How to treat the illegal immigrants has been a major controversial topic in the US.
Opponents of fair treatment argue that illegal immigrants pose a threat to the country’s security, compete for job opportunities as well as exert pressure on the public resources like schools, hospitals and roads. (Feinberg R, 2002). Other issues highlighted against them are that they trigger increased social crimes especially in the urban cities, compromise on the country’s culture and national heritage as well as trigger housing problems.
On the other hand, proponents argue that they ought to be treated fairly as they contribute to the country’s economy especially in the informal sector. They further argue that unfair treatment of the illegal immigrants is a double standard measure adopted by the American government and it also compromises on the nation’s founding principles where all people are to be treated with respect and dignity. This paper will highlight the major issues raised in support for fair treatment of illegal immigrants in the US.
Immigration has been taking place since time immemorial courtesy of the push as well as the pull factors that make some places desirable and others undesirable. Pull factors include better and more stable political, social as well as economic nations while push factors are the opposite and include calamities like hurricanes, war as well as high unemployment rates. Illegal immigration in US which has its roots to the famous Bracero program that sought to encourage Mexicans to curb the shortage in labor supply in the US has been a source of conflicting views in America. (LeMay M. 2007.). Illegal immigrants gain entry into the US through three major ways. Some use fake documents, others use legal documents yet extend their stay after the stipulated deadline is over while others cross the border illegally. (Borjas G, 1999).
Illegal immigrants contribute positively to the US economy and should consequently be treated fairly. They offer cheap labor in areas that other US citizens would be unwilling to work. Most of them work in the hospitality, construction and agricultural sectors all of which have a role to play in the US economy. Others work in people’s houses which makes the Americans working in formal sector more effective. . (Karim R, 2008). They are willing to offer their hard labor at a cheaper cost and in hostile environments which translates to higher profits for the businessmen exploiting their labor. Complete elimination of the illegal immigrants in the US would be of dire consequences to the country’s economy as some farmers may be shy away from cultivating some crops necessitating a shortage in their supply and consequently the prices of these commodities would rise. Denying the illegal immigrants access to social amenities like education as well as medical services is therefore unfair given their positive effects on the economy. (Karim R, 2008).
Since the 911 terrorist attacks many nations have become cautious of the immigration policies. Harsh treatment of the illegal immigrants is supported on the grounds that they pose a security threat to the Americans. However, most immigrants are poor people in need of assistance rather than condemnation. Poor immigrants may not pose the terrorism threat to the US as they lack the finances that would be needed to fund such heinous acts. Most of the illegal immigrants are law abiding people and hence pose no security threat to the American citizens. The link between terrorism and illegal immigrants has however not been proved.
The argument that illegal immigrants trigger the competition for labor and consequently lower the natives wage rates are also uncalled for and do not warrant their harsh treatment. In most cases the illegal immigrants will offer semi skilled labor and most Americans are educated and can offer skilled labor hence pose no grounds for competition with the immigrants. Again, the magnitude that the illegal immigrants pose in as far as the lowering of the American citizens wages is very minimal. This is attributed to the fact that illegal immigrants tend to be concentrated in certain regions and natives offering semiskilled labor tend to move to where there are not concentrated. This way the competition for labor that depresses wages is avoided. (Karim R, 2008).
According to America’s founding principles all people are to be treated fairly and given the respect they deserve. There ought to be equal opportunities for all in the American soil something that is not exercised ion as far as the illegal immigrants are concerned. Proponents of fair treatment of illegal immigrants argue that the government should not treat innocent illegal immigrants who are out to make ends meet disrespectfully especially for her own failures. (Mojtabai F, 2006). The slow US visa award system sees legal immigrants extend their stay sometimes not for the attractive opportunities in the country but to cover up for the time they spent waiting. The legal entry process must be made affordable and less time consuming as it works to encourage illegal immigration.
Ironically, the measures adopted by the US to curb illegal immigration are ineffective as they do not address the root problems. As long as the US continues to offer attractive opportunities to the illegal immigrants while making the legal procedures ineffective the illegal immigration will persist. The US ought to make the legal entry process effective and efficient as it is currently lengthy and full of bureaucracy necessitating illegal means to gain entry into the nation. Again, the US can make the job opportunities in the informal sector that attract illegal immigrants attractive to her citizens by making the environment safer. Investment in modern and better technologies as well as the employment of more staff to enhance the country’s security would be of better results in curbing insecurity as opposed to harsh treatment of illegal immigrants.
Illegal immigrants ought to be treated fairly as they make significant positive contribution to the US economy. The argument that they trigger unemployment has been proved wrong given the fact that most Americans have higher education attainment making them qualified for skilled labor as opposed to the semi skilled labor offered by the illegal immigrants. (Karim R, 2008). Instead of denying them welfare benefits and instilling fear in them that they risk deportation on sight the government can adopt effective registration where they can become documented. After documentation it would be easier to improve their working conditions as well as negotiations for better pay where they can pay taxes like other American citizens. The argument that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes is also questionable given the fact that some use fake documents to pay for their social security. Advocating for unfair treatment of the illegal immigrants on the grounds that they pose a security problem into the US has not yet been proved and though precautionary measures would be vital with the increased terrorism threat it is unfair to treat them harshly on mere allegations. Most illegal immigrants find their way into the US not as the US enemies but as poor people seeking opportunities to better their lives as well as those of their families.
Borjas G. 1999. Heaven’s door: immigration policy and the American economy
Princeton University. Press.
Feinberg R. 2002. Bilingual education: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO Publishers.
Greenblatt A. 2008. Chapter 9: Immigration Debate. CQ Researcher. P 191-211
Karim R. 2008. Chapter 10. Americas Border Fence. CQ Researcher. P 215-230
LeMay M. 2007. Illegal Immigration: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO,
Mojtabai Farzin. 2006. Illegal Immigrants Deserve Fair Treatment. Retrieved on April 9,
2009 from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/26480/illegal_immigrants_deserve_fair_treatment.html.
Cite this Illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants. (2016, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/illegal-immigrants/