The positive and negative effect of illegal immigration
The current political gridlock makes it difficult to address the issue of illegal immigration and national security. This involves questions as to what the government will do with over ten million immigrants and how the intelligence agencies and immigration authorities can coordinate in meaningful way to address the issue. Past ruling powers have failed to address the issue of illegal immigration. President Obama has made a promise to reform the system of illegal immigration into the country by calling for policy reforms that control the system and making it orderly. His comprehensive immigration legislation will include a plan to make an estimate of twelve million Illegal immigrants to become legal.This paper will examine the history of immigration into the US, reasons why people immigrate illegally and the positive and negative effects of illegal immigration.
An individual who is residing in a foreign county is known as an illegal immigrant. Other terms commonly used are, an illegal alien, undocumented worker, unauthorized worker, undocumented alien or an illegal migrant. The immigrants enter a county in two ways. First a person can have all other requirements which are documents to show that the person has been given the chance to be in a country. But after the expiry of the terms and conditions in the document, one overstays in that country against the requirements of the visa or refugee permit. Such people may stay in the country unnoticed by the government. This therefore involves the violation of terms indicated on visa, refugee permit or a resident card.
The second category of how one becomes an illegal immigrant is through ways that one enters a country without any undocumented material. Such foreigners decide to take the risk of being in a new country as they search for better living. They also decide to take refuge in a country because of political, economic and social instability in their home lands. The choice of a country by the immigrants are those that are technologically advanced, politically stable, offer opportunities and with greater resources than their home countries.
Immigrants coming to the United States are often in search of better living conditions for their children. This is so because any child born in our nation automatically gains citizenship. This is an aspect not considered in other developed countries like France, because a child of an illegal immigrant does not gain automatic citizenship. Citizenship is only granted when child reaches18 years old, where, he / she would first request the government of France then a form is filled.
The issue of illegal immigrants has always been a controversial topic in the United States and other parts of the world. Various methods have been used by immigrants to come to the US. Some have been legal means while some have been illegal. The entry into the borders of the US has from time immemorial been a myriad of means that immigrants cross our boarders. Immigrants from the Caribbean have for instance used home made boats or tubes to cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach the United States. Other illegal immigrants have crammed into containers, box cars or trucks to get to the US. They manage to be in the nation by bribing the authority with figures for them to be allowed into the country. Some have managed to reach their destination even with grave risks that put their lives at risk. Moreover, in the recent past the US government has enchased its border security especially after the September 11 bomb attack of 2001. Improved technology and heightened security measures have been implement to check on any illegal immigrants at the ship dock or air transport. The passing of legislation have been implemented to reduce illegal immigrants into the country.
Once into the US just like any developed nation, the immigrants tend to be employed as cheap laborers in low skilled jobs. Such jobs are the kinds of jobs which have intensive labor or do not attract employees. Such sectors in the US are the construction sector and landscaping which have been popular with immigrants which are the kind of jobs that do not require the laborer to be fluent in the English language. Other sectors are hospitality, agriculture, domestic services, restaurants and prostitution. They are the kind of jobs that are not taken up by the residents.
History of immigration in America
Establishing a history of an issue assist us in the understanding the debate of the current policy that a country implements. This is true in the case of American policy on immigration. America is a country composed by immigrants; some came into the country by force through slavery, others for exploration and others for trade and simply to look for riches. Others were forced immigrants like the salves. Apart from slavery; which has thankfully become inexistent, are the young innocent girls who and young women who have been deceived with jobs in a foreign country. Such females have ended up being traded for the purpose of sex. This has come to be known as," sex slave trade". These girls are wooed with highly paying job opportunities and due to the poor conditions they are experiencing at home; they easily get attracted to these offers. It is only when they land into the foreign country that they discover they were brought for prostitution purpose. They get stranded, with no any legal documents or transport fare to take them back home and they end up with no where to go. They also have no where to seek for help and end up very vulnerable. The US has a smaller scale of girls illegally being in the country than in Europe and in the Middle East (US Immigration Support, 2010).
The history of Immigration into the US can be categorized into four phases and a final major phase. The first palaces were the European immigration to North America which stated some decades after the arrival of Columbus in 1492. The fir8st immigrants were the Spaniards and they settled in the city of Pensacola in 1559, then the French came and settled in Fort Caroline in 21564 and they also discovered San Agustin in Florida. Juan De Ornate founded the San Juan colony in Ro Grande in 1598.
By 1700, there were about 250, 000 colonists in America. Approximately 450,000 immigrants arrived between 1700 and the state of the war of revolution. Within this period, only a few English immigrants arrived from Scotland, Ireland and Germany. Many came from Philadelphia which was the main port of colonies (Academic American Encyclopedia, Vol 11, p 54-56). Wars in America and Europe slowed down in the late 1900 and 1910. The few incomers to America were the Irish who were fleeing from the English rule. Other immigrants were the French in escapee of the revolution. Slavery was made illegal by the congress in 1800 which meant the abolishment forceful immigration of slaves. Already, about 375,000 black Africans had been brought to America as slaves.
In the early 1800’s New York city began to replace Philadelphia as the main port of entry for immigrants leading to the opening of the country’s first immigration station ; Castile Garden in 1855. The world’s most famous station in New York harbor operated from 1892 to 1954. European immigrants entered unrestricted without any visa because it was not a prerequisite requirement neither did it exist. Mexicans and Canadians also enjoyed similar generous policies. The Asians immigration opportunities were restricted while the Africans were only given a chance to come to America through the slave trade. Immigration service and US citizenship was created in 1891 while the boarder patrol note has not there until in 1924 (Encyclopedia, Volume 10, Page 82).
The second wave of immigration was between the years 1820 to u1870. New comers of about seven and a half million entered the US. Majority of them came from western and Northern Europe. Others were Irish who ware at risk of Potato famine. The Irish settled at the East Coast because they did not have enough money while the Germans journeyed to the mid west in search of a place to farm (The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 10, and Page 82).Some states in the mid 1880s sent agents to Europe to call for settlers. The railroad also wanted to attract settlers from Europe. Through this the US government made better conditions on ships and lowered the voyage fee across the Atlantic Ocean.
With the discovery of Gold in California in the mid 18800s Chinese were more attracted to come to California in search of riches. In 1870’s The US economy suffered a major depression while the British and German improved. The immigration of people from the two countries decreased drastically while those from southern and eastern Europe continued to arrive. The same case applied to immigrants from China, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. California formulated d laws to control and to kick out Chinese because they were accused of lowering wages and creating unfair business competition.
The third phase started from 1881 to 1920 twenty and half million immigrants from all over the word came into the US, majority of them being new immigrants from mm eastern and southern Europe, (World encyclopedia Vol 10 p 82). With the new comers arrivals the Native Americans felt they were threatening the unity of the inaction. They showed hostility to the Japanese, Roman Catholic and the Jews just as they had responded with the Japanese. In fact, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted by the congress to Prohibit Chinese business men and laborers from coming to the US. other legislation passed were to control immigrant who did not know how to read and write, prostitutes, beggars, insane , unaccompanied minors and contract laborers (The World Book Before the 1920’s immigration laws in the US were inexistent).
The laws came up after European immigration had been subsided. European immigrants flocked in to the US because of its generous immigration policies. Those who were barred from entering the US were mentally ill, anarchists, criminal s and those working in vice industries. Cases of one being accused to on public charge and denied entry at Ellis Island only accounted for two percent (statute of liberty Ellis Island foundation, 2008). During the period of the great depression, immigration into the US sharply dropped only 500, 000 immigrants arrived between 1931 and 1940 and even more who had arrived went back to their countries. The Displaced Persons Act of 1945 and the refugee Relief act of 1953 opened the country to about 600, 000 Soviet Union and European displaced persons after the world war 11. Others came, from Cuba, Hungary and China during the 1960’s (The World Book encyclopedia, Volume 10, Page 83).
An average of nearly one million people came to America each year between 1900 and 1910. 1921 was the year that saw a major restriction put in place to control immigrants. The restriction required that a total of 360, 000 immigrants be allowed to come to the nation annually. Additionally, a quota was established for the new arrivals each year. . The quota was however reduced in 1924 to 165,000 immigrants allowed into the nation as new arrivals annually. From the reduced number, the most favored were immigrants from northern Europe more than those from Poland an Italy and other from the Eastern and southern Europe.
The fourth wave started in 1965 after the amendments of the Immigration and National Act ended quotas. The amendments provided annual quarters of a total of 120,000 from the western hemisphere.170, 000 immigrants from the Eastern hemisphere. The visa issued provided relatives of the Americans to be given permanent residency. The same was offered to people with qualified skills. This amendment saw a drop in the pattern of immigration to the US.
The final great wave of immigration happened thirty years after the civil war. It saw millions of Italians, Irish and English people arriving into the nation. The English settled in Boston which was already an English town and some went into newer cities of Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis which are in the West. Today most immigrants into the US come from Philadelphia, Mexico, Dominican Republican, India, Vietnam, Jamaica, Haiti, Korea and Cuba. The country has established Boarder Patrol to prevent illegal entry into the country.
The situation of illegal immigrants in the US.
The issue of illegal immigration has sparked various debates on how to amend the illegal immigration policy. Many American are for the protection of economic security in terms of jobs and infrastructure. There are also calling for prevention measure that will check further illegal immigration. The nation calls s for accountability because illegal immigration is a problem that requires a comprehensive accountability and solution. The government finds it hard on how to deal with millions of Illegal immigrants in the country. They base their decision on compassion. Yet the American calls for a total reform that will end to the system.
The six main policies put forward have appealed to moderate Democrats and the Republicans are as follows. Increase in cross border security which has been responsible for providing heightened security at the borders. Others are secure cross boarder penalties for human traffickers, severe penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, the illegal immigrants are not provided with any special American privileges, deportation of immigrates who commit crime’s in the US and English being a crucial element where every immigrant has to pass the English test.
Various reasons have been given as to why people leave their native countries to live new lands. Aspects such as immigrants fleeing from their countries which have been torn by wars, famine, disasters, and epidemics have been the major reasons. Internally displaced people have settled in America as refugees. America has accommodated people from various countries of the world in thousand. Immigrants today come to America in search of better lives just like in the past. They are looking for better living conditions for their families as they escape religious, political and economic injustices even temporality. Ireland citizens came to America between 1840’s and 1850’s to escape the threat of prosecution from British Penal Codes and of satiation caused by potato famine. Most of the of immigrants ware young men who came to America through connection with their relatives who were present inn America. They were in search to a stabile place where they could work and provide for their families back in Ireland. Fifty percent of the Italian immigrants returned back to Italy between 1880 and ji1920 (Herbert S Klein 1983, p 319). The rest had stayed and added to the rich human mosaic in the US.
The illegal immigrants take up jobs which the residents shy way from. For example, those that involves construction, hospitality, taking care of the old, domestic services, restaurant, prostitution and agriculture. Residents from various parts of the country have however complained that the illegal immigrants have taken away jobs in general. . The US has set up regulations that prohibit employment of illegal of immigrants into the working place. Some employers have ignored this mandate and employed them but take advantage by paying them at a substandard figure. The immigrants accept this because of their undocumented status. They have no option but to accept a fee payment far below the federal requirements. The illegal immigrants are provided with poor working conditions because the employers think they can get away with violating the human rights of the employees since the immigrants can not report them for fear of deportation.
federal government have harsh penalties for employers caught in such acts of taking advantage of the illegal immigrants and above all breaking regulations by hiring them . Various legislations have been passed to eliminate such scenarios in the United States. The legislations offer strict penalties for employers who knowing hire illegal immigrants and those who do not offer safe working conditions to their employees.
Immigrants in Rural America
For decades, the urban areas have been the chosen destination for many of foreign immigrations. However, recently, the immigrants have shown great interest in rural setting. Small towns and cities in every part of the US are experiencing new opportunities and challenges brought by the rapid increase immigrant population. This is a distinguishing factor of immigration since the late 19th century.Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, immigrants entered and settled in gate ways cities like Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. This pattern has changed recently in which popular observation and a flurry of research has confirmed that immigrants are settling in gate way communities and new destinations (Jensen, 2006).
The effects are already noticeable in the rural locals. The reactions have been to the positive and to the negative consequences. The gateway cities are accommodating cultural difference which has affected the social services as well as the existing ethnic enclaves. The rural area has been less populated than in the urban cities. Many influx of new comers has been profoundly been felt.
Cultural difference of the new comers who speak differently, eat differently, attend different religion and way of rearing children has sparked, hostility, fear and indignation of the population that has remained stable for years. Immigrants in the rural local areas have on the other hand offered potential benefits to the communities. The new arrival brings determination, diligence and vitality which are aspects that bring life to town and cities that have remained stagnant for decades. The migrants volunteer, work and consume in communal activities. They initiate new ideas, cultural practices, cuisine and music which excite and make the life in the communities vibrant.
Most the immigrants are young and energetic with relatively high fertility. This leads to repopulation of the rural communities which have declining populations. The influx of immigrants in the rural areas can catch municipalities off guard because the increase population contributes to the high cost needed for the palcement of community infrastructure, school demographic and cultural centers. As a social aspect they is difficulty with how the foreign kind local culture interact and the residents, is a potential challenge on how immigrants can be viewed positively especially when developing policies that suits and enhances their chances of success.
Hispanic Immigrants to Hazelton, Pennsylvania
Hazelton in Pennsylvania is a coal mining town. The town’s population rose from 21,000 to 27,000 with the arrival of six thousand Hispanic immigrants within a duration of four years. This has angered some residents as the society adjusts to accommodate them. The education system has made efforts to educate the new immigrants. Parents of Hazelton bulging school system saw this as a negative aspect which the Mayor of the town feels that the new system marked the new beginning of the town (Podsada, 2005). The Hispanic immigrants have contributed to the quick pace of the town’s development; the opening of new business and the increasesd property values.
Increased rate of violent crimes is a negative consequence attributed to the influx of immigrants. This led the Pennsylvania city to enact and the Illegal Immigration relief Act Ordinance. The act declares that the illegal; immigrants highly contributed to crime rate, failing schools, over crowded classrooms a, substandard hospital care and poor public services to the Pennsylvania
Illegal immigration to the United States.
For the past half a centaury, the United States has become a country of immigration. In 1990 the immigrants from outside the country had reached 19.8 million. In this year, America experienced the highest number of immigrants that recorded the highest number in US population. Early between 1900 and 12910 the US population was drastically increasing due to the high influx of immigrants, (US census Bureau 2002, and pm 12). In the early twentieth centaury the total populations in the US of foreign-born were about 15 percent pf the total population
By 2005, the number had grown to 37 million which means that the immigrants were 14.7 % of the general American population. The cause to this growing figure has been attributed to the growing economy of the US and the liberated provisions of the immigration act of 1965.Illegal immigration has been a problem in the US since the later half of the twentieth century. Illegal immigration dates back in the late 19th century. In 18745, a federal law’s was passed to prohibit entry of prostitutes and convicts. President Chester an Arthur banned Chinese immigration into the US in 1882. HE shortly afterwards barred criminal, mentally ill an nd paupers from entry. This banned an sxho0try number of the population. Leases was done to distinguish who were the legal and who where the illegal immigrants.
Ellis Island, in New York opened in 1892, the new arrival were only required to show their identities and were scanned for any physical disabilities. By the collapse of the harbor in 1954, the island had processed over twelve mill lion legal immigrants. Other laws were set during ate large wave of 1881 to 1920 to ensure that the existing the composition would be the eastern an nd southern Europe who would help the country to assimilate other Europeans who had come earlier. The Mexicans were not restricted from e entry as well as the Northern European.
History shows that legal immigration lead to illegal immigration. That reflected today’s topic of debate on illegal immigration. In the 1920’s illegal immigration became a subject of heated c congressional debate , the vice president of California Federation of labor sir Edward Dowell testified before the US senate off congress senate committee of immigration about the burden of unrestricted floe of Mexicans on pressings the state's tax payers, hospitals and wages in American workers. This was in February 1928. He gave estimation that while 67,000 Mexicans entries the US legally in the past year, another same, or double the number entered the country through illegal means.
Los Angeles times story of 1926 future amore noted that many workers in California impresario valley entered the UIS illegally without any literacy test, neither did they pay the $18 fee of entry, the US house Immigration committee in 1929 received testimonies from government officials on burgle problem’s both in Mexico and in Canada. They also gave steps that have and could be taken to eliminate visa mill at Juarez which opposite El Paso. The visa mill had the most laxative condition that as needed for one to enter the US and visa were requires for legal residency.
After the Great Depression, THE NUMEBER of immigrants sharply dropped. Stock markets slashed in 1929 and, the US responded by tightening visa rules which remarkably reduced Mexican immigration. The re were various debates by the local, state and the federal government on what to do with the Mexicans who were already in the country, others decided to repatriated voluntarily while others were forced by the local governments. Others were deported. Between 1929 1ns 1939 about 500,000 and 1,000,000 Mexicans left The US left the UG mal inlay due to deportation and its targets and also because of unemployment.
All other groups apart from the Mexican were also repatriates during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. The process reached it s peak in 1930s. This is because according to Hoover, the immigrants were taking up jobs from the Americans. Hem also e endorsed vigorous efforts p0taht saw both legal and illegal entries reduced through expelling all undesirable aliens. President Roosevelt Franklin furtherer deported all alien criminals in 1935. The Canadian and Mexican were not because of fear of them sneaking back in. additionally the period of The Great Depression forced many out of the country.
Today's issue of illegal immigration originated in early 1940s during the war years. The federal government was forced to develop a program to import Mexican laborers due to labor shortages especially in agricultural sector in the South West. This program was known as the Bracero Program. It had a goal of importing foreign workers to harvest agricultural produce and then afterwards sent back home.
The following two decades saw about 4. 8 million Mexicans workers arrived in US to provide cheap agricultural labor to farmers. Americans were to be hired as braceros but the employers preferred to hire the Mexicans for their lesser wages. This program came, to and end in i1964 after the Mexican-Americans and Unions complained that foreigners were taking all the jobs. M any of the former braceros illegally entered the US A\ND TOOK UP THEIR JOBS at the same employer. This sparked up a wave of illegal immigrants during the years of temporal work of the Bracero program. The Los Angels Times of May 1950 reported that the Mexicans had flooded the US during the month of April and were about 21,000 of tem. The Mexicans complained of being over worked by jobs that Americans could not do. The authorities called for a laws enforcement to handle the issue.
During the first term of presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, it was estimated tat about one million Mexican were crossing the border which had massive illegal workforce. The impact to this was on wages for American workers. The president took a decisive action in response to the rate if corruption that resulted from profits from illegal labor. The Immigration and Notarization service was formed headed by General Joseph Swing / this service developed the Operation Wetback. It had 1,075 border patrons who caught tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who were sent back to Mexico. Others returned voluntarily. The number of illegal immigrants had drooped to 95 % by 1s950.
In 19635, the Immigration Act was passed which saw legal immigration into the US risings sharply. Illegal immigrants also rose along with it. This is because, the legal system shio9futed the previous act to accommodate family relations ‘. Similarly, there was also a shift from employment needed to immigrant’s ability, (Center of immigration studies). The bill was not thought as an allowance of over crowding the city but enhancing ethics n the society. Unexpectedly, the bill caused a chain of migration which at fueled illegal immigration. Mexico became the main country pf both legal and illegal immigrants. The illegal aliens have used the technology of, “anchor babies’ or birth right citizenship to gain perment residency if not citizenship. This is according to the 14ths amendments to the c on situation which h grants all babies including those from illegal immigrant/ parents with citizenship and qualification for taxpayer fund benefits.
The 1986 Immigration Reform and control; act amnesties approximately 3 million illegal aliens. It was meant to limit illegal immigration by strengthening border securyty security and misuse of illegal employees by the employers. The employees who had stayed in the country for a period of five years were afterwards granted citizenship. Unfortunately there was wide spread fraud on documents for attending citizenships. And the number of immigrants in need of citizenship shot up beyond the expect number. Thus thee act failed a many entered the country illegally.
In the 1990ps the problem continued to grow. President Bill Clinton made several efforts to combat illegal immigration. The immigration and immigrant responsibility act was passed but leaders from Caribbean and Central American nations heavily relied on untaxed remittance sent back to their countries s in fear of mass deportation. By the time he left the office even after assuring the leaders that that would be no mass deportation, over seven million illegal aliens were still residing in America.
Presidents Bush Aadmislnsjusrartiion saw a mass increase of illegal immigrants and a drop in immigration security measures. In 1999, about 3,000 illegal aliens were arrested in workplaces. In n 2003 the cases agenesis employers dropped from 182 to only four. There was an estimate of 10-20 million illegal aliens living in the US in 2005. By 2007, as Bush was living the office, ninety two criminal cases of employers had taken place.
Today, America received 1 million immigrants legally every year, while the population of the illegal immigrants is grows at about 5half a million every year. Most of tem come from Latin American countries and Mexico through illegal entries and thorough violation lf borders. Six percent come from Europe and Canada. Half of the illegal immigrant has overstayed their required time in required in their visa.California statue has more illegal immigrants than any other sates of about 2.4 million others are Florida, Texas and New York.
Negative impact of illegal immigration
Americans are concerned about the negative impact of illegal immigration. They illegal immigrants have increased the population of both the urban and local citizens and towns. Any over crowded as an impact to the social, economic and welfare often society. What is now felt by the native is bankruptcy in hospitals, increased crime rate and overcrowded schools. Which are paid dearly by the tax payers? This is the pinch felt by the common man in America as result of politicians who for decided have undermined immigration laws and the unscrupulous employers in search of cheap labor. The net cost of California has been estimated to be nearly $nine billion annually.
The Californians are receiving low wages for the work done because the illegal immigrant is ready to accept anty wage fee. This is a way of kicking out the American from the work force. The unscrupulous employers would prefer employing illegal immigrants than a native because of low wage payment. The refugees who have overstated their permit as well as other illegal immigrant continue to benefit from government subsidies goods and services yet they do not pay any tax. Insufficient law s and regulated were there, they would control these benefit s fro benefiting the illegal immigrants. And this could only be done if the federal, locals and state government would be kin on following the visa requirements so as to different an illegal immigrant from an illegal immigrants.
The benefits of tat the illegal, immigrants get in form of money or technology is send back to their home country. This means that America does not reap any benefit by housing the aliens. If the aliens were to be accommodated, then they would in turn require investing in American and not other countries.Americans are feeling the increased cost of living due to increase in population. The cost of basic goods, transportation, fuel and housing has increased with the coming of foreigners.
There is increased crime rate as people over popula0te towns a and cities
There is the provisions of cheap labor thorough low wagers has enchased the profits of the employers. The increase of illegal immigration has benefited the employers because they provided ready services and can be paid very low wages. The employers are now finding employees in job tat were not attracting employees before, such jobs include a\agriculture, hospitality I, restaurants and construction work.
The low wages to employees has made inflation to be relatively low. this benefits te society because the inflation rate can be determined and predicted thus it provides a sound environment in job creation and economic growth Consumers are able to plan for their purchasing power, low interest rate and self reinforcing(monetary policy report, 1995)The illegal immigrant s enjoys the consumption of the already paid taxes by the Americans in terms of gas, tax, sales tax and others. They can perform economic activities such as buying and sale sing.
The advantage of illegal immigration is mostly felt by the employer, other s such as competition in labor market.
The issue of Illegal immigration to the US is a controversial; topic tat can be vied from various angles. the is the issue of policy making an d its contribution to illegal immigration to the country, there the issue of the positive and negative c consequences of illegal immigration to our nation, and the current at which illegal immigrants have taken especially on their place s of settlement. Amazingly the leader s have in one way or another contributed to illegal immigration into their countries basing on how they have implemented and amended various legislation s of immigration.
It is upon President Obama to weigh all the benefits and calamities that the issue of illegal immigration has had on this country. It is his duty to reframe the topic and defined terms, that offer comprehensive reform the issue of immigration
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