According to a report by Alba and Foner, about 11.4 million people are living in the United States illegally (61). The illegal immigrants make up about 5.1% of the total workforce in the United States. This clearly shows that the problem is serious and needs to be addressed in an effective manner. Having over 11 million people living in the country illegally is a recipe for disaster. As Yoshida says that the government lacks accurate information about most of these illegal immigrants (28).
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They can engage in criminal activities and get away with it because they are not known by the government. They are burdening the country’s social amenities, especially the hospitals. Illegal immigration is a problem that many regimes in the United States have tried to deal with over the past seven decades. It has not been clear how this problem can be properly solved. It is true that some of the immigrants have played important roles in helping the economy of the country.
However, the presence of illegal immigrants in the country poses a number of risks to the American society, and therefore, they cannot be ignored. In this paper, the researcher will critically review the factors that make illegal immigration undesirable and how this problem can be solved.
Illegal immigration has been a major problem in the United States for over the last 100 years. The problem became worse after the Second World War. Many countries around Europe and parts of Asia were going through tough economic times after spending a lot of resources in the war.
However, the United States had a flourishing economy. Its population had decent jobs compared to that of other countries around the world. According to Alba and Foner, America became a land of opportunities, a place where people could achieve their dreams without being affected by the socio-political forces (112). In the late 1980s and 1990s, the rate at which people around the world immigrated illegally into the country increased, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to Gabaccia, although most of these illegal immigrants come to the country for genuine reason of looking for employment, some of them come to the country with ulterior motives (41). The scholar states that most of the drug dealers in the United States who were not born in the United States came to the country illegally.
These illegal immigrants find it easy to operate the illegal business in the country because the government lacks their records. They end up playing a critical role in the transport and supply of the narcotic drugs.
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Illegal immigrants have also been blamed for the rising cases of criminal activities in various parts of the United States. Some of the illegal immigrants who come to the United States, especially those who come from the neighboring countries, do not have proper education.
They come to the United States hoping that they can start small businesses that shall flourish with minimal efforts. Others come hoping that they will get manual jobs that most of the locals always avoid. When their dreams of getting decent earnings fail to materialize, then they turn to crime as the only alternative. This has affected many Americans who have lost properties or even their lives at the hands of these criminals.
Illegal immigrants are exerting a lot of pressure on our social amenities. The government has the responsibility to plan for its population and to ensure that all public facilities such as hospitals, schools, and other social amenities can support the needs of the people living in the United States.
The government can only plan for the people living in the country legally. It has no data about the illegal immigrants. When these amenities are forced to support close to 12 million people who were not taken into consideration at the planning stage, then achieving success in quality service delivery becomes almost impossible. Members of the American society end up getting substandard services because of these illegal immigrants.
Plan to Solve the Problem
According to Greene, solving the problem of illegal immigration requires clear steps that should be followed by the government to not only deter, but also repatriate those who come to the country without permission (52).
The first step will be to enact laws that clearly define how our borders should be secured. The law should be clear on what should be done to people arrested trying to enter the country illegally. As Greene says, such immigration laws should also make it easy for people who want to migrate to the United States to get the necessary authorization (36).
This will reduce the need for such individuals to immigrate into the country illegally. It will also help the government to have a clear record of people coming into the country.
The next step will be the implementation process. Security agents will be planted strategically along the border of the United States to ensure that any intruders are arrested and appropriate actions are taken. Modern technologies can help the officers manage the borders more efficiently.
Using of surveillance cameras may help detect the immigrants as they enter the country. This will make it easy to trace and arrest them as soon as they get into the country. The last step should be the deportation. As soon as these illegal immigrants are arrested, they should be taken to detention camps as they await their deportation.
They should then be deported back to their countries. This will deter others who had similar plans of illegally immigrating into the country. This plan will help solve the problem by making it easy for those who want to come to the country to do so through legal processes. It will also deter illegal immigration, especially from the neighboring countries.
A report by Alba and Foner shows that immigrants have played a very important role in socio-economic development of the country (94). Some of the richest Americans are children or grandchildren of people who immigrated into the country.
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, is one such person. His family immigrated into the United States. He and others have played a major role in making the world a better place. Some of the immigrants from various parts of the world are currently the top doctors, engineers, architects, or lawyers who are working hard to make America a better place for all its residents. It is therefore unfair to issue a blanket condemnation against all the immigrants. However, the trend where foreign nationals use dubious means to enter the country should be discouraged.
When the illegal immigrants get into the country, especially those who sneak into the country through our porous borders, it becomes difficult for the government to identify them. They easily mingle with the locals, making it even more difficult for the immigration officers to trace them once they are in the country.
Most of these illegal immigrants have been blamed for rampant insecurity in some parts of the country. Authorities find it very challenging to arrest such individuals because they lack their records. They cannot even determine their nationality. This has been a major problem for the security agencies trying to combat crime. LeMay also notes that these illegal immigrants are also playing a leading role in transport and supply of narcotic drugs (46).
They know that even if the security agencies succeed in getting their fingerprints, they cannot use it to get their real identities. A study by Chen and Yoo also found out that high numbers of illegal immigrants jeopardize the ability of the government to offer quality services to its citizens (78). It is, therefore, necessary to use the proposed plan to solve this problem of illegal immigration that is affecting this country negatively in various ways.
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The discussion above clearly shows that illegal immigration is a problem that needs a proper plan in order to solve it in an effective manner. Various regimes have used different approaches to solve this problem but it has not been easy to achieve the desired success.
This paper has given a proposal that should be followed by the government to solve this problem. It should be easy for people with desirable qualifications to get visas and wok permits to allow them get to the country legally. On the other hand, our borders should be secured to reduce cases of illegal immigration.
Alba, Richard, and Nancy Foner. Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe. New York: Cengage, 2015. Print.
Chen, Edith, and Grace Yoo. Encyclopedia of Asian American issues today. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2010. Print.
Gabaccia, Donna. Foreign relations: American immigration in global perspective. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. Print.
Greene, Richard. A singing ambivalence: American immigrants between Old World and New, 1830-1930. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2004. Print.
LeMay, Michael. U.S. immigration: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2003. Print.
Yoshida, Chisato. Illegal Immigration and Economic Welfare. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag HD, 2000. Print.