a stain on their land of “huddled masses”. Legal immigration to the United States can easily be handled and is welcomed by most Americans. However, the flow of illegal immigrants especially from Mexico must be stemmed, due to the stain it is placing to the government, (at the local, state and federal level) as well as the general population. Illegal immigrants are costing the United States over 24 billion dollars a year in tax payers money (national review 12.13.93). Something must be done to reduce the flow of illegal immigration in to the United States.The focus of this paper will be the problems caused by and possible solutions to the problem of illegal immigration.
The United States is admitting more than 800,000 legal immigrants a year, with at least 200,000 more illegal immigrants settling permanently as well (National review 12.13.93). The commuter immigrants, illegal immigrants that cross the border for a period of time to work in low paying, labor-intensive jobs, and can also bolster this figure. These immigrants are creating one of the biggest burdens facing the government of the United States today, unemployment.
Competing for jobs against Native Americans, immigrants are not only using valuable government resources from welfare and other programs, but they are also increasing the rate of unemployment. True, the jobs the immigrants are taking are undesirable ones, but the fact remains that Americans citizens have the rights to these jobs. By taking jobs, illegal imm9grants are placing a strain on the unemployment benefits, which non-working Americans would not have to collect if there were more jobs. Another fact to consider, by taking the money illegal immigrants earn back to their own country, they cause a reduction of secondary profit. This means that money earned will be spent on products outside the United States thereby decreasing tax profits for the government. One thing is clear that the United States cannot afford this influx of low skilled low paid people if it wants to remain a welfare state.
The U.S government depends on taxpayer’s money to support its programs. These programs include welfare, Medicaid and food stamps as well as law enforcement. With the influx of illegal immigrants in to the United States, all of these programs are facing problems. An estimated 13% of all funding tom these governments programs is used to support illegal immigrants (National review 12.13.93). In addition to these previous figures, add the cost of salaries of the more than 4,000 patrolmen used to guard the 7,582-mile border between the U.S to the north and Mexico to the south (fortune 9.9.93). Other expenses include a one billion dollar immigration budget for the next fiscal year (AP 3.3.95). By looking at these e and other facts, it is obvious there is a large monitory burden been placed on the U.S taxpayer. The stress caused by the economic burden along with other job related stresses created by illegal immigration can lead to social problems. The social strain caused by illegal immigration is hard to argue due to the fact it differs with each individual. Competition for or loss of job and /or other benefits is a good example of social stress. The use of individual own tax money to pay for a foreigner’s family can also burden an individual. Lesser examples include the problems of racism, and religious hatred. Xenophobia is not an uncommon thing in areas where illegal immigration is a major problem. It is up to the individual on the way he/she will deal with the problem of illegal immigration.
Solutions to illegal immigration
According to Kondoh, (2004 p. 32), he has be on the forefront on coming up with ways of solving the problem of illegal immigration. He noted that it would be impossible to completely stifle the flow of illegal immigrants in to the United States. There is too much land to cover and the allure of jobs would continue to give the illegal immigrants incentive to try. The fact is we must monitor social programs, as well as the workplace, more carefully. This monitoring may include a national ID card similar to the social security cards in use now (Business week 8.26.91) Another solution could be to increase the number of immigration and naturalization officers as well as adding increased fines for employers with illegal workers. Without these or other solutions, the loss of money and jobs will continue. If the loss of these resources continues, The U.S might become the land of closed doors, thereby ending the dream of many legal immigrants and shutting the books on most open and free country in the world.
Should illegal immigrants have same rights as legal Americans?
According to Edwards et al., (2006, p. 19), some states in America are already debating what to do about illegal immigrants. Some are deciding to give illegal immigrants driving license and rights to vote. This is a great accomplishment for a nation that requested for the tired, the poor and the huddled masses that yearn for freedom. While they are making life more comfortable for the illegal, what about the aliens that help to build America for free, have been legalized and have being here for hundred of years A question arises as to why have Americans, republicans and libertarian chosen to keep black Americans as economic laborers while illegal immigrants are about to have rights as good as that of other American citizen. Capitalist is based on a cheap labor force, but must they be black Americans, why not an intellectual, social and economic equality and competence. All Americans regardless of race, creed, gender and religion must speak out against this current evil of putting the illegal over their citizen just because they are the so called wrong skin color. President Bush and the republicans are talking about building more prisons, what about more jobs and better schools in black neighborhood. Incarcerating black fathers and son’s to be in the prisons system in order for them to loose their basic civil rights and become economically delinquent should be considered un-American. The civil rights and affirmative action never gave black economic or political relevance; it only pacified them with a feeling of opportunity.
Effects of illegal immigrants to the Americans
According to Edmonston et al. (2003, p. 30) Illegal immigrants get a lot of blame for America’s problems, but they don’t deserve it. The government’s bill for feeding, healing and clothing them is balanced by the taxes they pay and the money they spent. While they are heavily concentrated in a few places, they have only a minor effect on national population growth. Politicians who favor extreme measures to get rid of them aren’t helping anyone, but only scaring people in a cynical attempt to get votes (Marina, 2003).
Between 225,000 and 300,000 illegal immigrants are added to the U.S population of 264 million every year. According to the estimates by the census bureau and the immigration and the naturalization services (INS), respectively, they account for 9 to 12 % of the U.S population growth and hence have little effect to the population.
Do illegal hurt the economy. Probably no. By providing public education for children of illegal immigrants costs about $3.1 billion in the seven key states in 1993-94, according to the urban institute. Illegal immigrants in the prisons cost about $471 million a year, and they consume about $455 more in medical funds but these costs are offset by about $1.9 billion in taxes paid by illegal and billions more in consumer spending.
If America built a 2,000-mile wall through the desert, which would pick their crops, wash their dishes and clean their hotel rooms. Agribusiness and hospitality firms would almost collapse since there would be no people to work in these firms since most of the Americans are educated and hence rush for the better paid jobs and hence as a result, illegal immigrants have no effect to the economy of the United States.
According to my own opinion, although illegal immigration is against the law of America, it should be legalized as we have seen that it has more benefits than the burdens. Illegal immigration is not a bad thing and hence as a result, it should be legalized due to the benefits the host country gets from these immigrants. Illegal immigrants get a lot of blame for America’s problems but they don’t deserve it. This is because the benefits these immigrants give the Americans are bigger than the burdens they give. As a result, these illegal immigrants should be given the same rights just as Americans citizen have. These immigrants have contributed to the economic growth due to the taxes they pay and hence a benefit to the economy.
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