America is the epitome of civilization, and many people will want to live and work there. Moreover, the dream of getting good employment in developed countries has led to many people migrating in search of better working conditions. The United States has received many immigrants being the largest economy in the world, and still, many more will want to relocate there. Unfortunately, the limited slots allowed by the government and the requirements that must be met do not allow everybody to get into America legally.
As a result, many people decide to sneak through the porous borders and get into America. Once in America, these illegal immigrants always enjoy various social services that are given by the government. This has elicited debate as to whether these people should enjoy social services in the first place.
What Proponents of Social Services Are Advocating For
Those supporting access to social services by illegal immigrants have put forward various proposals. One such proposal is the DREAM Act. The Dream Act proposes to offer development, relief, and education to people who came to the United States while they were under sixteen years of age. However, the youth ought to have graduated from high school, lived in the United States for five continuous years, and exhibited good moral character.
The Act proposes the issuance of temporary residency to this group of people to allow them to access certain services (Jannson 98). In addition, the Act prepares the ground for the youth to gain permanent residency. Nonetheless, this will not come easily as the youth should undertake two years in the military, two years of college, and two years of credit in a four-year college program, all within six years.
Illegal Immigrants Contribute to the Economy
Illegal immigrants offer cheap labor to the economy, which the natives are unwilling to do. On the same note, they carry out manual jobs which would otherwise have been difficult for the natives to do. In this regard, the illegal immigrants positively contribute to the economy and should, therefore, receive social services (Tanton 5). Furthermore, when illegal immigrants arrive in America, they consume local commodities because they cannot survive without buying anything (Weaver 230).
Therefore, though they might not pay direct taxes due to their unemployed status or sometimes the nature of their employment, they cannot avoid paying indirect taxes. Consequently, they qualify for social services like any other American. It should be noted that not every Native American pays direct taxes because not everybody is employed.
On the same note, illegal immigrants increase the demand for local goods and services. In return, local firms increase their production and workforce (Marrow 237). Therefore, illegal immigrants indirectly increase employment opportunities. Consequently, it will be wrong to deny them access to social services.
It Is Immoral To Deny Them Access to Social Services
Once in the United States, illegal immigrants find it impossible to move from one state to another in search of jobs, for fear of being caught by authorities. Consequently, these immigrants are forced to do all sorts of manual jobs that they can find which are also paid poorly. Thus they constrain themselves in order to meet their daily requirements. Therefore, it is the moral duty of the government to offer social services to these people to at least alleviate their suffering (Weaver 234).
It would be impractical to deny illegal immigrants access to social services which are otherwise underutilized. Moreover, illegal immigrants who are employed contribute to social services. Each month their paycheck reflects that they have contributions to social security and Medicare. In this regard, it will only be fair to allow them to access social services (Pallares and Nilda 27).
There Are Other Ways of Deterring Illegal Immigration
Notably, since the increase of border enforcement, the number of illegal immigrants arrested while trying to cross the border has reduced significantly. Therefore, the proposed wall at the Mexican border will help in reducing the problem of illegal immigration.
On the same note, the wall is not meant to deter or hinder legal immigration, because anybody using the correct channels will still be allowed into America. On the same note, some of the people that will be punished by not being allowed to access social services were young when they were brought to America. Denying them access to social services will, therefore, be tantamount to punishing them for crimes committed by their parents (Tanton 8).
The issue of illegal immigrants is a problem for every nation, America included. Unfortunately, it is hard to control the immigrants from entering into the U.S. Therefore, the available option is to discourage people from coming, and the ones already in the country from continuing to stay. Social services should, therefore, not be offered because they alleviate illegal immigrants’ miseries.
This will not only discourage many more who have plans to relocate to America illegally but will also make some find live unbearably and decide to go back to their home countries.
Jansson, Bruce S. The Reluctant Welfare State: Engaging History to Advance Social Work Practice in Contemporary Society. Stanford: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Marrow, Helen. New Destination Dreaming: Immigration, Race, and Legal Status in the Rural American South. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. Print.
Pallares, Amalia and Nilda Flore-Gonzalez. Marcha: Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement. City: University of Illinois Press, 2010. Print.
Tanton, John. “Welfare Cost of Immigrants.” The Social Contract Journal, 3.1 (1992): 4-13. Web. 17 November 2012.
Weaver, Kent R. Ending Welfare as We Know It: Context and Choice in Policy toward Low-Income Families. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2000. Print.