Social Issues / Illegals
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Autor: anton 14 December 2010
Words: 2277 | Pages: 10
Deportation of illegal aliens
â€œGive me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe freeâ€¦send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me.â€ This line from â€œThe New Colossusâ€, a poem by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus, is found on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. This engraving greets everyone that comes on to New York Harbor and is a virtual symbol for what this country was built on, and what it represents. According to the Department of Homeland Security, illegal aliens is â€œa comprehensive term intended to include those foreign-born individuals who enter, reside, or work in the United States without complying with U.S. immigration lawâ€(1). But are we really looking forward to welcoming twelve to fourteen million people, who are fleeing their home countries (Mexico, Cuba, Canada, China and many more) to find better opportunities, to escape harsh government regimes and to seek a better life? Are we willing to accept people who are breaking the law by crossing the American borders and getting false documents so they can work and live in the United States? Undocumented immigrants â€“ that is a name the illegal aliens call themselves.
Although some politicians may disagree with deportation of illegal immigrants, it must be done because they propose threat for the medical system, economy and national security.
First and foremost, illegal immigration is exactly what it literally means â€“ it is flat out illegal. According to Gerald Leinwand, a former dean of education at the City University of New York and president of Western Oregon State College, crossing the United States borders without any proper documentation is unlawful. (96) American immigration laws are broken every time a person of different nationality enters the United States without proper permission from Immigration and Naturalization Service. Crossing the American borders is comparable to trespassing. An unauthorized entry on oneâ€™s property without consent is illegal and unwelcome â€“ much like the way entering the United States illegally is. Per Ashley Dunn, a prominent writer for the New York Times, â€œmore than half of our nationâ€™s illegal immigrants â€¦ casually enter the country as tourists, students, or business people, and then simply overstay their visas.â€ (25) These people are given their temporary visas in trust that they would use them properly, i.e. business or leisure trips. They betray the trust of the United States government by staying in our country illegally, after their temporary visas expire. Visa fraud is a serious legal concern, and visa abusers rarely get caught. Crossing the United States boundaries and staying in the country for the time that exceeds the allowable limit on the temporary visas is against the American immigration laws.
Another reason for which illegal immigration is detrimental to the United States is the tremendous burden that it puts on national economy. According to Brent Ashabranner, a former Peace Corp director and author of numerous books on social issues, starting in the mid-1980â€™s and up to current days, rates of illegal immigration are extremely high.(20) Federal government is forced to allocate an additional amount of money for border patrol. In addition, funds used for finding and deporting illegals also have to increase. Investigation of previously mentioned document fraud also takes a toll on our economy. Instead of spending these finances on improving the lives of citizens and valid taxpayers, the government has to allot a vast amount of money to fight illegal immigration. According to George J. Borjas, professor of economics and social policy at Harvard University, â€œillegal immigration has a severe fiscal impactâ€. Borjas continues to say that as recent as 1998, â€œmore immigrant households were receiving some type of public assistance than native householdsâ€. The fact is that illegal immigrants are relatively less skilled than native citizens gives them more opportunity for government assistance. Once again, increasing funding for illegal immigrants is a big load on our economy. The money that could be spent on more important internal issues goes toward supporting individuals that are subjects of other countries. The millions of dollars are essentially lost.
Illegal immigration adversely affects the employment structure in the United States. According to Immigration and Illegal Aliens: Burden or Blessing, by Thomson Gale, the 1990 Census showed that a quarter of all foreign born adults (twenty-five years and older) had less than a ninth grade education, with a majority being illegal immigrants.(135-136) Another thing to consider is that usually illegal immigrants do not have a mastery of English language. All those factors prove that the illegals are mostly comprised of low skilled workers that compete for low wage jobs. In fact, Gerald Leinwand points out that most illegal immigrants would accept lower wages than native citizens. This creates a great deal of negative competition for the low-wage jobs, and usually, the illegals prevail. Employers care about paying the minimum for the labor being performed, without caring for the legal issues that come with hiring illegals, not to mention the countless number of hard working blue collar Americans that are being put on unemployment. The only real benefit comes toward the unlawful immigrants, whose wages in the United States are considerably larger than the salaries they got in their native lands. At the same time, native born workers struggle to find employment. Are the federal policymakers protecting the interests of illegal immigrants? Or are they suppose to protect the rights of lawful American taxpayers, American citizens and loyal people that are a backbone of American society?
Despite popular belief, illegal immigrants could be considered an integral part of the labor workforce. It is documented that vast numbers of Mexican citizens cross the United States borders to work as pickers in agriculture businesses. According to Michael C. LaMay, a professor of political science and assistant dean at California State University, before the Immigration and Naturalization Act Amendments of 1965, breaking the borders were legal, as long as it was done for the purpose of working on a farm. The pickers would then return to their native land after the season is over. However, as Joseph E. Fallon, researcher on ethnic and racial issues points out, the Immigration and Naturalization Act Amendments of 1965 banned such migrations. Since then, it is widely rumored that more and more illegal immigrants cross the American boundaries to work on farms. Only this time, they have to hide from the authorities, and they remain undocumented. It was estimated that the United States houses approximately 12 to 14 million illegals. It is impossible to smoothly remove this colossal number of people from the workforce without any major affect on the businesses that employ illegals.
Another point that should be made in favor of illegal aliens is that they do not bring any huge threat to society and economy. They should not be unfairly ostracized or be a part of unjust scapegoating and racial profiling just because of their resident status. According to James Dwyer, an assistant professor of bioethics and humanities at the State University of New York, â€œthe United States has an ethical obligation â€¦ to illegal immigrantsâ€. Main points of Dwyerâ€™s argument include the facts that illegal immigrants are being wrongly denied their rights to health care. Numerous illegal aliens, as mentioned above, are an integral part of a workforce, and denying access to health care is not only unethical, but also damaging to the labor force productivity. Matt C. Abbott, a prominent columnist with a B.A. in Communications and Media, states that â€œlegalizing such immigrants would be the morally responsible thing to do [for the United States]â€.(par. 2) The United States government simply cannot stand by and watch millions of illegals being subjects of discrimination. When human beings are being denied some health care and social services simply due to their resident status, or lack there of, the line of decency and ethics is crossed.
Finally, these immigrants, albeit illegal, they are an important part of American culture. In essence, they represent the roots of the United States. They are people, running toward a spark of opportunity that America presents. They are running from harsher lives â€“ be it a poverty-ridden life in Mexico, strict Communist regime in Cuba, etc. Can anybody blame these people for seeking better opportunities? They became a part of our culture. During Commencement Address at Portland State University, former President Bill Clinton said, â€œThey [immigrants] are good for America. They are revitalizing our cities. â€¦ They are strengthening our ties to the global economy. â€¦ They are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be an American.â€(83) It is hard to argue with Mr. Clinton. If the illegal immigrants are simply seeking better life, and are working on an equal terms with all of legal residents, we cannot deny them that opportunity.
Illegal immigrant workers have to remain undocumented. Records cannot be kept regarding these workers because of their sheer ineligibility to work in the United States. Even though these illegals comprise a substantial percentage of a labor workforce, the fact that they are undocumented keeps them from fulfilling many responsibilities that are required for legal residents of the United States. George Borjas of Harvard University points out that illegal aliens fail to pay taxes and other required fees because they are paid â€œunder the tableâ€. If the estimates about illegal immigrants in this country are correct (12 to 14 million), then the country looses billions of dollars in taxes. At the same time, the United States provides services geared toward helping these immigrants. Since illegals fail to properly pay taxes, the money for those services comes from American taxpayers, who do not benefit from these services. In addition, Aurelio Rojas, a staff writer for San Francisco Chronicle, points out the 1997 study by the Public Policy Institute of California.(74) This study showed that most low-wage workers return to Mexico within ten years. Therefore, they are not prospects to become better workers in the United States and fruitful taxpayers. On the other hand, all their profit is brought back to their home country without any appreciation or giving back to the United States of America. Being an influential part of the workforce is good, but unfairly, illegal immigrants are not responsible for paying taxes, which are paid by every American with legal residency status.
It is true that no human should be unfairly discriminated against, no matter what residency status he or she has. No one should be denied basic healthcare or education. However, the risk that illegals bring with them to our country is so high, that it isnâ€™t worth having illegal aliens in the United States. Maideleine Pelner Cosman, a medical lawyer and a president of Medical Equity Inc., states that there is a high risk that illegal immigrants bring dangerous infectious diseases to America. She continues to point out that illegals threaten the economic well-being of hospitals. Due to the fact that hospitals provide free health care for twenty four hours for illegal aliens, that loophole is constantly being abused by those people. Cosman informs that several hospitals, particularly in California, have closed already due to bankruptcy â€“ free care for illegal immigrants being the main reason. Once again, health care should not be denied to anyone. But if the risk of infectious diseases and hospital bankruptcies is so high, border patrols should be tighten to limit the amount of illegal aliens in the United States.
And, of course, illegal immigrants are a part of American society. However, sometimes, they are given a much better opportunities that are unavailable to some legal American residents. The unfair advantages come in various areas, education being a more prominent one. Ward Connerly, a former University of California Regent and a political activist, claims that â€œit is wrong for illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition discounts that out-of-state and legal foreign students do not get.â€ If illegal aliens pass the necessary requirements and just show intent to become citizens, their tuition fees become significantly lower than that of out-of-state students. If illegals are going to become a part of American culture, it must be understood that these types of advantages are completely unfair.
United States. Dept. of Homeland Security. Office of Audits. Detention And Removal Of Illegal Aliens. 14 Apr. 2006. 20 Feb. 2007 www.dhs.gov/oig
Sources that I used:
- Illegal Immigration: Current Controversies
- American Immigration: Should the Open Door Be Closed by Gerald Leinwand
- U.S. Immigration by Michael C. LeMay
- Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints
- Immigration and Illegal Aliens: Burden or Blessing?
Madeleine Pelner Cosman. â€œIllegal Immigrants Threaten U.S. Health Care.â€ At Issue: What Rights Should Illegal Immigrants Have?, Ed. Lori Newman. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. LIRN. 10 Mar. 2007
Connerly, Ward. â€œSubsidizing College Tuition for Illegal Immigrants Is Unfair.â€ Studentsâ€™ Rights. Ed. Jamuna Caroll. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. LIRN. 10 Mar. 2007
James Dwyer. â€œIllegal Immigrants Have the Right to Receive U.S. Health Care.â€ At Issue: What Rights Should Illegal Immigrants Have? Ed. Lori Newman. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. LIRN. 10 Mar. 2007
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