Immigration: A Continued Cycle

May 20, 2008
By Amy Gill, Valdosta, GA

Since the nineteenth century, America has always had a problem with immigration. From the overflowing of Europeans in the late eighteen hundreds, to the millions of illegal immigrants pouring in from poorly secured borders, immigration is once again the “hottest issue” (TIME magazine). Although immigrants have made America the “salad bowl” it is today, illegal aliens are causing more turmoil in this country than ever before. While solutions are being proposed and carried out to protect our American borders, the real controversy now is what to do with the illegal immigrants that are presently in the United States, which poses the question of whether to deport them or allow them to remain in this country as legal citizens.
When Chinese immigrants came to America in the mid eighteen hundreds and began taking jobs such as constructing the Central Pacific Railroad and other tedious jobs for relatively no money, Americans were outraged and demanded action from the government. Over one hundred and fifty years later, the exact same situation has reoccurred. The simplest solution to the problem of illegal aliens currently living in America may be to penalize the source, or employers of these immigrants, which would entail their deportation. Consequently, several major obstacles would arise. The first being that the government must enforce and follow through with any legislatures made. Laws are already in place that forbids illegal immigrants from working in the U.S, but the government fails in actually preventing this scenario from occurring. Further and more importantly, if illegal aliens are deported and the jobs they held open back up to legal citizens, would American’s even take advantage of those jobs?
Let’s face it-the jobs that many illegal immigrants hold, very few Americans would even consider. Similar to the situation with Chinese immigrants, American citizens are once again complaining that their jobs are being taken away, yet maybe only a small percentage of them would actually do the menial labor jobs needed. Instead of deporting, a better approach would be to have an application process that would help grant legal citizenship to the illegal immigrants already in the U. S. Not only will the menial jobs be filled, it will allow the immigrants to improve their life, since most are still living well below the poverty level. Also, the second and third generation children of the illegal migrants will also have a chance to prosper in society and obtain a proper education. Known as the “land of opportunity,” we as Americans should not deny a proper life to those who are working so hard to provide for their families and to give them a better life than they have ever lived.
When talking about immigration, we see that history tends to repeat itself. Immigration has always been and will continue to be a major domestic issue. Much has been done to secure our borders, and attempts are being made to legalize the illegal aliens already in America. With patience and time, America could potentially see a decrease in the amount of illegal immigrants trying to cross the borders and a chance at the “American dream” for those already here.

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