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Should Immigration Standards Tougher?

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The Nation of Immigrants

The fundamentals of our country began with immigrants from England seeking a new life in the New World. Little did they know that one day the land they were standing on would become a world power. The founders of the Constitution would be shocked to see how immigration made a country stronger rather than weaker. Fast forwarding to today, our country accepts immigrants from all over seeking a better life or more opportunities. There should not be stricter immigration laws in the United States due to the economic advantages of immigration, people escaping as refugees, and unjust immigrations laws that would be in place instead.

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First, there should not be stricter immigration laws in the US since it offers advantages that would benefit the economy. On one side, we see that immigrants are usually hard workers in society, “…immigrants have been lauded as hard workers who take on jobs that native-born residents are reluctant to perform…” (Opposing Viewpoints in Context) Not only that, but legalization of immigrants would further benefit the economy:

“Research by UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles] Professor Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda shows that legalizing our nation’s undocumented immigrant population and reforming our legal immigration system would add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to U.S. GDP over a decade. These big gains occur because legalized workers earn higher wages than undocumented workers, and they use those wages to buy things such as houses, cars, phones, and clothing. As more money flows through the U.S. economy, businesses grow to meet the demand for more goods and services, and more jobs and economic value are created. Hinojosa-Ojeda found that the tax benefits alone from legalization would be between $4.5 billion and $5.4 billion in the first three years.” (Fitz)

This means that the combination of immigrant workers and natural born citizens would increase tax benefits. This will ultimately help the economy in the long-term. Although 40% of immigrants do not have a high school degree, Fitz argues that: “…it is almost certain that a portion of the immigrant community would gain more education after legalization, leading to higher wages and thus higher tax contributions to Social Security and Medicare.” With the right motivation and help from local governments, immigrants will be encouraged to pursue higher levels of education as higher education usually leads to higher paying jobs.

Secondly, there should not be stricter regulations on immigration since many that leave their country are considered refugees. Refugees are defined, according to the UNHCR, as “a person who has left his or her country of origin and is unable or unwilling to return because of war, violence, or persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.” Many of these people do not have a home to go back to. Fitz said as of June 2016, about 56 million people are labelled as ‘displaced’ around the world. Heller even claims that, “…in the next five or 10 years, there will be huge swaths of individuals displaced by climate change.” The US Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center claim that about 3.37 million refugees came to the United States between July 1974 and February 2017. This is close to a quarter of the people living in the US today. Making stricter regulations on immigration will not only make it harder for desperate people to find a home, but it also makes the US stand unfairly to the rest of the world.

Lastly, immigration laws should not be stricter due to possible unjust immigration laws that would be in place instead. Banning countries that claim to be home to terrorists is both unreasonable and supported with little evidence. When we take in refugees from these Middle-Eastern counties, we subtract enormous amounts of power from ISIS (or the Islamic State) in Syria. This will ultimately strengthen our borders and safeguard ourselves from possible terrorist attacks. A just immigration law cannot discriminate people by race or gender. Heller believes that the immigration law “must be welcoming.” Providing help to immigrants is something we should welcome rather than frown upon.

In conclusion, immigration should not have tougher standards in the United States. Economic stability can work with the implementation of immigrants in our population. The economic advantages are apparent and will do more good than harm. As Heller said in the beginning of her article, “No one leaves home unless / home is the mouth of a shark.” People leave their home as refugees and seek a better life in another country. Since our country is built on opportunities through challenging work, immigrants have no better place to be than the US. Illegalizing immigrants would ruin our sense of justice we proudly claim we were founded upon. Creating just and welcoming immigrations laws are crucial to ensure that we uphold our values for generations to come.

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