ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ISSUE

May 15, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Seven years had passed since I have moved or in better terms, “migrated” to the United States of America. Yet those three words printed at the first chapter of my third grade textbook still lit brightly in my memory: E pluribus Unum, a Latin dictum that means “out of many one.” Similar to the melting pot, it signifies that people of different races, religions, and ancestries have emerged as one single nation. Immigration has formed the United States since the beginning of the colonial period to modern times today. However, immigration is now an issue. Now it has drawn itself a border with controversies on both sides, and the line between of what is right and what is wrong remains unclear.
The problem with immigration ties with illegal immigrants. Estimated by the Center for Immigration Studies, there about are 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the US. On a larger scale, this is four percent of the population. The major argument with illegal immigrants is their impact on the US economy. This breaks down to the problems of taxation, education, and jobs. However if you observe at these factors closely, undocumented immigrants contribute not only negative but also positive impacts to the U.S. economy.

For example, take the claim that the undocumented don't pay income taxes, taking in more services than they contribute. However, IRS estimates that about 6 million illegal immigrants file individual income tax returns annually. In addition, Standard & Poor’s estimated illegal immigrants pay in about $7 billion per year into Social Security even though most of them will never claim their benefits because they are ineligible.

When it come to the cost of health care, illegal immigrants account for less than 2% of national medical spending, according to USA Today. Because most illegal immigrants are relatively young and healthy, they generally don't need as much health care treatment as U.S. citizens, studies showed.

Although many people claimed that illegal immigrants are taking away their jobs, this is a logical fallacy because it is based on the assumption that there is only a fixed number of jobs in the economy. There are countless jobs available and most of the jobs taken by illegal immigrants are harsh, lowing paying jobs that most Americans aren’t willing to do. The Current Population Survey report immigrants are concentrated in occupations such as construction, cleaning, and maintenance; production; and farming. People often ignore the positive impact that when the wages of lower-skilled workers go down, the rest of America benefits by paying lower prices for things like restaurant meals, agricultural produce, and construction.

There is a cost to the US economy by illegal immigrants and that is education. Standard & Poor's analysts wrote, “Local school districts are estimated to educate 1.8 million undocumented children. At an average annual cost of $7,500 per student, the cost of providing education to these children is about $11.2 billion...” This falls into the question of whether everyone deserves a free education.

Frankly, I used to be one of these people who complained about illegal immigrants. However, I was ignorant because I did not examine keenly at the facts. It seems like most Americans are like this too. In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 74 percent of respondents said illegal immigrants weakened the economy, while only 17 percent said they strengthened it. In tough economic times like this, the solution getting rid of the illegal immigrants appears at the tip of Americans’ tongues. Yet most of us ignored the major causes of our weakened economy. When I googled in “major causes of US weakened economy” illegal immigrants is nowhere mentioned. ( “20 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy Is Dying And Is Simply Not Going To Recover”; “Causes of Economic Recession” ; “The U.S. economic crisis: Causes and solutions” ;“Democrat blames weak economy on Iraq war”). Economic recessions are caused by a decline in GDP growth, which is itself caused by a slowdown in manufacturing orders, falling housing prices and sales, and a drop-off in business investment (USeconomy).

As a resident of Georgia, I am concerned when Georgia's governor on May (Ironically Friday the 13th) signed a tough new state law cracking down on illegal immigrants. It makes transporting illegal immigrants a crime and requires employers to check the immigration status of workers. Governor Nathan Deal said the measure would take a burden off schools, hospitals, and prisons by reducing the number of illegal immigrants in the state. Whether this will turn out to be a failure like the Arizona illegal immigration law or boost Georgia economy, only time will tell.

Personally, I believe that there must be exceptions to every law. The hackneyed quote, “One rotten apple does spoil the whole bunch” is not necessary true. You can dispose the rotten one but keep the rest. My main point is that illegal immigration laws shouldn’t be applied to all unauthorized people. From students in my school to the workers at the local supermarkets to little kids I tutored after school, I have met people who do amazing things. There should be exceptions to those who work hard or privileges similarly to those presented the Dream Act which fail to become ratified. In times like this, I questioned the hypocrisy promise of the “unalienable rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”





Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Iamhere4u said...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Wow! I agree with this. I also no many immigrants and they are my closest friends. It seems that america has forgotten what our motto means. I can't imagine myself without these people. They have helped me become who I am. 
 
GirlDreamer replied...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm
thank you and yes, i have many illegal immigrants as my friends :) and because of that here are two sides to every story
 
Iamhere4u replied...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm
THat is so true :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback