America today has the responsibility of handling the issue of immigration taking center stage in all political discussion at the national level. Immigration issues date back centuries ago and today have become an issue that requires urgent attention to solving the problems surrounding the country’s economy regarding the surge in immigrants over the years. Historically, immigration began with the pilgrims in 1600 and African slaves who came to America unwillingly from the 17th to 19th century. As well, during the colonial era in the 19th century and another wave of immigrants existed in the late that century to the early 1900s. Laws in 1882 to 1965 gave European precedence over the others to come to the US. Particularly, enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 until 1965 barred the Chinese from migrating to the US (Kil 665). Today, America’s immigrants comprise a majority of Asians and Latinos. A majority of the immigrants are in the US illegally but have found a way to evade the law (Malhotra, Yotam and Mo 395). The problem is partly because of the porous borders and weak immigration laws permitting the entry of immigrants from different regions in the world but mostly from Asia and Latin America. Immigrants have put the country at risk of economic strain at the expense of its native citizens.
Over the years, the United States has ripped many benefits from immigration. For instance, during the gold rush and the construction, the railroad in New York immigrants from China was helpful in providing cheap labor (Hanson 27). In the current society, the US has benefitted from immigrants by utilizing their expertise in the different sectors of the economy. The other importance of immigrants is their bringing of diverse cultures from into the American society. Multiculturalism is important in the creation of a productive society by utilizing all the strengths exhibited in the different racial and ethnic constituents. Transference of cultural practices, religion and perhaps the food has made America the most suitable destination because of its diversity in race and ethnicity. Besides the advantage of immigrants, the disadvantages are dire because of the consequences it has on the economy.
The greatest challenge today is the issue of illegal immigrants coming to America through the borders. Immigrants with origins everywhere in the world, but particularly from Latin America due to their proximity to the US, go to extraneous measures to cross the border. Some come in as tourists and upon the expiration of the visas, they remain to evade the immigration department law enforcers. The subsequent effects of all the illegal immigrants are the burden they have put on the American economy (Ramos 202). The United States taxpayers have to pay an outlay of over $100 billion to the illegal immigrants. The three governments, the Federal, State and Local, have to incur the cost of maintaining the aliens within its borders. Since the immigrants have no proper documentation, they easily avoid taxes because the government is not aware of their existence. The argument could be that they pay taxes, and therefore, it cancels out, but that is not the case since the money collected from illegal immigrants’ taxes is not sufficient to cover the outlays of over $100 billion. The outlay and the money from the fiscal budget to accommodate the immigrants could be useful in other areas of development that could trigger economic growth (Orrenius and Madeline 950).
Most of the facilities in the US have stretched to unimaginable limits because of the aliens. Such services include the health care facilities and the education institution. Illegal or not the immigrants have a right to access proper health care and education. The two systems are part of the reason as to why the US attracts very many immigrants. Notably, stretching the services rendered by the different facilities and institutions undermines the quality provided. For instance, the number of patients per doctor, nurse or teacher increases with the surge in immigrants. The government rarely estimates and plans for increased personnel based on projections. Such misfortunes from aliens cause the country to lose its competitive advantage because of a stagnated healthcare system and quality of education. Another issue that emerges from illegal immigrants in the US includes the risk of terrorism, increased crime, drug trafficking and human trade among others (Morales 1261). Consequently, the above factors become a threat to the national security making the country drop on the list of most secure nations (Alden 110).
The above issues are a representation of some of the arguments inherent in the public domain. Consequently, the policies on immigration require immediate reform to manage the risk that illegal immigrants put on the economy of the country. President Obama’s administration has worked significantly towards the alleviation of the problem, but a lot remains on the list of necessities. The Department of Homeland indicates that there has been a drop in the number of immigrants entering the country. As mentioned, the policies are not clear enough about the issue of deporting all the aliens and illegal immigrants back to their country. The reason is that immigrants who cross to America from violent Central America countries have no option but to yield to the pressure of the situation. Deporting the immigrants back to their country is unfair and unjust.
Political campaigns in the country right now are riding on the contentious issue. Since the issue of immigration is highly volatile, before sponsoring a bill in a house of representatives, it is prudent to have extensive consultative meetings with the public. Other stakeholders from the private sector will all discuss the pros and cons of immigration to the economy of the country. It is rudimentary to keep a clear head while analyzing the demerits and merits of immigrants in the country without stereotyping people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds. The decisions should solely be dependent on statistical data associated with the vices that are inherent in immigrants.
All in all, the problem of illegal immigrants has brought heated debates on the approach towards curbing the vice. The prevalent issue agreeable among many is that it has put a strain on the economy and essential facilities. However, the point of contention is the approach of handling the problem. There is a need to make the immigration laws tougher and empower the judicial systems to facilitate the implementation (Amuedo-Dorantes, Thitima and Martinez-Donate 1075). As well, it is prudent to make the borders non-porous to the entry of undocumented immigrants. Deportation of some of the already resident aliens will be necessary to relieve the burden on the US taxpayers.
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