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Unauthorized Migration and Acquiring Citizenship

Amnesty Encourages Criminal Behavior

One of the biggest qualms against illegal migration is that accepting it encourages criminal behavior. Legal ways of obtaining citizenship are long and arduous, involving language tests, background checks, and living on the territory of the country, engaging in legal trades, for a prolonged period of time (Hoekstra & Orozco-Aleman, 2017). Illegal pathways have the advantage of taking much shorter amounts of time and coming with increased social, political, and economic risks (Yoshida & Woodland, 2016). If an individual is willing to break the law of a country in order to get into it, such a notion already reflects negatively on their social portrait. Legalization of such behavior would only encourage further infractions, exposing more people to various threats associated with illegally crossing the border (Hoekstra & Orozco-Aleman, 2017). Illegal child migration should not be patronized for the very same reason, as it would encourage parents to use children as shields, while crossing the border, exposing them to danger.

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Economic Side of the Argument

It is often argued that migration allows talented individuals to enter the country and contribute to the local economy. These estimations, however, are true only in relation to legal migration. Illegal migrants typically do not possess the education and skills needed to occupy valuable positions in the upper echelon of the technologically-superior US economy (Yoshida & Woodland, 2016). The majority of these people would be employed in the unskilled, underpaid segment of the labor market, where they would compete with the local population for jobs (Yoshida & Woodland, 2016). The slow rates of growth in the service sectors are largely associated with the fact that illegal migrants are willing to work for less than locals, effectively driving down salaries for everybody.

Social Side of the Argument

The duty of any nation’s government is, first and foremost, to its own population, with the overall care for humanity in general coming second. As it stands, most of the world population has lower living standards than that of the US (Hoekstra & Orozco-Aleman, 2017). It is neither feasible nor economically viable to move all of these people into the US, at the expense of the local population. Illegal unskilled labor does not contribute to the local economy, drives down salaries, and increases the pressure on social services, that are paid for by the local taxpayers, to support these individuals (Hoekstra & Orozco-Aleman, 2017). From that point of view, encouraging illegal migration by legalizing people who indulge in the practice is unfitting.

What to Do?

Illegal migration is a service problem – it occurs when legal ways of obtaining citizenship are too slow, expensive, and cumbersome. The solution would be to streamline, simplify, and improve the existing systems. Increasing the pressure on them by having to manage illegal migrants and their children is a bad choice. Migration should be more selective, allowing individuals with certain backgrounds and skills to become citizens in order to healthily contribute to society and the economy.


Hoekstra, M., & Orozco-Aleman, S. (2017). Illegal immigration, state law, and deterrence. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 9(2), 228-52.

Yoshida, C., & Woodland, A. (2016). The economics of illegal immigration. Springer.

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