Illegal immigrants should not be granted new or improved programs to easily become citizens. There is no need to change the status quo, as it will result in higher taxes overall, and completely overpopulate the United States. The problems presented by the affirmative team are not as harmful as they claim to be. Currently, there are over 80 programs that cost nearly $900 billion a year and provides cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans (“How Much”). These programs would not only be taken advantage of by many new legalized immigrants, but they would end up being more expensive for taxpayers, and/ or less beneficial to low-income American families. Creating new programs for illegal immigrants would create ethnic tension between American citizens and people that resemble racial features of immigrants. The funds for these programs are paid for by americans who have to pay their taxes, while illegal immigrants do not report any income. Illegal immigrants are costing the U.S. a significant amount of money for the resources that they’re not paying for. According to How Much Does Illegal Immigration Cost You, in 2010, the average low-income U.S. household received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories: food stamps, social security, TANF, and medicaid. Harm with change will be significant and the amount of households will begin to increase, and so will the costs of programs that help them. Therefore, the United States federal government should not pass legislation to increase its programs & policies for the citizenship of illegal immigrants.
If illegal immigrants are allowed easier access to citizenship, a substantial amount will be applying for greencards, raising the cost on taxes toward citizens. The affirmative team’s proposition of establishing more programs for illegal occupiers would bring in and encourage illegal immigrants to come to the United States for refuge. The senate bill would boost the U.S. population by about 10.4 million people over the next decade, not including unborn children, and then add 5.8 million more people after that. Illegal immigration already costs U.S. taxpayers $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The cost will be larger for taxpayers because the flow of immigrants will triple in size and slowly drag the country into an even higher risk of debt. “Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury” (“The Fiscal”). Meaning, not all illegal immigrants are paying taxes, but the ones who do receive most of it back. The cost of educating children (paid by these taxes), is estimated to be $12 billion, which will grow in size as more children are allowed into the United States. California’s health care system is on the verge of collapse because of the amount of immigrants who go seek help in hospitals and are not able to pay for the care they are given. Not only is California the most expensive state to go to a hospital, but also can cost up to $1,000 per patient a year (Rappleye). There are a substantial amount of illegals in prison, making up about 30% of the population, costing the federal government billions of dollars. “The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $1,117. . . Among those who do [pay taxes], much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury” (“The Fiscal”). The number varies in different states depending on the amount of illegal immigrants in that area. For example, according to How Many Illegal Immigrants Live in Your State?, there are 190,000 illegal immigrants in Nevada, 2,550,000 in California, and 230,000 in Washington state (McClellan). If it becomes easier for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, it will cost the federal government billions of dollars that they do not have to spend.
The programs that are unavailable to the illegal immigrants makes it harder for them to become citizens and live a basic life in the U.S., making it easier for the government to control the benefits they give out. It takes a good amount of dedication to become a citizen of the United States, as it should, because when an application for legalization is sent in, it can take up to five years for your file to even be viewed. The average wait is supposedly six months, but it’s typically a two year wait. Only 140,000 out of 900,000 immigrants are granted citizenship yearly (Ribitzky). Until granted citizenship, illegal immigrants do not receive benefits from a number of programs, as the programs are for those who have gone through the process towards citizenship. While occupying the status of illegal, immigrants are only eligible for emergency medicaid, public health programs providing immunizations or treatment of communicable disease symptoms, school breakfast/ lunch programs, WIC (special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children), and short term non-cash emergency disaster assistance.
The federal benefits given to the immigrants when they become legal, will be completely taken advantage of and welcome a larger amount of immigrants into the United States. As citizenship becomes an easier possibility, copious amounts of people will flood into the country and enlarging the population by a significant number. The population in the U.S. is already at an alltime high (318.9 million people) and will increase by 75% over the next five years (Krogstad). If new programs are not given to illegals, then the difficulty of becoming a citizen will continue to not strain the population as much. The INA allows a limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants yearly (not including refugees). The standards for permanent residency is based on the reunification of families, admission of immigrants with skills valuable to the U.S. economy, protection of refugees, and promotion of diversity (“How the”). “The primary type of immigration is for “family reunification.” That means a U.S. citizen can sponsor their immediate relatives for permanent residency and then citizenship. This sounds like a perfectly reasonable basis on which to base an immigration policy. But it makes no economic sense and has disastrous consequences. Spouses, children and parents of citizens may be unskilled, uneducated, and thus likely to become “public charges,” the bane of immigration” (Foster). If the bill passes for amnesty of all immigrants, it will boost the population by 10.4 million people over the next decade and then add an additional 5.8 million after that. There are immigrants that believe that new programs are not an immediate need, but instead the threat of deportation should be fixed. “By 56% to 35%, Hispanics said it is more important that unauthorized immigrants be able to live and work in the U.S. without threat of deportation than have a pathway to citizenship” (Krogstad). Which brings up the plan for amnesty of illegal immigrants. Amnesty is an official pardon that would be given to illegal immigrants instead of deporting them back to their countries. If enacted, amnesty would be implemented in phases: the interim phase (which is likely to last 13 years), would give legal status to otherwise known illegal immigrants, but they’d be denied access to welfare and Obamacare. Roughly half of illegals work “off the books” and do not pay income or FICA taxes. During the first phase these “off the books” workers would move on to “on the books” employment, which would bring up their wages as they look for jobs in an open environment.. As a result, tax payments would rise and the average fiscal deficit among former unlawful immigrant households would fall. After 13 years, they’d become eligible for welfare and Obamacare. The final phase is retirement. Illegal immigrants are not currently eligible for social security and medicare, but under amnesty, they would be. The cost for this to take place will be extremely large (“Unemployment”).
Jobs that could be going to the unemployed americans, will go to the newly legalized immigrants. When they arrive to America and become official citizens, they’ll be looking for jobs that most americans will not take. The unemployment rates for americans are currently at an alltime high at 9.4% for ages 16 and up (12.4 million), 21.3% for those with no high school education (391,000), 13.1% for those with a high school diploma (4.6 million), 4.8% for college graduates (2.2 million), and 7.7% for college graduates under age 30 (522,000) (“Unemployment”). Undocumented workers lowered the wages of american adults without a highschool diploma- 25 million of them- by anywhere between 0.4 – 7.4% (Davidson). Whilst bringing down the wages for minimum wage workers, illegal immigrants have also brought the unemployment rates to the highest they’ve been in 35 years. “The relatively low “official unemployment rate” is masking a far greater problem. The percentage of the working-age population who are employed is the lowest it has been in over 35 years, and as of September 2015 there were 57 million men and women between the ages of 16 and 64 who were unemployed yet classified by the government as “not in the labor force,” so they were not included in the calculation of the official unemployment rate” (“Unemployment”). Illegals have gained over a million additional jobs between 2008 and 2010 even as millions of americans were losing their jobs (“18 Facts”). There is an ongoing argument on whether or not illegal immigrants actually take jobs from americans. One side says that americans aren’t willing to take certain jobs, while illegals will take anything they can get. However, if this was the case, then the unemployment rates would not be as high as they are now.
If illegal immigrants are granted an easier citizenship, then the economy will be worse, and we will be completely overpopulated, and also rising the rates of homelessness. “According to estimates from the 2013 ACS, the U.S. immigrant population stood at more than 41.3 million, or 13 percent, of the total U.S. population of 316.1 million” (Zong). The country is $19 trillion in debt and that will only go higher as more benefits are taken advantage of. While the overpopulation and economic status of debt would be quite a problem, there is an upside for allowing more programs. The increase of these programs will be beneficial because the population of illegal immigrants by 2018 would shrink by 25% and get rid of roughly 700,000 people. If they apply for registered provisional immigrants status, they’ll pay a $1000 fine and more fees. They’ll be allowed to work in the U.S., but will receive no federal benefits; then after ten years they may apply for permanent residence (Plumer). Legislation for the increase of programs should not be increased for illegal immigrants to become citizens of the United States. The route from being an illegal immigrant to a permanent citizen is perfect the way it is, and should not be changed majorly, if at all. The debt on the U.S. will only grow, stressing the economy and over populating the country more than it should be.
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