Illegal Immigration: Benefits and Harmful Effects

Looking back to the way American society was developed and accordingly the achievements it reached, it can be said that this was partly due to immigration. The positive benefits of immigration can be seen through the process of diversification, where the society absorbs many cultures and subsequently enriches its own existent cultures. Looking at different styles in music, arts and literature, it can be seen that the diversification is reflected through such cultural aspects. Additionally, it can be said that many immigrants regardless of their social and educational level come to the US seeking economical benefits, and thus they are willing to work as hard as they can. Many professions occupied by emigrants are not appealing to US workers, and at the same time, immigrants willing to work for a lower wage result to that many products are cheaper than they would have been if Americans were producing them. Additionally, immigration allows bringing the best minds from all over the world for professions that are deficient in the US population. These emigrants bring their knowledge and experience and accordingly will stimulate the development of the country.

The harmful effects of immigration can be viewed based on who immigrates to the country. Omitting illegal immigration, many immigrants when arriving at the US do not completely dissolve in the society making their own communities. Additionally, the disparity of the economic conditions between US and immigrants’ native land, result in that many emigrants are willing to work for lower wages than American workers, and thus affecting job prospects for the latter Many communities are mostly living in poor economic conditions, which result in a widespread of crime as well as competing with vulnerable American population in terms of services and various aids. In that regard, a large number of immigrants living on welfare, which is paid from the tax money, results in that any economical gains from immigration being eliminated.

The illegal status of immigrants is controversial and debatable. In that regard, the efforts put in the struggle with illegal immigration do not demonstrate effective results, where many people live and work illegally in the United States for a long time. In that sense giving illegal immigrants a legal status can be seen as a beneficial aspect. One advantage of legalizing illegal immigrants is that they will have the same obligations as everybody else in terms of taxes, insurances and etc.

Another aspect is that employers who provided jobs for illegal immigrants will not be able to speculate and take advantage of the illegal status of the workers by reducing their wages compared to the wages of American workers. Additionally, giving legal status to immigrants will allow greater control, where they will have to fulfill many requirements such as having an id with their real information and having social security, which will allow the government to keep their records maintain greater security measures.

Although the effectiveness of the Border Patrol in controlling entry to the country can be questioned, it is nevertheless necessary to admit that they are constantly changing and improving their strategies to protect the borders from illegal entry. The increase in illegal immigration in the 1980s and 1990s was responded to by an increase in manpower and the implementation of modern technology to cope with the increased tasks.

Operations such as “Hold the Line” and “Gatekeeper” helped establish a high level of control on the borders, substantially reducing the number of immigrants over the next years. The level of security was tightened after the 9/11 attacks, with the borders becoming a topic of interest to the government. The most recent approaches to enhance the work of the Border Patrol can be seen through the integration of modern technology to border enforcement.

In the article “Mexican Data Show Migration to the U.S. in Decline” by Julia Preston, the author indicates a recent trend, shown through census data, in the decline of Mexican emigrants going to the US. The recent data compared with the indicators since 1990, lead to several assumptions and opinions regarding the causes of such phenomenon. One opinion argues that such decline might be caused by the enforcement at the borders, where “the Border Patrol expanded its force by 17 percent in one year, to nearly 17,500 agents.” (PRESTON)

The other opinion, which is more believable, is concerned with the job market decline resulting from the recent financial crisis and the “ailing” American economy. The lack of certainty about the jobs raised the issue of reasonability of crossing the border for many Mexican immigrants. In that regard, the decline in the job market affected many Mexican already living in the US and thus having difficulties paying smugglers’ fees for their relatives to cross the border. Accordingly, the general opinion is that as soon as the economic situation improves and there will is a rise in the job market, the number of emigration is expected to increase again.

Works Cited

“Border Patrol History”. 2003. Customs and Border Protection. Web.

Borjas, George J. “Immigration”. 2008. Library of Economics and Liberty.

PRESTON, JULIA. “Mexican Data Show Migration to the U.S. In Decline “. 2009. The New York Times.

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