Cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States of America

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Cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States of America Powered By Docstoc
					Andres Torres
Professor Griswold
December 7, 2007

                        Illegal Immigration in the United States

       Immigration is the act of moving from one country to another. The topic of illegal

immigration in the United States is a very hot one right now. Legal immigration has

brought and still brings many positives to the United States; but the issue of illegal

immigration is causing many problems in our country today.

       The reasons for people wanting to come illegally to America are many: the

opportunity to live the American dream, the opportunity to have a better job, better

education, health care and a better way of life are just some of the reasons that people

from other countries want to come to the United States. According to the non-profit Pew

Hispanic Center “There are more than ten million immigrants living illegally in the

United States, compared with 3.5 million only fifth teen years ago. Since 2000 the illegal

population has been growing by a half-million illegal immigrants a year- nearly 1,400

people a day.” This statistics show us how so much people is coming the United States

for the reasons that I said before, some people see this as a good thing; but other people

does not see this as a good thing for the country.

       One of the major problems for United States citizens is that illegal immigrants are

willing to work for less money than those who are here, and they are willing to do work

that some Americans do not want to do. As Juan Hernandez, a former director for the

U.S.-Mexico studies at the University of Texas at Dallas says, “There are many jobs that
would not be performed if undocumented people were not here. Why can‟t we come up

with ways in which individuals who want to come from Mexico to the United States can

get a quick permit, come up, do a job and go back?.” There is a huge debate today about

whether illegal immigrants have a positive or a negative impact in the workplace. Also

according to the Pew Hispanic Center “while illegal immigrants make up only about five

percent of the United States work force, they are rapidly making their presence known in

non-traditional areas such as the Midwest and South. Willing to work for low wages,

undocumented workers are creating a political backlash among some residents in the new

states, which have seen nearly tenfold increase in illegal immigration.” In an article

written by Bernard K. Gordon in June of 2007 he address that a Harvard economist

named George Borjas says that “low-skill…illegal immigration has the biggest negative

impact on the wages of low-skill workers.” But Bernard Gordon says that, “It is not

immigration, legal or illegal, that is the single cause of all this unemployment among

young men, their refusal to take certain kinds of jobs and preconceptions among potential

employers about bad work habits and work attitudes are also involved.” Many people

ask a question about if the illegal work force is large enough to hurt the job security of

the United States citizens. John Gay, a co-chairman of the Essential Worker Immigration

Coalition, argues that a lobbying of 34 employers- including hotels, restaurants and

building firms- that depend on immigrants. He says “I think back to the 1990s, a decade

of economic growth, we ended with 30-year lows in unemployment and a decade of

record-setting immigration, legal and illegal. That tells me that immigrants did not

displace millions of Americans; they helped employ Americans.” He also says that “low-
paid workers help business thrive, allowing them to hire the native-born and legal

immigrants for higher-paying jobs. In addition, immigrants are consumers themselves, so

they boost the national economy.” There are some proimmigration groups that argue that

undocumented immigrants generally benefit the American economy. According to the

National Council of La Raza “the majority of undocumented immigrants pay income

taxes using individual taxpayer identification numbers or false Social Security numbers.”

According to the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association,

“immigrant households pay an estimated $133 billion in taxes to federal, state and local

governments.” The AILA also says that “immigrants may add as much as $10 billion to

the economy each year.” According to Senator John McCain “reform means enabling

illegal immigrants to stay here legally because, the nation‟s economy depends on them.

As long as there are jobs to be had…that won‟t be done by Americans, illegal

immigrants are going to come and fill those jobs.” Also President George Bush thinks

that the immigrants are important and good for the United States economy and work

place. Bush has allowed the creation of a “guest worker” program that would grant

temporary legal status to illegal immigrants. He said that, “if there is a job opening which

an American won‟t do…and there‟s a willing worker and a willing employer, that job

ought to be filled on a legal basis, no matter where the person come from.”

       There are some negatives views of the immigrants help on the economy of the

United States. People that thinks that immigrants are no paying taxes and that they cost

too much money to the government. For example, Ed Rosado, a legislative director for

the Washington-based National Association of Counties thinks that “undocumented
immigrants are a burden on their budgets and do not put into tax revenues what they cost

in services, such as incarceration or medical care. It costs us millions per year, and as a

Congress debates immigration reform, we hope they understand that its local

governments who are the first to deal with providing services like health care and

education.” Also the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform

(FAIR) “estimates that current local annual costs of illegal immigration from three

program areas-education, emergency medical care and incarceration – amounts to nearly

$36 billion. In addition, FAIR estimates the annual cost of illegal immigration to fall

between $67 billion and $87 billion a year.”

       The illegal immigration has also its impact in the crime; it has the positives and

negatives opinions as everything. A study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of

Dallas has discovered that the property-related crime rates have not been affected by the

increase on immigration. In the states that the more immigrants live, there is a significant

positive relation between illegal immigration and violent crime. Though, crime rates

from 1994 to 2005 have gone down, for all that the fact that both legal and illegal

immigration have increased. Robert Sampson, a professor in Social Sciences at Harvard

University wrote in Harvard Magazine in 2006 “that being in the country illegally gives

illegal aliens an extra incentive to keep a clean record and not commit crimes, in order to

avoid deportation.” Also, people call illegal immigration a product of an organized crime.

People like William Gheen, the president of Americans for Legal Immigration say that

“the same people responsible for drug shipments from the south are also dealing in sex

slaves and illegal labor and weapons. Our businesses should not be working with these
people or encouraging these people. Some companies want more Third World labor on

the territory of „we the people‟ of the USA.”

               Finally, the illegal immigration in the United States has so much different

opinions and brings up fights, debates and protests from all around the country. What is

ironic is that the United States made their way to one of the strongest countries in the

world by doing the same thing that many of illegal immigrants are doing; working hard

to raise a family. I think that if someone need to work and the people of this country does

not want to do the work and a foreign come to the country illegal, that does not matter

until he work hard to earn the money. A lot of people complain about the illegal

immigrants; but if you see the people that do the hard work are a lot of illegal


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