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Why Illegal Immigrants Should Receive Social Services


In the US, many states have adopted tougher laws to deter illegal immigration. Views and reports focused on the effect of immigration on the US economy have always been contentious (Yoshida 6). Proponents of these laws argue that it is unfair for US citizens to sacrifice their hard-earned taxes to provide social services to illegal immigrants. In their bid to stop the government from providing these services, the proponents urge the legislators to enact and implement strict laws against illegal aliens. On the other hand, critics argue that illegal immigrants are a critical component of the US economy and should be offered social services in the same way the local citizens are offered (Dvorak 12). This article seeks to highlight the reasons why illegal immigrants should be offered social services.

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Proponents of tougher immigration laws assert that if illegal immigrants were deprived of social services, the number of illegal immigrants would reduce. They fail to acknowledge that illegal immigrants come to America to seek better job opportunities and better wages rather than handouts. Therefore, denying illegal immigrants with social services would not solve immigration issues. Instead, the proponents should note that most of the illegal immigrants come to America to seek opportunities that they have been deprived of in their native countries. In their bid to seek these opportunities, they contribute to the enhancement of the American dream. As such, most immigrants have been employed in the US and contribute to its economy. For instance, Karen Kenney states, “Illegal immigrants contribute more to the US economy than they receive in social services” (Kenney 58). Hence, it will be hypocritical for the government to embrace their labor and deny them access to social services. As such, illegal immigrants should be allowed to offer tax revenues and in return be allowed to access social services.

If the government stops illegal immigrants from accessing social services such as health care and foodstuffs, efforts to deter the spread of communicable diseases would be compromised (Haerens 64). Medical experts assert that all individuals in a community should have access to medical care. If illegal immigrants are allowed to have equal access to health care facilities as US citizens, medics would be able to identify and treat communicable diseases way before the rest of the community is exposed to the diseases.

Similarly, illegal immigrants should not be denied access to social services because of their cultural impact on American society. American society, unlike societies in other nations, is very diverse owing to the diffusion of different cultures. Every ethnic group and race brings a new point of view, diverse behavior, and civilization. In this regard, it would be unethical and inappropriate to deny them access to social services (Haerens 67).


In conclusion, proponents of stricter immigration laws should note that illegal immigrants will keep on coming to the US regardless of the laws in place as long as our country continues to offer better jobs and opportunities. Similarly, debate on whether to treat immigrants in the same manner as the citizens will still attract heated debates (Dvorak 32). Therefore, immigration authorities should identify the risks posed by these aliens and come up with practical solutions. These solutions should be ethical and should not infringe on the immigrants’ rights to have access to social services.

Works Cited

Dvorak, William. Immigration in the United States. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 2009. Print.

Haerens, Margaret. Illegal immigration. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Print.

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Kenney, Karen. Illegal immigration. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub., 2008. Print.

Yoshida, Chisato, and A. D. Woodland. The economics of illegal immigration. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.

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