Government and Immigrants: Services in Contemporary America

Words: 557
Topic: Politics & Government
Updated:

Ong Hing (9) has described illegal immigration as a volatile and emotional issue. The media has, in recent years hosted hotly contested debates on the rhetoric, statistics, and opinions of Americans regarding the impact of illegal immigrants on the U.S. economy (Ong Hing 9). Such a debate could not have come at a better time considering that the number of illegal immigrants in the country has increased significantly. Indeed, the main issue is whether illegal immigrants should receive social services. Accordingly, this essay supports the idea of giving social services to illegal immigrants because denying them these services is unconstitutional and morally wrong.

Opinion polls collected across the United States show that most Americans feel that illegal immigrants are exploiting our economy. Based on these pool results, most Americans are now convinced that illegal immigrants should not receive social services. However, these allegations have been discredited by various empirical studies by providing evidence that illegal immigrants pay more taxes than the value of the social services they receive. Lippman (7) states that illegal immigrants contribute approximately $ 7 billion annually towards Social Security. They also make unreciprocated contributions to Medicare, Social Security, and Unemployment Insurance Programs. In spite of all these contributions, illegal immigrants are restricted from nearly all government benefits, including Social Security, food stamps, and unemployment insurance.

The U.S government should provide social services to illegal immigrants as a way of safeguarding the quality of education and health care. By giving medical care and food stamps to illegal immigrants, the government is also avoiding the risk of another subclass emerging. Moreover, denying illegal immigrants emergency medical treatment contravenes the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (Ong Hing 9). Denying children an education just because their parents are illegal immigrants contravenes the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the matter of Pitier v Doe, in which the court directed that all children should access public education.

From a social responsibility context, illegal immigrants are human beings too and as such, they deserve to be accorded social respect like everybody else. In any case, illegal immigrants still pay property, sales, gas, and income tax and thus, contribute towards the U.S. economy. Therefore, the least that we can do is to allow them access to social services.

Illegal immigrants are also at a higher risk for communicable diseases due to the nature of their jobs. They are continuously exploited and many of them work for long hours at a minimum wage. They cannot also access decent healthcare as they risk deportation. This puts the general society at risk of contracting an infectious disease like tuberculosis (Burger 35). In any case, illegal immigrants use social services far less in comparison with American citizens. Therefore, it would be bet to offer illegal immigrants access to medical care to avoid such negative impacts on society. Moreover, denying illegal immigrants access to healthcare contravenes the medical profession creed to assist those in need.

There is compelling evidence in the literature to show that illegal immigrants contribute more to the U.S economy in comparison to the value of services they get. As such, illegal immigrants should benefit from government services like Social Security, food stamps, and medical care. This will help alleviate the creation of another subclass. From a social responsibility context, illegal immigrants deserve social respect as they are human beings too.

Works Cited

Burger, William. Human Services in Contemporary America. New York: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

Lippman, Francine.Taxing Undocumented Immigrants: Separate, Unequal and Without Representation. Harvard Latino Law Review, 9 (2006): 1-58. Print.

Ong Hing, Bill. Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.