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Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States

Introduction

Illegal immigration has been a social problem for many years across the globe. People migrate for various reasons like search for greener pastures in terms of peaceful environments, good jobs, or to areas that have socially developed to experience and enjoy the advantages of such developments. Most countries for instance the U.S are very keen on establishing policies that would eradicate illegal immigration. There is a unison ideology that illegal immigration is harmful to the economy and ought to be eradicated while legal immigration would be of importance to the economy and should thus be encouraged.

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Immigrants in the U.S form approximately 1/5 of the total population and parts of them are illegal immigrants. Immigrants can be beneficial to a country if they are welcomed and not when they are treated with hostility. Harsh treatment against immigrants intensified due to terrorism as they are treated as major suspects. After 911 strict measures were adopted as it was argued that immigrants could worsen the insecurity problem. However, the ineffective or inefficient government procedures that discourage legal migration contribute to increased illegal immigration. Criminalizing the assistance of immigrants on the basis of they are illegal is an unfair treatment of mankind.

Main body

The process by which the US awards visas to allow immigrants to work temporarily is itself a way of ensuring increased cases of illegal immigration. This is attributed to the fact that the demand for services offered by illegal immigrants exceeds the supply and people are force to make their way illegally into the U.S. Legal entry is not only time-consuming but also expensive leaving the immigrants with no choice but to make their way into the US illegally. There are also delays before visa acquisition, which makes some people, lack the visa until they are quite old and may extend their stay to cover-up up the time they would have spent had they acquired the visas on time. This further illustrates how the US is widening the illegal immigrant problem. Abrupt deportation can have adverse effects on the economy, especially because the number of immigrants is high. The federal government should therefore be very cautious on this issue if it is not to harm the economy.1

Illegal immigrants ought to be viewed as unutilized talents or potential, which should be taped for the benefit of the whole society. Those that possess professional skills can be used to promote the said sector as they can be viewed as human capital resources. 2 If the U.S wants to completely solve the issue of illegal immigration it should first be keen in ensuring that there is easy entry and thus discourage illegal immigrants. Immigrants are faced with many difficulties as they try to adapt.3 Those who are not well conversant with English experience a language barrier and they are unable to express themselves freely. A large percentage lack the technological know-how or the professional skills that can enable them to earn a decent salary.

Major government critics argue that the government has double standards on the issue in question. This is attributed to the fact that even after identifying it as a problem little is done to ensure that it is solved amicably. To some, the U.S government could be taking advantage of the immigrants it seems to be interested in cheap labor produced by them. Immigration whether legal or illegal creates or rather exerts force on social facilities like schools and health centers. Most immigrants in the U.S live in hostile conditions both at work and in their residential areas. They are located in places where there is poor sanitation and poor housing and are prone to disease outbreaks.

Supporters of fair treatment of immigrants argue that mistakes of the system should not have immigrants penalized. They are mostly poor people looking for new ways of earning their income and better ways of living and should not be treated with so much suspicion. Hostility towards them only works to increase fear and tension in the immigrants. There are Americans who oppose the fair treatment of illegal immigrants on the basis that they would act as a threat to the country’s job opportunities. They view them as competitors in the labor market. 4 This argument is however not very effective because most of them have semi-skilled qualifications due to their economic status and will therefore go for such positions. Instead of harassing immigrants on the allegation that they can pose a major security threat, the relevant authorities ought to work effectively in ensuring that there is protection and justice in the country.

If there was the proper and efficient legal system to curb illegal forgery the 11 million illegal immigrants should not be a bone of contention in the U.S. A mechanism should be adopted where illegal immigrants are registered. This move would ensure that they too contribute or pay taxes geared towards the overall economic performance of the country. Immigrant’s contribution to the economy is considerable. They account for over half of the growth of the nation in terms of the labor force. They work in factories, restaurants, construction firms, and other blue-collar jobs. 5

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Illegal immigrants negatively affect government expenditure, as it has to spend on services that they use even though they do not pay tax. Available policies towards illegal immigrants include the complete denial of access to public assistance and operating indirectly by affecting the expected rewards towards attempted illegal immigration. Policies that affect them directly are enforced security at the borders and monitoring of the hiring practices in the U.S. The federal government has increased its expenditures in enforcement activities like border patrol operations, inspections at entry points, detaining and deporting apprehended ‘aliens’, and investigating people suspected to be hiring illegal immigrants or smuggling them. Challenges facing this policy are the lack of coordinated policies within the relevant authorities. Although the instruments are put in place there are still loopholes that cause inefficiencies and curbing illegal immigrants becomes difficult.

Admission policies that would ensure legal immigration work to favor illegal immigration. On the other hand, there is the demand for unskilled labor, which is not offered by U.S citizens. Most illegal immigrants are Mexicans who have average education or schooling. Application for a visa for them is an issue as very few of them qualify for employment-based green cards or most types of temporary work visas. Family-based visas also register long queues which discourage immigrants from using the legal and appropriate means to gain entry into the U.S. Again, the admission criteria are too arbitrary to serve most prospective migrants. Illegal immigration accomplishes what legal immigration fails to accomplish in the sense that it ensures that low-skilled workers shift from regions with low productivity to where it is higher. It provides the U.S with the supply of workers that are scarce. 6

Among the policies or measures taken to reduce the level of illegal immigration is the construction of a seven hundred-mile fence along the US-Mexico border, which proves to be an attractive entry to the US. President Bush suggested it and it would cost approximately 1.2 billion dollars. It is an important idea to ensure that a cost-benefit analysis is done before identifying the policy that is to be implemented. Incentives or rather factors that lead to increased movement of illegal immigrants into the US ought to be addressed first before condemning the immigrants. The employers in the US who are after the cheap and flexible source of labor are the reason behind the increased illegal movement of poor immigrants into the US. Policies identified should see to it that there is maximum attention to the economic incentives that attract immigrants. Easy and efficient legal immigration would be very important in addressing this.

The US should encourage the immigration of people who have skills that are in scarcity in the country so as to attain maximum utility from them. These would increase the country’s income. People with scarce skills are in great contrast in the sense that some are highly skilled while others are very lowly skilled. As computer programmers are scarce regardless of their skills so are workers to work in cleaning, hotels, and restaurants, and in construction industries.

Dangerous effects of illegal immigration include the ineffective application of the rule of law, as it can be easily undermined. Intensive illegal immigration can lead to the reduced upward mobility among the employees, as employers would be quite reluctant to show commitment to US labor market institutions.

Most immigrants tend to move into the US when there is a boom. Making illegal immigrants legal would be an effective measure, as it would provide labor when it is most needed in terms of timing, place, and form or type. To intensify the security levels police officers on border patrol ought to be increased.

Conclusion

The problem of illegal immigration and the implications to the economy programs were put in place to ensure that illegal immigrants were effectively assimilated or registered to become legal immigrants. They would be contributing to the economic growth through taxes and through their labor. Deportation would not be a sufficient method in solving the problem as such immigrants could be beneficial to the country’s economy. Those with communication problems can effectively be enrolled in programs that would enable them better understand English and consequently be in a better position for citizenship. Instead of investing in deportation and investigating employees, the government can increase its focus on proper and modern means or technologies to ensure security for its citizens. It can increase staff in the clearing systems to ensure that there is increased efficiency in the system.

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Works Cited:

Arnaud de Borchgrave and Harlan Ullman. 2006. Illegal Immigrants Drain U.S. Economy. Web.

David J. Lynch and Chris Woodyard. 2006. Immigrants claim pivotal role in economy. Web.

Bill Hing: The immigrant as criminal: Punishing dreamers.9 Hasting women’s law 1998 Journal 79. P 2.

Gibson M. Immigrant adaptation and patterns of acculturation. Human Development, 44(1), 2001 19-23.

Tito Boeri, Gordon Howard Hanson, Barry McCormick. 2002. Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione.

Oxford University Press. P 211.

Footnotes

  1. Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione.
  2. David J. Lynch and Chris Woodyard. 2006. Immigrants claim a pivotal role in the economy. Web.
  3. Gibson M. Immigrant adaptation and patterns of acculturation. Human Development, 44(1), 2001 19-23.
  4. Arnaud de Borchgrave and Harlan Ullman. 2006. Illegal Immigrants Drain U.S. Economy. Web.
  5. David J. Lynch and Chris Woodyard. 2006. Immigrants claim a pivotal role in the economy. Web.
  6. Bill Hing: The immigrant as criminal: Punishing dreamers.9 Hasting women’s law 1998 Journal 79. P 2.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 24). Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 24). Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States. https://studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/

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"Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States." StudyCorgi, 24 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/.


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StudyCorgi. "Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/illegal-immigration-and-the-economic-implications-in-the-united-states/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Illegal Immigration and the Economic Implications in the United States'. 24 October.

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