VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 10/11/2011
1 Jarom Taylor English 1010 In the last decade the United States has been victimized by and become increasingly anxious of terrorism. A rise in crime and violent illegal activity has also been plaguing American society, much of which is said to be attributed to an influx of illegal immigrants. Experts surmise a simple correlation—those who are off the grid can more easily flourish in a black market. With an estimated fifteen million illegal immigrants it does cause some worry about the effectiveness of our national security. But when considering America’s national security, many seem to forget this country was basically built by foreigners looking for opportunity and freedom. Controversy and disagreements about immigration have been common since the establishment of Jamestown. There is ample reason to be concerned about illegal immigrants. It is impossible to even attempt to track immigrants if there isn’t a social security number, ID card, visa, or legitimate documentation tied to them. It seems pertinent for experts in that field as well as elected officials to assess the various errors in the system and allow migration to run smoothly. The government has taken many steps to curb the number of illegal immigrants coming into this country. Because over fifty percent of the illegal population is from Mexico, most of the effort has been directed to the southern border. Eighty-three of the proposed six-hundred- ninety-eight miles of border fence built so far show promise and have lead to a decrease in drug trafficking and violence associated with illegal immigrants in those areas. Many feel the United States’ immigration laws are well constructed and only need increased enforcement to see results. Having more manpower at the border and increased deportation of illegal immigrants 2 should force them to go through the proper channels and lawfully become citizens. Immigrants today seem to add to the current recession by taking jobs away from citizens and often sending money they earn to relatives still living in their home country, which is taking money away from America’s economy. It’s true there is a correlation between criminal activity and illegal immigrants. Simply put, it is much easier for someone to prosper in an illegal criminal market, if a person remains undocumented and off the legal grid. It is also important to understand that the majority of illegal immigrants simply want a better life for themselves and their family and are willing to be a contributing member of this society. Building and maintaining a border fence is not only very expensive, it would deepen the rift between cultures and perpetuate the idea of violence as a means of controlling a situation. History can provide insight into the problems a wall can create, the Berlin wall in Germany being a prime example. Giving those living here illegally temporary residency allows a way to track their information such as employment and help them more easily obtain citizenship. Immigrant workers are willing to do less appealing jobs for lower wages, allowing the price of many goods to stay affordable. Undocumented persons are able to slip between the cracks of America’s national systems, allowing terrorists and criminals an easy way to thrive. In order for the government to maintain a more secure border and help stabilize our economy, consideration must first be made regarding the reasons why so many people are choosing to live and work in this country illegally. Although more attention recently has been given to the problems associated with illegal immigration in this country, there needs to be a more dynamic and conducive legal immigration system for those wanting to live and work here permanently. 3 With millions of undocumented immigrants working in this country, several questions are raised about taxes, amount of pay, insurance and other basic topics concerning someone trying making a living. Illegal aliens often work for less than minimum wage, taking jobs away from Americans as well as avoiding taxes. Even scarier is having someone falsify their information, allowing them to receive government assistance or obtain financial responsibilities without any intention of repayment. Worker life in America is much more lucrative for immigrants, even at minimum wage, than in their home country. It is important to keep the price of commodities low by using cheap labor. American society absolutely benefits from having cheap labor available in this country by avoiding outsourcing and keeping the price of goods low. But there needs to be a simplified and more enticing way provided for those looking for opportunity in this country. Tightening restrictions and increasing penalties for employers of illegal immigrants will persuade both parties to follow the legal approach. Having documentation tied to a worker can solve many issues such as tax evasion, fraud, and unfair misuse of the labor force or welfare systems. In 2006, President Bush signed the secure fence act looking to physically secure America’s borders from immigrants. Militarizing the southern border and building a wall will stop crime from drug trafficking as well as stop people from walking freely onto U.S. soil. A decrease in criminal traffic would be apparent but it is important to understand the cultural and financial consequences of building a wall to keep people from coming to the country. Not only would this increase animosity between cultures in the one of the most culturally diverse countries, it undermines the foundation this country was built on. A fence does not account for the thousands that come here other than the southern border and would add yet another 4 financial burden to a country that is already drowning in debt. Changing focus from using forceful means of controlling immigration to providing a conducive and more efficient system of integrating these people into this society would significantly decrease problems associated with undocumented persons. A person that is able to live in this country without legal identification poses serious security risks and can more easily flourish in an illegal criminal market. To stop the increase in crime, gangs, and drug trafficking caused by illegal immigration, the government needs to remove them from American society by any means possible. Increased border patrol and general police force can decrease the effect of these major problems. Force often leads to increased resistance and unwillingness to follow the rules. It seems a civil approach that entices people to earn a living legally and attaches accountability to immigrants who break the law, would aid in limiting criminal activity. One irrefutable fact is that most immigrants are here to stay including the small portion that choose to follow a criminal lifestyle. Making substantial legislative changes that discourage the appeal of criminal capitalism such as a more drastic approach of legalizing and regulating drugs in conjunction with redirecting efforts towards education and treatment of those drugs is one of many ideas that need more attention. There also absolutely needs to be more of an incentive for immigrants to go through the legal process of obtaining residency in the United States. America is a country built on immigrants searching for opportunity and escaping oppression. By dissecting the reasoning behind why people are migrating illegally and why some of them who choose the “quick cash” incentives of the risky criminal market, a more complete and effective resolution can be reached. The confusing, difficult, and un-inviting 5 process to obtain work visas and residency as well as lack of punishment for illegal immigrant employers makes the choice of remaining illegal more appealing. In order to secure this country, stabilize the economy, and stem the increase in violent crimes, a re-working of various legislation regarding: obtaining citizenship, work visas, and the criminal black market could prove to be the most effective solution. Today’s Immigrants, most of which are simply looking to enrich their lives just as American ancestors did previously, deserve a more favorable and seamless naturalization process contingent on their willingness to contribute to this society as all real Americans do.
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