Table of Contents
- Pros and Cons of a Lenient Immigration Reform
Imagine walking through a dry, lifeless landscape, clutching a nearly empty water bottle with one hand and holding onto your child’s hand with the other. Your child begins to cry of hunger, you feel helpless and alone. You are on edge at the possibility that you can be spotted and captured at any moment, that your family can be broken apart. Your only motivation is feeling your feet on the warm U.S. soil and acquiring a better life for yourself and your child. Many essays have been written on immigration reform, but the problem still exists. Therefore, I want to emphasize the urgent importance of changes in immigration legislation.
These are the circumstances for immigrants in the process of crossing over to the United States. The number of refugees that enter the United States fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries has grown dramatically and many are prosecuted, detained, and enslaved each year. The “American dream” is widely desired and prompts these individuals decide to illegally reside in the U.S. in search of better opportunities. Not all lawful permanent residents choose to pursue United States citizenship, and some interpret this wrong. However, additional diversity being integrated in our country, causing a more prevalent tolerance of cultures, could ultimately lead to maximized talent and productivity in the workforce. Along with these benefits, the U.S. economy would boom. Because of the benefits to the United States economy and promotion of necessary cultural tolerance, the government should liberate its approach to immigration reform.
How does immigration affect our country? The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University reports that the U.S. foreign-born population has reached a record of 44.4 million and since 1965, the number of immigrants has more than quadrupled. Current policies make it almost impossible to get a legal pass of entry into the United States. Although there is a path to refuge, it is a lengthy one, and it can sometimes take up to five years to get a response. In 2017 alone, there were over 700,000 individuals waitlisted for citizenship. Mexican lawful immigrants have the lowest naturalization rate overall. This process is in dire need of reconstruction.
Pros and Cons of a Lenient Immigration Reform
Allowing for a lenient immigration reform would lead to numerous amounts of benefits to our country, one of them being cultural tolerance. It has been long recognized that an innately diverse workforce (inclusive of minorities) gives a sense of competition in terms of selling products to diverse end-users. An inherently diverse workforce can be a powerful source of innovation. How can that be? Studies have shown that diverse individuals are better accustomed to the unmet needs of consumers or clients similar to themselves.Not only would cultural tolerance make our country a better, humbler place, but diversity and inclusion would also enhance productivity in the workforce, leading to more successful businesses. When a workplace reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of its consumer base, employee productivity increases.
In addition to benefiting our country’s workforce by increasing productivity and success, immigrants would also aid in generating new products, ideas, and innovations. To better understand this argument, let’s look at some statistics. In 2017, immigrants made up only thirteen percent of the population, however, they made up thirty percent of all new entrepreneurs. As you can see, immigrant workers have the ability to lure investment and create employment opportunities for native-born Americans. These workers account for more than one-third of U.S. workers with a Ph.D. in one of the STEM subjects.
Seeing as immigrants would influence productivity and bring about new innovations to the workforce, it is obvious that they would overall benefit the economy. Immigrants would cause America’s economy to skyrocket by allowing for the employment of thousands of asylum-seekers. Our economy would see a dramatic up rise in domestic products. As previously mentioned, the investment they would attract would allow for the growth of crucial sectors of our economy. A recent study by the International Monetary Fund concluded that “immigration significantly increases GDP per capita in advanced economies.” The myth about immigrants worsening the economy has been put to rest as it is suggested that gains from immigration are broadly shared.
Opponents of lenient immigration reform argue that immigrants depress wages and steal jobs from American citizens. However, as previously reinforced, immigrants typically complement workers rather than compete with them for job positions. A study cited in the 2017 National Academy of Sciences found that the only demographic group actually affected is adults without a high school diploma. Some who favor immigrants not being allowed into the U.S. believe that immigrants increase rates of crime, violence, and even terrorism. However, it has been suggested that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigration are generally safer with lower rates of crime and violence than comparable nonimmigrant neighborhoods. This evidence is also backed up by what we commonly see on the American news channels and stations. When a terroristic act or threat is announced, the suspect at hand is almost always an American citizen. Rarely do we see any minorities whatsoever responsible for major attacks against Americans. Lastly, opponents argue that immigrants impose a large financial burden on American taxpayers. This is not the case at all. In reality, immigrants actually produce more of a financial surplus than similarly educated native-born Americans due to their decreased eligibility for government benefit programs.
A lenient approach to immigration reform would benefit America by promoting cultural tolerance and expanding our economy, along with improvements to our workforce. How exactly can we improve the reform system? Conducting speedy background checks would better the naturalization process along with shortening it. Our citizens should be educated on the benefits that immigrants bring to our economy and how they can brighten our country’s future with their knowledge and skills. Cultural tolerance, acceptance, and inclusiveness should be taught in schools around the country. Not only would such an approach benefit native-born Americans, but it would allow immigrants to safely cross the borders and not have to fear the tragedies of losing their loved ones or being captured.