Illegal Immigration Destroying America

by on December 19th, 2010
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There are many reasons why illegal immigration is frowned upon, but at what cost? Does $113 billion sound like a lot? – Because that’s what the 2010 U.S. estimated cost was to cover illegal immigrants (see first reference for more detail). Note that there is no way to possibly track all of the illegal immigrants, so the amount cited could be drastically underestimated. However, this tracking problem leads us to our next problem with illegal immigration – paying for your crimes.

Take this example (note that not all illegal immigrants behave this way; this is merely for example):
An illegal immigrant is driving intoxicated, speeding, and is operating a stolen car. He causes a wreck, but luckily the other citizen is unharmed. Both the cars are damaged, and a policeman saw the whole thing happen. The policeman needs some type of identity to hold anyone in jail for paperwork and legal reasons. He approaches the illegal immigrant who is unable to communicate with him because he doesn’t speak English. The policeman is unable to find out anything about the illegal immigrant, and regretfully lets him go. Now the legal citizen whose car was stolen and the legal citizen’s car that he hit must be repaired with money out of their pockets while the culprit gets off scotch free. He also will not have a criminal record should he apply for a job, whereas a legal citizen would continue to pay for their crimes. In this scenario and many others, an illegal immigrant wins over a U.S. citizen.

Next problem: Jobs. Many people argue that illegal immigrants only take jobs that “white people” are “too good for.” This isn’t always the case. Many illegal immigrants have decent restaurant jobs that “white people” would be willing to take if given the chance. The problem is that legally, certain jobs must pay citizens minimum wage, while illegal citizens can be paid under the table to do the same job for much less money (illegally, of course). If there really is a problem with motivating legal citizens to take certain jobs, then the government should give these jobs to people receiving unemployment benefits. This way, people who want to work – can work, and those who don’t want to work will quit receiving unemployment benefits.

Another problem with illegal immigration which few people have taken into account is the legal immigrants who have spent time and money investing into their futures to better their lives in America. In one of my psychology classes in college, the professor offered to add an extra 10 points to a test grade if anyone in the class wrote a 10 page essay on the cognitive development of adolescents. When only four students in the class of sixty (myself included), wrote the essay, the professor decided to be generous and grant everyone an extra 10 points on their next test grade. The four of us were outraged, but the fifty-six other students were excited and content. I remember thinking, “How unfair! We worked so hard to earn those extra points, and it was all for nothing!” – That’s how I imagine legal immigrants would feel if illegal immigrants were granted amnesty.

This of course is not to say that our immigration system isn’t flawed; it takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and a good lawyer to become a legal citizen of the United States. If the process was to be simplified, perhaps America could gain an advantage to legal immigration by bringing in talented individuals rather supporting illegal immigrants with programs such as WIC.

On the other hand, some illegal immigrants have “anchor” babies. The children are United States citizens under the Constitution, and no one wants to separate mother and child. We could put the children in orphanages and deport their parents, but surely there is a more civilized way of doing things. The children have done nothing wrong, and it would be a shame if they had to pay for their parent’s crimes.

Some illegal immigrants have been here since a young age; take for example a young girl who moved to America from Mexico with her parents when she was only two years old. She had no choice in the matter, and she is not a legal citizen. However, her family has been here for 19 years since then. She is now 21 years old, has a steady job (with a false social security number, that is), but has participated in school activities, made friends, and grown up in an American society. Is it fair that she be taken back to Mexico when she remembers nothing of the country?

Illegal immigration is a problem, and it needs to be resolved before things get more out of hand. Most people agree with this statement, but few know a way to resolve things. The main problem is what to do with illegal immigrants and their children. This article has been an attempt to shed light on both sides of the argument to search for a better answer. It can be a touchy subject, but hopefully by evaluating these scenarios, you can look at illegal immigration with a more open mind and help better our society with your ideas for America’s future.

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