Illegal Imigration Essay Sample

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  • Pages: 10
  • Word count: 2,492
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  • Category: immigration

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Introduction of TOPIC

So many things have been said about the American dream; so many people have struggle against themselves to prove that it does not only exist but can also be achieved. So many people worked hard and devoted their lives to this dream. To many people across the world immigrating to the United States is the American dream in itself. The United States has had immigration policy in effect that dates as far back as its birth. Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement pattern, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior. The controversy of illegal and legal immigrants is seen and disputed in our everyday life; it has become part of political campaigns every 4 years with new laws and old laws being revised.

Although the idea of extending open arms to those searching for a better life is heartwarming, the negative effects of such rampant illegal immigration are detrimental to the United States, legal immigrants and its natural-born citizens. The United States has been relaying on immigrants for the growth of population since its birth, however, the effects of rampant illegal immigration are detrimental to the citizens and permanent residents. There are currently 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, with an average of 500, 000 new entrants arriving over the last decade. As many as two –thirds of unauthorized immigrants enter the country by crossing the US-Mexico border, with the remaining 30-40 percent arriving on temporary visas and then staying on after their visa expires. (Hanson 6). Some of the many impacts of illegal immigration can be easily identified by examining the current health care system and associated costs, crime levels, and the billions of tax dollars dedicated to this issue. Illegal immigration only recently entered the general health debate, but has taken on a life of its own as one of the hotly discussed issues across the nation.

The debate over the residency status of the 11 million illegal immigrant boils, just as another battle is simmering; over what-if any- benefits illegal immigrants deserve while they are in the United States. Health care being one of the most heated arguments on the issue. Quite simply illegal immigration is hurting America’s health coverage. Although actual data on health care costs for illegal immigrants are hazy because hospitals and community health centers don’t ask about patients legal status, opponents of illegal immigration see health care benefit that illegal immigrants don’t deserve-and that taxpayers can’t afford. Many efforts have been made by our national and local governments to ensure taxpayers are not solely responsible when it comes to health care benefits for illegal immigrants. Across the country State legislatures are discussing to limit the costs to taxpayers of illegal immigration, to include health care benefits. In May, Oklahoma lawmakers restricted illegal immigrants from receiving most public benefits; other states, such as Nebraska, are seeking to follow suit. A bill introduced in Indiana this month would make hospitals report how much they spend on illegal immigrants.

On national level, an effort to add legal immigrant children to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program was blocked in senate last year (Wolf). This, however, does not stop some states, including New York, Illinois and Washington from providing health coverage to illegal immigrant’s children with state tax dollars. There are those who believe health care coverage should not be denied to anyone and being an illegal immigrant doesn’t qualify anyone not to be able to have health care coverage. Many hospitals just try to stay afloat because often time it is difficult for the staff to put a patient out on the street in an unsafe environment. Local health officials’ sponsors’ week-long immersion programs in Mexico in an effort to understand the immigrants who are inundating their area; making the doctors more sympathetic to the population of illegal immigrants. In California, a 2004 study by the Federation of American Immigration Reform put the state’s annual costs at $1.4 billion. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 59% of the nation’s illegal immigrants are uninsured compared with 25% of legal immigrants and 14% U.S. citizens.

Illegal immigrants represent 15% of the 47 million uninsured people-and about 30% of the increase since 1980 (USAtoday). Whereas there are many who believe illegal immigrants are one of the main reasons for this country’s economic burden, there are a group of people who believe without immigrant workers to fill the workforce, the United States economy would be worse off as some industries may be drastically affected. According to a Gallup poll conducted on August 2009, 50 percent of Americans believe that immigration should be decreased because the United States cannot sustain the financial burden that immigrants pose in difficult economic times (Morales). In the United States there are many jobs that natives’ workers do not want; illegal immigrants have filled these jobs due to their immigrant frame of reference. Although there are some people may argue that this economic stability is still compromised when immigrants exploit government services, in reality, as time goes by immigrants use fewer government services because their income increases, and this place less stress upon government finances.

According to Dr. Bracey, head researcher for the United States Center for the Study of Jobs and Education, “While the income of immigrants may initially be low, with time, immigrants’ incomes increases and their use of services declines (328). Hence, that although immigrants may initially appear to pose a strain on public services, the reliance on government assistance decreases to the point that they no l

onger have to exploit government services to uphold themselves. As immigrants spend more time in the

United States, they eventually use little or no government services. Those who have confidence that illegal immigrant are a help to the economy stability believe there many avenues of generating revenue for the United States economy. It is the opinion of those in favor of allowing illegal immigrants to work in the United States that by giving immigrants opportunities in this country will allow them to strengthen the growth of the United States economy. Although there is a group of people that supports the illegal migrant worker; Americans still believe there needs to be something done regarding illegal immigrants who cross the borders and have overstay their visas.

Lawmakers and law enforcement have always had a concern of visa overstays, estimating that as many as half the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants have overstay their visa. In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reviewed a backlog of about 1.6 million suspected overstays cases involving people who had come to the U.S. since 2004 (Caldwell). The visa violators have been largely ignore amid a national clamor to secure the border, fueled by Arizona’s new immigration law, the killing of a southern Arizona rancher and worries that the cartel violence in Mexico could spill into the country. While all this concern is going on the Obama administration doesn’t consider deporting people whose only offense is overstaying a visa a priority. The administration welcomes the decision to decrease deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety is a pragmatic approach to dealing with one of the nation’s more vexing issues. The new law focuses deportation more on those who have engaged in criminal activities or flagrantly violated immigration laws, and offers law-abiding illegal immigrants and their children an opportunity to stay.

This law would avoid breaking up families, allowing the illegal immigrants to attend school, obtain a work permit or serve in the armed forces. Critics of this law have stated that this is amnesty for illegal immigrants setting the path for more illegal immigrants to come through our borders or obtain a temporary visa then overstaying. A USA/Gallup poll released on May 4, 2010 showed that four in 10 Americans think it is extremely important for the government to do more this year to control U.S. borders. Senator McCain, who sits on the Senate of Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said illegal immigrants who overstay their visas are a ‘serious problem’. Kirkpatrick, who sits in the Homeland Security Committee, acknowledges that more attention needs to be paid to visa violators, especially keeping better track of people who don’t leave after their visa expires (Gonzales). There is no denying the problem in hand with illegal immigrants who have overstayed their visas; however, there are still people from our own government trying to change their status in the United States.

As stated in the above paragraph the Obama administration welcomes the decision to suspend deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who are no threat to national security and public safety; regardless of the indicated concerns of the public as well as members of the Homeland Security Committee, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) is an American legislative proposal which was first introduced in the senate on August 1, 2001 by Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Orrin Hatch; this bill would allow illegal immigrants who came into this country under the age of 16, of good moral characters, who graduated from a U.S. high school and lived in the country continuously for five years to obtain a conditional permanent residency by completing two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning. The Whitehouse views this bill as a way to improve on our economy and military recruitment as well as our status on the global economy. While the Whitehouse states that the DREAM Act is not amnesty to illegal immigrants’ children, those that oppose the DREAM Act believe it is a way of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

DREAM Act supporters claim that only children would benefit from such bill, but the facts tell another story. Under the DREAM Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals up to the age of 30-not exactly children. And some other proposals don’t even have an age limit (Smith). The Whitehouse stand on the previous quote is that young people must meet several requirements in order to qualify for the conditional status the DREAM Act will provide them; this only applying to individuals who entered the United States as children. The American public, House and Senate have people that are for the bill and against the bill; leaving the country divided in a very controversial topic. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial that argues: ‘Restrictionists dismiss the DREAM Act as an amnesty that rewards people who entered the country illegally. But the bill targets individuals brought here by their parents as children.

What is to be gained by holding otherwise law-abiding young people, who had no say in coming to this country, responsible for the illegal actions of others? The DREAM Act also makes legal status contingent on school achievement and military service, the type of behavior that ought to be encouraged and rewarded’. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) argues: ‘The American people have made it very clear that they reject amnesty for illegal aliens whether it’s on a comprehensive bill, or piecemeal’. Finally, the topic of illegal immigration is one that will always have this country splitting in two. While some of the American public, House and Senate agree that illegal immigrants put a toll on our economy and increases crime in the United States, other believe that illegal immigrants are helping the economy and crime is existence to any country with a diverse culture. The United States was founded based of immigrants coming to this country and there is no doubt that immigration is good for the growth of any country.

Health care coverage is one of the many debates in our political campaigns. The American people are torn in whether or not taxpayers should be response for the health care coverage for illegal immigrants or if they are in fact a burden to our taxpayers. Both our local and national government have made many efforts to ensure taxpayers are not solely responsible for health care coverage for illegal immigrants and their children. Although many still believe illegal immigrants are a burden to the economy because of the exploitation of government services, there are those that believe illegal immigrants are an actual asset to the country’s economy. In the United States there are many jobs U.S. citizens would not do or want; illegal immigrants have filled these jobs due to their immigrant frame of reference.

The group of people that believe illegal immigrants are a help to the country’s economy also believes that the longer the illegal immigrants are in the United States the more money they will make and the less government service they will require. Not all illegal immigrants in this country enter illegally; the majority of the illegal immigrants are people who came to this country with a temporary visa and overstayed. Although this is a major issue the Obama administration welcomes the decision to suspend deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who are no threat to national security and public safety; regardless of the indicated concerns of the public. By introducing the DREAM Act bill some believe will be a form of amnesty to illegal immigrants. The supporters of this bill claim it is not amnesty while those who oppose the bill claim that it is. With both sides having great points to the immigration topic it is uncertain where the future of immigration to the United States will stand.

Works Cited

“The DREAM Act illegal Alien Amnesty: A bad idea at the worst possible time” “The Truth about the DREAM Act”; 20 March, 2010
22 January, 2008
27 March, 2009
Bracey, Gerald W.; “Phi Delta Kappa January”; (2004); 207-08 Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
Foxnews.com; Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Chairman of the house judicial committee Gallup.com; 5 august, 2009
Gordon H. Hanson- University of San Diego; “The economic and policy of illegal immigration in the U.S.”; 2009 Morales Lyman; “American returns to tougher immigration stance” Richard Wolf; USAtoday.com; “Rising health care costs put focus on illegal immigrants” Tampa Bay Times; “Immigration
enforcement made sensible”; 24 August, 2011 The Arizona Republic; Daniel Gonzalez; “U.S. not cracking down on immigrants with expired visas”; 10 May, 2010 USAtoday.com; “Immigration grows, reading record numbers”; 12 December, 2005 Yahoo News; “Illegal immigrants with long expired visas remain tough to track decade after 9/11”; 6 March, 2012; Alicia A. Caldwell;

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