One of the most controversial issues talked about of today is that of illegal immigration from Mexico. It must be pointed out, however, that immigration helped build this country. It started the industrial revolution for example how the Chinese helped build railroads and bridges. Immigrants came to America to start a new life and get a better way of living pursuing the American Dream.
There has been uproar by a few politicians and citizens toward creating a predominantly closed-door policy on immigration, arguing that immigrants are a menace to American life by creating unemployment by taking jobs from American workers, using much-needed social services, and invading on the American way of life. These arguments may seem valid to many but they are almost tremendously false and more than likely confused with the subject of illegal immigration. In fact, most immigrants invest their money in the economy, and buy houses and open a lot of business thus helping the economy.
It has been found in studies that most immigrant families are not dependent on welfare services as compared to other non-immigrant families. The reason for this is because immigrants are not qualified for social security and this translates into more people working with fewer dependent on social aid. Immigration introduced to California to different cultural aspect music, food, clothing, and language. As such, if we are to continue to develop as a nation, the conservatives who fear an intrusion of foreign-born Americans must learn to accept that we achieved our greatness as a country of being founded by immigrants.
The issue of immigration is brought up in many reviews and news columns. In the July 13, 1992 edition of Business Week, a poll states that sixty-two percent of non-Hispanics and that “American workers are losing their jobs to new immigrants. ” This is a widely held, if mistaken belief, among Americans. However, the author of The Economic Consequences of Immigration, Julian L. Simon states: immigration does not aggravate unemployment… Immigrants not only take jobs, but also create them. Their purchases increase the demand for labor, leading to new employment roughly equal in number to the immigrant workers.
The past few Presidential primary campaigns provided a preview of more extreme right-wing Republican candidates such as Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who presented his views on national rhetoric and cited that there is an urgent need to protect the borders not only physically but economically as well. This idea generated some thoughts on immigration. Throughout the campaign, and his nationally syndicated column, Pat Buchanan, a past Presidential candidate, wrote “immigration should be put to a stop to preserve the nation. ” Really Mr.
Buchanan now you know your ancestors must have to have immigrated from somewhere, so should they have been kept from immigrating “to preserve the nation”? According to Buchanan’s statistics, the U. S. is currently seventy-five percent white, twelve percent black, nine percent Hispanic, and the rest mostly Asian-American which is four percent. By mid-twenty-first century, “the new minority may be the whites, outnumbered by over eighty-one (81) million Hispanics, sixty-two (62) million blacks, and forty-one (41) million Asians. ” Again, should their immigration be suspended to preserve a white majority?
Buchanan seems to believe “white” equals “American,” and “Hispanic, black, and Asian” with “foreigner. ” Believe it or not Buchanan is not alone in his opinions. The fear of intrusion by foreign-born Americans is a common one during this time. However, looking at the brighter side, these immigrants also bring with them a certain level of knowledge and skill that is currently unavailable in the market. This is caused by the strong desire of many of these immigrants to pursue decent careers and gain an education that was previously not available to them.
The conservative disagreeing immigration must recognize our lives is surrounded by their knowledge and education, and that in order to “preserve our nation” stated from Buchanan, they must realize we are all immigrants and let them prove they belong here (123HelpMe. com. 16 Dec 2008). Most of the controversy, however, surrounds the fact these immigrants are supposedly taking the jobs away from Americans and contributing to the deteriorating welfare condition of the United States (Ngai 2003).
An aspect that has not been properly examined, however, is the fact that most of these migrant workers themselves be they illegal or legal have been exploited (Ngai 2003). As shown by Thomas Eckerd of the CQ Research organization, 250,000 to 300,000 illegal’s come in to the United States and stay each year. While other groups show that this actual figure may be much higher at 400,000, it does not reflect the reality of the issue. In fact, there are nearly two (2) to three (3) million people that remain within the border of the United States each year.
A surprising fact, however, is the statistic that fewer than half of these illegal immigrants originate from Mexico and a majority of them are in actuality over-staying students and tourists from other countries. Juxtaposed against the number of actual legal immigrants, which amounts to approximately 800,000 persons, it becomes clear that the immigrants from Mexico are not the real cause of this immigration problem. Campbell & Flourney, in their study on measures against terrorism have cited that, “A large step in curbing the possibility of terrorist attacks lies in improving border security” (372).
Many critics have continually cited that the first step in winning the war against terror is by first preventing the happening of any future attacks. This, whoever, is not representative of the real scenario as it has not been proven by statistics that these measures have reduced illegal immigration. As such, there are many concerns regarding immigration today. Some of these involve the increased illegal immigration that is happening, while others involve the economic impact that immigration has on not only the immigrants home country but in the United States as well.
Those who believe that the immigration laws should be relaxed often argue that the growing trend is globalization and not the closing off of borders. There are also those who believe that the immigration laws should be amended to effectively reduce if not eliminate immigration into America. The effect of illegal immigration on job availability in the United States is clearly exaggerated. From a historical perspective, labor migration has, in fact, been touted as the solution to periodic labor shortages and as such, the influx of readily available labor from Mexico should be considered as an asset to the American economy.
Latino immigrants, after all, are more likely and perhaps more eager to do the jobs that most Americans would not even consider performing. Therefore, despite all the bashing among many Americans that Latino immigrants are lazy, the huge majority of those who cross the border are willing to work for merely nothing. Figures reveal that eighty-nine (89) percent of Mexico lives in poverty. The average Mexican worker is only compensated a meager sum of forty pesos a day for his labor, (Mexico Child Link.
http://www. mexico-child-link. org/mexico-factfile-statistics. htm). This converts into roughly two dollars a day in the United States. No human being dreams of suffering. Everyone wants to have a happy and comfortable life. Likewise, immigrants are unlikely to become stuck on the government aid. Only Medicaid and limited food benefits are available to illegal immigrants, and most don’t apply for them because they fear of being identified as an illegal immigrant and being deported.
The reality is that most of these immigrants are healthy and productive when they enter, and therefore, “do not receive expensive Social Security and other aid to the aged,” according to Simon. In fact, Americans should be thankful for immigrants as they “contribute more to the public offers in taxes than they draw out in welfare services” and put “about $2,500 into the pockets of natives” from excess taxes. It can even be said that because of this, the welfare system is improving.
Still, despite evidence proving that legal and illegal immigrants do not have a destructive effect on society, we obviously cannot have completely open borders. The problem in implanting a restrictive policy on immigration is that it runs contrary to the egalitarian principles of Democracy having to lax a policy on immigration however poses the risk of destroying the culture and heritage of America. The answer to this problem must therefore involve compromise from both sides. For example, the government policies while not favoring certain types of immigrants must also set certain minimum requirements.
An example of this would be to allow all sorts of immigrants as long as they can show that they are capable of supporting themselves and contributing to the development of America and not be a burden on taxpayers. Another area of compromise is in the preference of citizenship. The granting of citizenship should have no preference. Needy, talented, oppressed and wealthy, should all show that they indeed deserve to be granted this privilege. A person should not be judged by what he is now but on whether or not he has the potential to become a better person or to be an upstanding American citizen.
Finally, there should be no horse-trading for the applications of certain countries. The existence of diplomatic arrangements between America and other nations is not justification to deny a person who may have a better right. “Give us your tired, your poor, you huddled masses” While this is certainly a sorry situation, the trouble of migrant workers does not end there as there have also been many instances where businesses cheat their immigrant workers by not only paying them below minimum wage but also with regard to the diminution of benefits that these migrant workers are legally entitled to (Ness 2006).
The economic law that holds in this issue is the fact that all business firms are motivated by profit which can be derived by increasing income and decreasing operating expenses. The implications of acquiring a Work Visa have allowed businesses to exploit this fact and find a way to increase their profits by decreasing the cost of production through the reduction of salary expenses and benefit expenses (Ness 2006). Since there is cheap labor available from migrant workers, more American business are inclined to look for migrant workers to fill in their job positions (McCarthy 1997).
The reason that this system flourishes is because these migrant workers are also desperate for a job. It is a fact that United States born workers have an exit strategy as opposed to the migrant workers who have no such strategy (McCarthy 1997). This means that any offer for labor is soon accepted by a migrant worker rather than a domestic worker even if it means getting paid at a relatively lower rate. These immigrants have come to America in the hope of finding better jobs as well as the hope of being able to live a better life in the United States.
They do not seek to exploit America nor do they want to drain it of its resources. Instead, these migrant workers would like to partake of the better life that they have heard is available to everyone who works hard in America. It is all part of the American Dream, a dream which these migrant workers dream as well. Works Cited Chandler-Crisp, S. (1992, July) “Workers Displaced”: how immigration is affecting unemployment. Business Week, pp. 19-21 Simon, Julian. The Economic Consequences of Immigration Into the United States. New York: Penguin, 1976.
Eckerd, Thomas, G. (1996, Feb) “Academic politics” CQ Researcher, pp. 145-168. Buchanan, Patrick, “Getting Tough at Last. ” Newsday 15 Mar 1992: 22. Ngai, Mae M (2003). “The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien: Immigration Restriction and Deportation Policy in the United States” Law and History Review 2003 21(1): 69-107. ISSN 0738-2480 “Immigrants and Immigration – We Need Immigration to Remain Strong. ” 123HelpMe. com. 16 Dec 2008 http://www. 123HelpMe. com/view. asp? id=6966. Mexico Child Link. http://www. mexico-child-link. org/mexico-factfile-statistics. htm