- May 10, 2020
to America is often characterized by controversy due to public andpolitical opinions surrounding the issue. The arguments mainlyevaluate the costs and benefits of having immigrants in the country(Ford et al. 21). Then again, the politicians have regularly used theissue of immigration to please some groups of people and attractvoters. Thus, they rarely propose policies that will benefit both theimmigrants, their employers, and promote economic growth. Hence, itis crucial for the citizens to have accurate and unbiased informationregarding immigration from both the historical and currentperspectives. Statistics show that there were 42.4 million immigrantsin 2014, which constitutes to 13.3 percent of the total population inthe United States (Kochhar). is based on the principlesof admitting foreigners with exceptional and useful skills that canbe valuable to the economy, promoting diversity, uniting familymembers, and protecting refugees. Therefore, foreigners create jobsand reduce crime in the country thus, the government shouldencourage immigration through effective work permits, visas, andnaturalization process, but appropriate policies should be enacted toensure that the number of immigrants coming to the United States doesnot get out of control.
Anti-immigrationviews claim that foreigners increase the level of crime in thecountry. On the contrary, research shows that immigrants have littleto no effect on the crime rates in their neighborhoods. Theforeigners are less prone to crime as compared to the native-bornAmericans (Gans, Replogle, and Tichenor 213). The immigrants come tothe country in search of better opportunities such as improved livingconditions and looking for better-paying jobs. Therefore, they stayaway from trouble, which includes criminal activities. Research alsoshows that in neighborhoods where most of the residents areimmigrants have lower crime rates. Experts attributed this trend tothe fact that most foreign-born individuals come from strong familiesand communities, which are promoted by various institutions such aschurches. Therefore, they provide more social control over themembers, particularly the youths and ensure that they do not engagein any criminal behavior. They have family ties and responsibilitiesthat are linked to law-abiding and non-violent practices. Besides,the immigrants are also exposed to severe deterrents for unlawfulactivities such as fear of deportation, arrest, or incarceration(Gans, Replogle, and Tichenor 214).
Additionally,critics make their claims by pointing to immigrants’ impact in thelabor market. The arguments indicate that the increased supply ofworkers creates additional competition for employment, especially ina time when the unemployment rates in the country continue to rise.The people are worried about joblessness, but the problem is usuallybased on macroeconomic conditions, but not on immigration. Theforeigners are usually willing to accept manual jobs with lower wagesas compared to the native workers (Kochhar). Thus, such claims assertthat these workers take jobs from the native-born employees. Althoughit is true that the foreigners increase the supply of labor, theyalso create jobs by starting small businesses in their neighborhoods(Cochran et al. 419). For example, in 2014, 11 percent of immigrantswere in the self-employment sector among which 4 percent hasincorporated business compared to 10 percent American-born businessowners (Kochhar). Immigrants also created some of the largecorporations such as Google and AppDynamics, which are currentlyemploying a large number of workers and generating huge revenues forthe country. On the other hand, low-skilled immigrants fill the gapin the blue-collar labor markets that most native-born Americansreject. Therefore, they become complementary workers who develop thebusiness prospects as opposed to destroying jobs or increasingcompetition (Cochran et al. 420). The foreigners also consume theproducts made in America thus, they raise the demand for mostproducts. As such, the manufacturing companies have to increase theirproduction capacity to satisfy the higher levels of demand, whichwill also promote growth and development of these industries.Consequently, it creates more employment opportunities because thecompanies have to employ more workers to meet the increased marketdemand. Moreover, the immigrants and native-born employees havevarying levels of academic qualifications and skills hence, they arequalified for different jobs.
Theimmigrants make a difficult and challenging choice to leave theirnative homes and come to America hence, they are usually verydetermined and some of the most productive members in the country.Consequently, the policies should continue to encourage immigration.The United States promotes immigration through the guest workers’programs, which allows foreigners to come to America and fill thelabor gap (Ford et al. 21). Additionally,the United States’ naturalization process allows immigrants to beAmerican citizens. Therefore, the foreigners are approved forpermanent residency as long as they meet the requirements.Nonetheless,the current guest workers and visa programs should be modified to bemore efficient to minimize immigrants illegally extending their stayin the country even after their permits or visas expire (Orrenius andZavodny 87). For example, the local and federal governments shouldimpose hefty fines for any employer who exploit and encourageimmigrants to enter the country illegally.
Currently,over 11 million unauthorized immigrants are residing in Americathus, the government is using various policies to limit the number offoreigners gaining entry through illegal channels (Ford et al. 21).The government has steadily increased the efforts to border securityand stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the United States.Then again, there were proposals to deport the illegal immigrants.However, these people have already found a refuge in the countrywhere some of them have even started businesses and become anintegral part of the society. Hence, deportation does not deter themfrom returning because they have higher incentives to the UnitedStates (Orrenius and Zavodny 88). Consequently, someof the government officials support granting amnesty to the illegalimmigrants who are already living in the country. This will ensurethat foreigners can obtain legal work permits and social securitynumbers so that they can start contributing to the economic growth bypaying taxes. Nevertheless, some opponents argue that this strategyonly serves to encourage more illegal immigrants into the country onthe hopes that they will also get amnesty. Accordingly, thegovernment needs to enforce more security at the border to prevententry of additional foreigners.
Thecountry should also support good governance and economic developmentin Latin America to eliminate the need for immigration. Thecombination of the need for workers in the United States and thedormant economy in Latin America creates the need to look for betteropportunities. To eliminate this trend, the United States shouldimplement market-based programs that offer temporary work permits toresidents of Latin America to fill in the labor demand (Addington).On the other hand, it will provide the American-based businessesaccess to a reliable workforce. For example, promoting free-marketeconomic reforms will strengthen the regional financial opportunitiesin Latin America and reduce the need for people to seek jobs abroad.
Inconclusion, immigration into the United States is a contentious issueas some people believe that it is beneficial to the country’seconomy while others argue that it increases unemployment. Researchshows that immigrants provide the much-needed low-skilled labor.Additionally, these individuals start businesses, which createemployment opportunities for their fellow foreigners and thenative-born workers. The immigrants come to the country seekingbetter jobs and living conditions thus, they hardly engage inunlawful activities. Besides, the deterrent techniques such asincarceration and possible deportation also discourage the foreignersfrom crime. In most cases, the immigrants have family ties andobligations promoted by their supportive community-basedinstitutions, which helps the youths avoid criminal associations. Thecountry has benefited from the immigrants, which is maintainedthrough work permits, visas, and naturalization. However, the numberof illegal immigrants is very high, and the government has enactedmeasures to limit more foreigners from getting into the countrythrough illegal channels. Currently, the security border has beentightened, and stricter policies proposed to deter unauthorized entryinto the country. America is a nation that has drawn much of itsdiversity and economic strength from immigrants who come to thecountry to add to the prosperity and energy of the citizens.Therefore, the government should have proper strategies and policiesthat will attract the best skills without necessarily eliminating thelow-skilled workers because they also have positive impacts on theeconomy. In spite of this, the levels of immigrants should becontrolled to maintain reasonable number to avoid overpopulation andadverse effects on the society.
Addington,David S. “Encouraging lawful immigration and discouraging unlawfulimmigration.”Heritage FoundationBackgrounder,No.2786, 27 March 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.
Cochran,Clarke E. Lawrence C. Mayer, T. R. Carr, Mark McKenzie, and N. JosephCayer. AmericanPublic Policy: An Introduction.Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Ford,Lynne E, Steffen W. Schmidt, Mack C. Shelley, and Barbara A. Bardes.American Government and Politics Today. Belmont, Calif:Wadsworth, 2013. Print.
Gans,Judith, Elaine M. Replogle, and Daniel J. Tichenor. Debates onU.S. . Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, 2012.Print.
Kochhar,Rakesh. “Three-in-Ten U.S. Jobs Are Held by the Self-Employed andthe Workers They Hire: Hiring More Prevalent Among Self-EmployedAsians, Whites and Men.” PewResearch Center,22 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.
Orrenius,Pia and Madeline Zavodny. The Economic Consequences of Amnesty forUnauthorized Immigrants. CatoJournal,Vol. 32, No. 1, 2012, pp.85-106.