There is a strong debate in our country whether immigration has beneficial benefits or have a harmful impact on the United States. Immigration policies are very strict, the United States decides who may enter, who may become a member, and on the terms the country provides. In America completely open borders would be a political nightmare, provoke a backlash against immigrants that could bring frustration to United States citizens. With that pressure however, there are a number of ways for immigrants to get into the United States. We let in some immigrants in to reunite families; others because of the labor, skills, or providing a safe haven for refugees. Through my research I have found why the United States should loosen the strict immigration laws to allow for a better America.
Immigration is a major part in history for the United States. According to the History Channel European immigrants began to start dispersing throughout the east coast of America in the early sixteen hundreds. many immigrants looking for better opportunities in the United States. Others, were hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans that were brought to America against their will. (History.com editor) Immigration is the foundation of the United States. By having stricter laws on immigration destroys the American dream that so many immigrants strive for. Schoen from NBC news adresses “Between 1880 and 1930 over 27 million people entered the United States, about 20 million of them through Ellis Island in New York city. Only 2 percent were turned away.” (Schoen, John W.) Immigration used to be effortless for immigrants come to the United States allowing for more tradition and a better financial system for the United States.
The laws are simply too harsh for Immigrants, especially for those who come to America to work. Immigrants are usually attracted to growing regions with lots of unskilled labor and they increase the supply and demand of the economy once they are there. Allowing businesses a cheaper labor force and a growing economy. If we no longer had this ability of cheap labor many of the jobs would grow to be automated. This allows for expanding employment opportunities, that most United States citizens don’t want to do for a career. Stricter legal guidelines on immigrants additionally impacts American wages. The current laws limits immigrants working in the United States. Though increasing the amount of immigrants may also increase the wages for some Americans it may impact the few citizens who directly compete with them. Immigrants compete mostly with different immigrants so the influence on un skilled Americans citizens would possibly be very small. (Nowrasteh, Alex) While immigrants can affect the jobs and yearly earnings it is not as bad as most American Citizens think it will affect them.
Relaxing the laws on immigration also could bring positives and negatives to citizens yearly incomes. This depends on if your a member of the upper class or the middle class, immigrants should have little or no effect on your wages. Although if you are a lower class high school dropout, then immigrants legal and illegal may bring your wages down a bit. While many people suggest immigrants throw American citizens out of work, this shows that even though they no doubt take some people from their jobs. The presence of immigrants here also creates jobs, as immigrants buy clothing, eat out at restaurants, and sign contracts. If their low priced labor was not available Americans would have to pay more for their luxuries. (Salamon, Jeff.) This in turn helps grow the economy of the United States making it easier for small businesses to survive.
The imigration laws are intended to help keep the United States safe by keeping criminals out, but this also prevents some good immigrants from entering. Immigrants were thought to have a greater chance to be criminals than United States citizens. Although findings show that illegal immigration is not associated with violent crimes. The federal government also pressures researchers to estimate the incarcerated illegal immigrant population using different estimation techniques that find that illegal immigrants more likely to be incarcerated than Americans. (Nowrasteh, Alex) “A large majority of the areas recorded decreases in both violent and property crime between 2007 and 2016, consistent with a quarter-century decline in crime across the United States. The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell. Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime rates.” (Flagg, Anna.) Although, the difference was small, the research revealed that un documented immigrants are following laws and focusing on trying to live the American dream.
However, research has shown that being born outside the United States is related with crime and is now not associated with committing violent or property crimes. If an undocumented immigrant is arrested for a criminal offense, it tends to be for a misdemeanor. Researchers suggest that undocumented immigrants might also be less likely to commit serious criminal behavior because they seek to earn money and not to draw attention to themselves. (Frances Bernat) Additionally, immigrants who get the right of entry to the United States are much less likely to commit crime than those who live in the same communities with them. In regards to the victimization of immigrants that are more likely to be victims of crime. Immigrant victims of crime may not file their victimization due to the fact of fears that they will have bad consequences if they contact the police. (Gonzalez-Barrera)
Though there are immigrants who are committing violent crimes it is not as much as the American citizens. Recently, concern about immigration and victimization has turned to refugees and immigrants who are at risk in their home countries. The United States focuses on border security might be confusing their efforts on the wrong people during global crisis. Immigrants in forced migrations from Poverty and war can be labeled as a threat to the United States. This makes it hard for a person to leave their homeland in search of a better life. The United States government should be addressing the situation better when enforcing immigration laws and policies. (Bernate, Frances) Those policies and practices have included massive illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers at the United States-Mexico border.
While also separating families illegally and detaining them for long periods of time at the border. Which the United States government had intentionally and purposely tried make struggles on families seeking asylum. This was an action intended to stop further refuges from trying to enter the United States. Many refuges were given ill-treatment which rose to the level of torture in some cases. This inhumane way of treating the refugees is against world laws. (USA: You Don’t Have Any Rights Here.) While the United States still uses these policies and they need to be changed for the greater good. Through the immigraton policy many Americans view immigration as a threat. This threat is being viewed the wrong way. The United States is trying to defend the nation against foriegn threats with these policies. The United States invites millions of strangers to come here, transforming our society by demanding secure borders against illegal workers. While they do not allow illegal workers terrorist come into the country on a temporary stay and do not apply for visas. (Schuck, Peter)
Terrorism is a modern means to wage war. There were a large range of bombings and terrorist assaults in the early twentyth century, most of them committed through immigrants and socialists. Today, the deaths from terrorism through immigrants are greater than they had been a century in the past but the risk is still very low compared to the advantages of immigration. Though immigration is not associated with terrorist attacks, the risk of being murdered in an attack committed by using a foreign terrorist is very slim (Bier, David.) Many Americans fall into that trap of thinking that immigrants from foreign countries were going to try to hurt them or damage their country.
The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has dropped in the United States due to Immigration policies and border protection. This decline is due mainly to a large drop in the number of new unauthorized immigrants, especially Mexicans, coming into the country. The origin countries of unauthorized immigrants also shifted during that time, with the number from Mexico declining and the number rising from Central America and Asia. (Gonzalez, Barrera) “Studies show that the importance of this population of workers will only grow in coming years. For example, in 2014, unauthorized immigrants made up 24 percent of maids and cleaners, an occupation expected to need 112,000 more workers by 2024. In construction, the number of additional laborers needed is estimated at close to 150,000. And while only 4 percent of personal care and home health aides are undocumented, the U.S. will soon require more than 800,000 people to fill the jobs necessary to take care of retiring baby boomers.” (Dudley, Mary Jo.) This shows the importance of having workers to be able to keep up with the demands of the United States needs for a labor force. While having these stricter immigrasion laws we are losing the ability to do necessary jobs.
The immigration policy system has some flaws that need to be addressed. Immigrants from certain countries must wait forever to immigrate to the United States. Adults and children from Mexico and the Philippines who are receiving their green cards right now had to wait two decades. While the immigrants who are applying for a green card now will never receive it at all before they reach the front of the line because so many applicants have piled up over the years. (Beir, David) The problems that come from waiting for the green card make it hard on immigrant families. Research from the book on Immigration Issues shows “ Immigrants work heavy in the underground cash economy avoiding paying taxes and social security tax, but they use public health services, send their children to public schools, through fake documents and get on welfare rolls.” (Bischoff, Henry.) This is a major flaw in the immigration system that needs to change. The laws are so strict that people need to come to America illegally to stay and the United States is missing out on a massive amount of tax revenue.
The goal of this paper has been to provide information about the impact of immigration on American society to better inform the immigration policy. While there is always a discussion about what kind of immigration policies should be changed in the future. The fact of the matter is Whatever one’s view of immigration is, it is very important to understand that its effect on America represents a choice. Enabling more immigrants to enter the country would not only benefit America but bring it back to its internal roots.