The United States and Illegal Immigrants (Essay Sample)
Should immigrants be allowed to live and work in the united statessource..
DATE \@ "d MMMM yyyy" 6 June 2021
The United States should make it easier for illegal immigrants to legally live and work here
A melting point for different cultures is one way that the US has been described. It is considered by many struggling immigrants across the globe a great sanctuary whereby they can actualize their dream. The American dream refers to the idea that all Americans have an equal opportunity for happiness and success in life. For a majority, America is the place where opportunities are available in every part of the country. Not every nation provides the same liberties as the US; hence immigrants illegally come into the nation with the hope of attaining a better life. The US is currently home to approximately 10.5 million illegal immigrants. There has been a heated debate concerning whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to reside and work in the country legally. Some critics erroneously argue that illegal immigrants negatively affect American society and contribute to low wages and crime. Nonetheless, in reality, illegal immigrants make a tremendous contribution to the US economy, especially in the agriculture sector. Granting illegal immigrants amnesty to stay and work in America legally is undoubtedly the best decision for this country.
In the words of American activist and politician Bernie Sanders, illegal immigrants fulfil a critical function in society and the economy. They cultivate and harvest agricultural products, and it’s not overstated that without these immigrants, the US would record a decline in food production. Hundreds of farmers in the US rely on illegal immigrants to harvest their crops. A majority of illegal immigrant workers come from Mexico. They migrate into the US in the quest for better working conditions and quality of life. In Mexico, for instance, workers earn an hourly wage of around $2.70 per hour. A cross-country analysis reveals that agricultural workers in America receive higher wages estimated to be $14.88 an hour. The availability of better wages is one of the key factors that motivate immigrants to illegally enter the US. According to the US Department of Labor, approximately 53% of the country’s farmworkers have no authorization to live or work in America (Kelkar). These statistics paint a grim picture of the illegal immigration problem in the United States. According to Haspel, illegal immigrants aid in fueling American farms. They complete the jobs rejected by Americans, thereby ensuring the effective functioning of the economy.
There are numerous examples locally and regionally of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. to fill jobs opening in different locations. During the Second World War, immigrants from Mexico were contributory in addressing labor shortages triggered by the war. Throughout the oil boom experienced during the 1970s and 1980s, Texas witnessed record migration. During the 1990s, Texas became the fastest -growing state that received immigrants, with many visiting for the first time. Illegal immigrants should be allowed to legally reside and work in the United States since they lubricate the berrings of the labor market. They ensure the movement of labor into sectors and areas with shortages and bottlenecks that may stifle economic growth. Critics argue that allowing illegal immigrants to legally enter and work into the United States is unfair to immigrants who have abided by the rules in entering the U.S. They argue that illegal immigrants should be subjected to rigorous background checks, admit their culpability, pay significant taxes and fines, and develop competence in speaking English. Those who do not satisfy these criteria should be deported and particularly persons with a criminal history.
This argument is plausible since America is governed by the law and follows relevant legal procedures in bringing millions of hardworking immigrants in the country. Nonetheless, the current immigration system is gravely shattered. A significant number of people have illegally entered the U.S. with those seeking to legally enter the nation being turned away. Perhaps, the most glaring problem is how to deal with the 11 illegal immigrants in the country. They live in the shadows, be afraid of being deported every day, a majority working tirelessly to offer their children the American Dream. The most pragmatic solution is to make it easier for illegal immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S. A majority of immigrants seek to abide by the set laws, but there lacks an achievable pathway. The United States should fix the current immigration system by offering millions of illegal immigrants an opportunity to earn legal status. Similar to what President Ronald Reagan attempted in 1986, it can be provided as a one-time offering for the current immigrants who are already in the country (NPR 2010). Later on, the immigration laws should be vigorously enforced and immigrants allowed only to enter through the right channels.
There is a joke peddled in California that border points are unlocked during the peak of the strawberry season and immediately shut once the season finishes. During this period, farmers are usually in dire need of labor to enhance harvesting their crops. The US Department of Labor reported that California led in H-2A visas (Martin 2020). This type of visa allows immigrants to enter America temporarily to execute seasonal farm jobs. Making it easier for illegal immigrants to enter, live, and work in the US is profitable for the economy, as observed in the agricultural sector. While it is true that illegal immigrants take away American jobs, a majority of these tasks are undesirable and not applied for by American citizens. Most strikingly, the United States has reported the lowest rate of unemployment for over four decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 3.7% in 2019 but has increased to 6% following the advent of Covid-19 (Schneider 2018). These conditions grant the US an opportunity to make it easier for illegal immigrants to legally enter and work in the country to address the labor deficit in some sectors seamlessly.
Most critics claim that illegal immigrants are a burden in America, while in reality, they propel the nation’s economic development. Allowing illegal immigrants to live and work in the country legally would increase the nation’s tax revenues and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Researchers have documented granting immigrants legal status would generate $1.4 trillion in the next decade. Critics refute this argument noting that allowing illegal immigrants to continue living and working in the United States would confer newly borns automatic citizenship, further exacerbating the current problems. The children are used by their parents are anchors for citizenship applications. According to critics, the only way to deal with illegal immigrants is to deport them or require them to leave the US in accordance with the present laws. During his tenure as president, Barack Obama acknowledged the problems posed by the huge number of illegal immigrants living in the country. Nonetheless, he stated that it is unrealistic and inhumane to deport these people alongside their families from the US (The White House 2014). The best approach which aligns with the major argument advanced in this paper is to provide them with a path to attaining legal status. This would enable them to live and work in the country without any fear and to actualize their dream.
Opinions regarding how to deal with illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. are divided. According to the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the country is presently grappling with 11 million illegal immigrants who are residing in the nation (“Immigration Reform”). It would be inhumane and unrealistic to deport these people. They should be provided with a pathway to secure legal status and ultimately earn their citizenship. The procedure should be practical, as opposed to burdensome as it prevents integration of these immigrants. Offering immigrants a lifetime opportunity to legalize their status will enhance the nation’s security, economy, as well as stimulate its vibrant, rich, and diverse culture. Opponents argue that illegal immigrants have vehemently demonstrated that American immigration laws are not applicable to them. They crossed the line by stealing the opportunity to achieve the American dream for millions across the globe. The predisposition to grant them full citizenship is obscene as they have already violated the law. Nonetheless, deporting 11 million people is unrealistic. The best approach which was also advocated by President George W. Bush is a simple system where tax-paying and hardworking immigrants with no criminal record are allowed to pay a fine and given citizenship (Edwards, Jason, & Herder 46).
Much of the debate surrounding illegal immigrants’ denial of a pathway to citizenship has been driven by rising crime rates. Critics argue that illegal immigrants enhance crime rates as they do not have legal papers to secure a job. A majority of Americans are worried that illegal immigrants cause crime rates to soar. They cite that more than 53% of burglaries in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California are committed by illegal immigrants (Barncard 2020). On the contrary, statistics indicate that from 1990 to 2013 violent criminal activities reduced by 48% despite immigrants tripling from 3.5 million to 11.2 million over the same timeline. Statistics further indicate that property crime reduced by 41 percent (Ewing et al. 3). Christopher Ingraham refers to a research conducted by the Libertarian Cato that alleged a higher probability of American native citizens to be convicted of crime compared to illegal aliens. Ingraham reported that there were 56% lesser crime-related arrests in ...
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