One of the more prominent economic issue today revolves around the topic of immigration. President Trump and several Republican government officials have been addressing two main issues on how immigration is proposing a threat to the United States’ economy. Trump addresses the misusage of welfare by the immigrants as well as the importance of securing jobs for American citizens. Trump discusses a report that states how 15.5% of undocumented immigrants have benefited from Medicaid versus 16.1% of actual U.S citizens (Amadeo, 2019). This is in fact a problem since about 2 billion dollars go to emergency rooms a year. In addition, 9.1% of undocumented immigrants versus 11.6% of U.S citizens used food stamps and other benefits because they were living with citizens who were able to receive them (Amadeo, 2019). Trump strongly notes the misusage of welfare by the immigrants who are not even U.S citizens.
Although, critics say that Trump’s Immigration Policy will actually lead to more drastic damage to the economy rather than immigrants. Trump’s border idea alone will cost millions of dollars. The Secure Fence Act of 2006, a policy enforcing a 2,000-mile wall along the border of U.S and Mexico, was a total of 2.4 billion dollars. Much of the country’s money already went towards building a wall that did not and will not solve any problems. On top of that, Trump is using funds intended for the country’s defense on building an additional 100 miles border along Mexico. However, Congress did not like the idea and only offered to give Trump a couple a million dollars versus the amount he initially wanted. This led to a 39 day government shutdown, which not only affected the government officials but also thousands of people who tirelessly work for the government.
In addition, The Center for American Progress predicts that the U.S gross domestic product will decrease by 1.4% (Amadeo, 2019). Thus farmers will have difficulty in finding new workers to replace immigrant workers and will in return see a decrease in production (Amadeo, 2019). In addition, The Cato Institute estimated a cost of 60 billion dollars to deport 750,000 immigrants alone. Which is ironic since the immigrants contribute around 1.6 trillion dollars a year to our economy.
Although Trump has several valid points, I do not believe he is seeing the overall picture and long-term results. In the short-term, his solutions will give American Citizens more jobs and tighten national security. However, in the long term, America will not stand on strong economic grounds. With the lack of workers, excess money spent on deportation and building walls, America will slowly see a decrease in economic standing against other strong nations. I believe we need to find a balance on how many immigrants we can take in per year. In addition, separating families and deporting immigrants is not a democratic or economically strong solution. Instead, we should focus on creating more jobs, providing easier access to citizenships and distributing welfare in a fair manner.
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