Undocumented immigration is a very contentious issue in the United States. Drawing from a study by Burger (37), undocumented immigrants have existed in the United States since the year 2011 and deserve recognition and assistance from the government in order to settle. While most undocumented immigrants are from Ireland, India, the Caribbean, Asia, and other poor countries all over the globe, the greater majority are Spanish speaking, with Mexicans making up the largest single subgroup.
Apparently, the fear of undocumented immigrants being deported from the United States greatly increased during the Obama administration (Chavez 223). In 2009, for example, the number of undocumented immigrants deported totaled 387,790 and this represented a 5 per cent increase over 2008 (Menjívar & Kanstroom, 96).
This trend however, changed in 2011 when the Obama administration started assessing every deportation case in order to focus on criminals alone. Accordingly, this meant that undocumented immigrants without a criminal record would have their deportation suspended. Subsequently, such immigrants would be allowed to stay and even apply for permits that would make it possible for them to work in the United States without fear. Although the evaluation process was rather slow paced, it came as a relief for many undocumented immigrants.
This paper provides an argument to explain why President Obama should stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Whilst some US nationals are strongly convinced that the deportation process should continue, there are reasons to support their continued stay in the United States.
As pointed out by Chavez (223), it is quite interesting to note that scores of immigrants have come out publicly to declare their undocumented status so as to seek recognition and fight for legalization. Apparently, this did not work out well for them. Their activism led to a number of undocumented students being arrested and facing threats of deportation. However, there are several reasons for stopping the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Why Deportation Should Be Stopped
Arguably, only a small percentage of American citizens advocate for the immediate deportation of undocumented immigrants while many are of the opinion that the government should come up with a way of legalizing their stay in the United States. In a number of ways, undocumented immigrants have helped to build the United States and its economy (Kelly 1). Among other things, they supply the much needed labor for US firms as well as for private individuals, take part in job creation, and help to enhance how people regard the US across the world. These and other benefits associated with the presence of undocumented immigrants are discussed in the following subsections.
To a large extent, undocumented immigrants have been accused of taking jobs away from American citizens. This notwithstanding, there is no connection between undocumented immigrants and the rate of unemployment among US nationals. In addition, most employers in the United States rely on undocumented immigrants to supply cheap labor for jobs that are regarded lowly by Americans.
Because of pride, there are Americans who would not accept to take up jobs that are considered to be of a lower class. Without undocumented immigrants therefore, some employers would lack people to work for them. This being the case, it is quite unfair for anyone to allege that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs that should otherwise belong to US citizens.
Undocumented Immigrants Help to Strengthen the American Economy
First and foremost, undocumented immigrants are very instrumental in advancing the economy of the United States. This is regardless of the allegations by some Americans that undocumented immigrants are a serious threat to the US economy (Kelly 1). Amongst other things, undocumented immigrants help to improve the level of productivity and this leads to increased income for private business enterprises as well as the government of the United States. Arguably, undocumented immigrants supply the United States with affordable labor force to advance the economy.
This notwithstanding, opponents are convinced that undocumented immigrants are the greatest source of economic, cultural, and social conflicts in the United States. Generally, opponents accuse undocumented immigrants of taking up jobs that would otherwise belong to nationals. In addition, it is alleged that undocumented immigrants cause employers to reduce wages, create a huge burden for America’s social services, and threaten the American culture. To have a clear understanding of the impact of undocumented immigrants on the US job market, however, it is imperative to think about the demographics of the different people who enter the United States legally or illegally.
According to Coates (514), a majority of those who come to the United States are educated and highly skilled individuals. While this may be true to a certain extent, some undocumented immigrants happen to be less educated than US nationals. Even though, undocumented immigrants bring fresh energy and talent that in turn helps to improve the economy of the United States. Allowing undocumented immigrants to have work permits creates an opportunity for them to be recognized as legal employees in the United States.
As legally recognized employees, undocumented immigrants are subjected to legal taxation and the money collected can be used to further grow the economy of the United States. Although it is presumed that undocumented immigrants are in the United States illegally and should thus not be entitled to what documented immigrants are allowed to receive, it is important to remember that even those considered to be criminals have a right and should not be subjected to any form of injustice or unfair treatment. Under the law, every person is entitled to fair treatment. Consequently, it is imperative to respect the rights of undocumented immigrants.
According to opponents, undocumented immigrants present the United States with an extra burden to take care of. This can, however, be countered by the fact that undocumented immigrants increase the population of those who will need services which they can pay for. Without exception, those who come to settle in the US will require food, accommodation and other basic needs. Undoubtedly, the increased demand for goods and services implies that the level of production has to go up.
Business enterprises are forced to expand and more people have to be hired in order to satisfy the new demand for goods and services. For this reason, legalizing the stay of undocumented immigrants leads to the creation of jobs for natives as well as non-natives. Ostensibly, job creation and increased demand for goods and services eventually leads to economic growth. Undocumented immigrants may thus be regarded as a blessing to the people of the economy of the United States.
Retention of Talented Individuals
Some of those who find their way into the United States are highly talented individuals. Americans can thus benefit by making sure that such individuals are encouraged to live and work in the United States. Highly skilled individuals can be retained and employed to work in professions where getting enough Americans who are competent is not easy.
With the current competitive business environment, firms in the United States have no choice but to ensure that they recruit and retain the most talented individuals in the job market. Failure to attract the best talent in the job market might turn out to be an advantage for competitors. Recruiting talented individuals is thus a strategy to ensure that a business can effectively deal with competition and meet the needs of its customers by providing high quality goods and services.
Although some US nationals allege that undocumented immigrants do not pay tax, evidence points to the fact that these immigrants are compelled to pay tax just like their documented counterparts. They, for example, are forced to pay tax every time they have to buy what they need in order to survive. They are also made to pay tax whenever they access other basic needs such as accommodation and medical services. It is thus incorrect for anyone to argue that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes like other Americans. Subsequently, undocumented immigrants have a right to enjoy benefits just like other US citizens.
Research also indicates that some of the most talented students in American educational institutions happen to be children of undocumented immigrants. Rather than deport them, it will be beneficial for the US government to allow business enterprises to offer them jobs and ensure that they do not leave the United States. Even better is for the US government to come up with a strategy of absorbing talented individuals into its job market and offering them an opportunity to become citizens.
Opportunity to Interact with People from Other Cultures around the World
In the current globalized world, it is imperative for people to be equipped with skills of dealing with those from a diverse cultural background. Evidence of diversity can be seen in schools, work places, and other social places. Having an understanding of how to deal with members of other cultures is thus a very important asset for US nationals. Drawing from the study by Kelly (1), a majority of Americans rarely travel out of the United States.
Consequently, the only opportunity they have to intermingle with people from cultures other than their own is through immigration. Deportation of undocumented immigrants will thus deny many Americans the possibility to socialize with people from different cultures across the world. By allowing Americans to mix with others while at home the government will ensure that they are in touch with what is taking place in other areas of the world.
Opportunity to Learn Many Languages
As a result of people from different places moving to live and work in the United States, the nation is presently populated with individuals who speak all sorts of languages. Ostensibly, the fact that many languages can today be spoken in the United States is attributed to the presence of undocumented immigrants.
By and large, multilingual experts benefit many in the US including government institutions such as the Department of Defense and the State Department. These individuals help with important translations that are required to get work done. Certainly, getting rid of undocumented immigrants from the United States will bring this to an end and nationals may miss out on opportunities to equip themselves with vital life skills.
It is Unfair to Make Children Suffer for the Mistakes of their Parents
Considering that the genesis of their stay in the United States started with their parents moving to the United States, it is unfair to ask children to return to their home countries (Chavez 190). Although their parents are citizens of other countries, asking them to go back and settle there is a bit too much. Rather than subjecting the children to such treatments, the government of the United States should consider ways of helping them to become legitimate members of the US government.
While the government may be unhappy with the parents to these children, anger it is unfair to mistreat them. The children should be given an opportunity to prove themselves and get a chance to be legalized. When considering whether such children should be naturalized, it is important for the government to do so without digging their pasts or that of their parents.
Enhancement of the American Image
By allowing people from different parts of the world to live and work in the United States, the image of the nation to the rest of the world is greatly enhanced. Immigrants from different countries communicate with their relatives and friends back home telling them how great the United States is. In essence, undocumented immigrants end up becoming goodwill ambassadors for the United States. For this reason, many people across the world often dream about visiting the United States.
When they finally get an opportunity to visit the United States, a number of benefits may be realized. Visitors get to spend while in the United States and such expenditures go along way to improving the economy. Among other things, visitors will need food, accommodation, and other important services to survive. They get to visit different tourist attractions while in the US and this leads to further expenses that help to boost the economy of the country.
Myths about Undocumented Immigrants
There are several myths concerning undocumented immigrants that cause people to believe that they should be deported. This section looks at some of the myths. First, there is an allegation that undocumented immigrants are criminals. Their presence in the United States is thus regarded as a serious threat to the security of US nationals. Many US citizens are afraid that the continued presence of undocumented immigrants will cause the rate of crime to rise.
There are fears that the continued influx of undocumented immigrants will eventually have a negative impact on the American society. As undocumented immigrants continue to live and work in the United States, it is alleged that they will give birth to children who are like them. Allegedly, this implies that the rate of crime will continue to increase. On the contrary, not every undocumented immigrant is a criminal. Research indicates that it is not the undocumented immigrants who comprise the largest population of those in prison.
To a certain extent, US nationals who are in support of the deportation process are convinced that undocumented immigrants illegally enjoy what supposedly belongs to legitimate American citizens. As pointed out earlier, this is based on the allegation that they do not pay tax like other US citizens. Obviously, this is not true bearing in mind that undocumented immigrants also pay taxes.
They pay taxes whenever they buy basic necessities or access other vital services while in the US. Tax is also recovered from them when they pay rent for apartments where they live. Consequently, it is not right to claim that unlike other US citizens, undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. Undocumented immigrants should therefore not be discriminated upon.
As earlier noted, immigrants have been accused of taking jobs away from American citizens. However, there is no connection between undocumented immigrants and the rate of unemployment among US citizens. In addition, most employers in the United States rely on undocumented immigrants to provide cheap labor for jobs looked down upon by US citizens. Without undocumented immigrants therefore, such employers would lack people to work for them. This being the case, it is quite unfair for anyone to claim that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs that should otherwise belong to US citizens.
It is also presumed that undocumented immigrants are in the United States illegally and should thus not have privileges similar to those with legal documentation. It is, however, important to remember that even criminals have a right and should not be subjected to unfair treatment.
There are privileges that are enjoyed by American citizens and many are concerned that allowing undocumented immigrants to continue staying in the United States will complicate things and create confusion. Apparently, those born in America but are not American citizens may end up being accorded the same privileges like legitimate US citizens. For this reason, opponents are convinced that the deportation of undocumented immigrants should continue. This notwithstanding, there are a number of reasons for stopping the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
The discussion presented in this paper clearly indicates that the deportation of undocumented immigrants from the United States should not be allowed to proceed. Without a doubt, deporting undocumented immigrants will do more harm than good to the United States. Although there are challenges of dealing with undocumented immigrants, there are several benefits that are associated with having undocumented immigrants in the United States.
As explained in this paper, undocumented immigrants are the greatest source of cheap labor for businesses in the United States. Undocumented immigrants also provide Americans with an opportunity to intermingle with people from other cultures across the world. This is especially useful for US citizens who have never traveled out of their country to visit other places. It is also beneficial for survival in the present world that is mainly characterized by globalization.
Although there are negative aspects associated with the presence of undocumented immigrants in the United States, it is quite obvious that deportation of undocumented immigrants will affect the development of the United States. Efforts should thus be made to ensure that the deportation of undocumented immigrants does not continue. The government should put plans in place to ensure that all undocumented immigrants in the United States are legalized. Time and again, scores of immigrants have come out publicly to declare their undocumented status so as to seek recognition and fight for legalization. Unfortunately, many had to be arrested and deported for being involved in the demonstrations.
Burger, William. Human Services in Contemporary America. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Chavez, Leo. Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Coates, David. The Oxford Companion to American Politics. Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Kelly, Nataly. 2013. Seven Surprising Ways Immigration Helps Build a Stronger America. Web.
Menjívar, Cecilia and Kanstroom, Daniel. Constructing Immigrant Illegality’: Critiques, Experiences, and Responses. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Print.