Illegal Immigration in the US

WHAT kind of immigration policy best suits the needs of the United States? For well over a hundred years the conditions under which immigrants should be admitted into the United States has been a hotly disputed subject. This issue has not only appeared repeatedly in the political sphere, as witness the Order of the Star Spangled Banner Party of 1850, but occasionally it has even led to rioting and mob violence. With each re-appearance, at least until very recently, the problem has been dealt with by Americans as a strictly internal one; little or no attention has been given to the impact of our policies on foreign countries.

But in the last few years this situation has radically changed. With its new responsibilities of world leadership since World War II, the United States has become acutely, though reluctantly, sensitive to world opinion. Consequently the regulation of immigration can no longer be treated as merely a domestic problem; it must now be developed in the knowledge that every step will be followed not only by the anxious eyes of our foreign friends but also under the critical scrutiny of our critics in other countries. (Anne Shea, 2003)

To live in America, then, is to live in the atmosphere of these immaterial standards and values, to possess them in one's own character, and to be possessed by them. This means to live in close, spontaneous, daily contact with genuine Americans. For the native-born American of American ancestry, as already stated, this is natural and automatic. Illegal immigrants make up a significant segment of U. S. society. Immigration to the United States has been characterized by steady growth, dramatic changes in ethnic composition, and declining socioeconomic levels.

(Arthur C. Helton, 1993) Each day thousands of illegal immigrants pour out across the 2,500 miles of boundary with Mexico. As said by the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, the total number of illegal immigrants in America from this source augments by 275,000 yearly. Already the United States is host to an illegal population of 7 to 12 million, of whom the enormous mainstream are Mexican or Hispanic in origin.

These illegal and unwelcome guests help themselves to jobs, education, and welfare and unemployment reimbursement. The many whose earnings are paid under the table pay little or no taxes. And they are easy victim for unprincipled employers and politicians. The outstanding fact in this connection is that as a result of a century and a half of immigration there have been built up within the physical boundaries of what is called America extensive and deeply entrenched offshoots of numerous foreign nationalities.

These are most conspicuous, and probably most frequent, in our great cities, and any one who has participated in any form of social case work has inevitably become familiar with them. Congress has implemented a sequence of forgiveness that makes it likely for illegal migrant to reside in America permanently. Such laws have assisted to set up a structure of federal aid and rewards for illegitimate immigrants, thus drawing even more immigrants to the United States.

According to the American Census office, 700,000 to 800,000 illegitimate migrant stay in the United States yearly; an expected eight to 11 million illegal immigrants currently exist in the country. In 2000, the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) stated that the forgiveness granted in 1986, a straight result of the IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act), has added considerably to the rise in illegitimate immigration as illegal migrants come into the United States to bond their recently legal relatives. (Jim Peach, 2007)