Illegal Immigration Essay
Jared Houghton Rhetoric & Research Dr. Reneslacis 4/13/07 The Invasion of Illegal Immigrants The United States has been invaded—not by a conquering army or some world superpower. These invaders take on a different form. They have no leader, no weapons of mass destruction, and no militaristic plan of attack. Yet these invaders pose one of the greatest threats to America’s future. Who are these dreaded invaders who pose such a threat? They are illegal immigrants. In the past few years, illegal immigrants have become a major topic in the political realm.
Peter Katel, the author of “Illegal Immigration” and many other well known political articles, is a highly respected author and correspondent in Newsweek’s Miami Journal. According to Peter Katel, it is estimated that more than ten million illegal immigrants are now living in the United States. This number has increased from only 3. 5 million fifteen years ago (Katel 3). Illegal immigrants threaten to destroy America’s economy, national and domestic security, and culture.
Why are illegal aliens a security issue? One of the biggest fears concerning the illegal immigration problem is the security issue that arises.
In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed by two Middle Eastern men, Mohamed and Mahmud Abouhalima, who had gained permanent residence in the country illegally. These two men used flaws and loopholes in the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s regulations in order to unlawfully obtain green cards (Katel 9). This is just one example of how illegal immigrants have compromised national security. Regarding domestic security, illegal immigrants have had a tremendous effect on the safety of individuals, mainly in the large cities.
According to the City Journal, which is a nationally respected political magazine whose readership spans across the United States, “Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens,” and they account for “ninety-five percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500)” and “up to two-thirds of all fugitive warrants (17,000). ” In addition, illegal immigrants play a large role in gangs, mafia, and other organized crime rings which often are deeply involved in dealing drugs.
These groups participate in a number of other illegal activities such as robbery, assault, and racketeering as well as more serious crimes such as murder and rape. However, because of laws and restrictions, police are often unable to use immigrants’ illegal status to apprehend these known criminals before they commit more crimes (MacDonald 1). In 2000 approximately thirty percent of all criminals in prison were born in another country. Many of these felons are arrested and then re-arrested for committing new crimes after being released from prison the first time (MacDonald 4). How does illegal immigration affect our economy?
Illegal immigrants also have a detrimental effect on the United States economy. One of the largest complaints among American workers is the fact that illegal aliens are taking American jobs, and because illegals are willing to be paid less, wages are being depressed. Employers greatly benefit from the illegal workforce because they are able to obtain cheaper labor and are able to exercise greater control over the workers because of their illegal status. Many argue that illegal immigrant workers are good for the economy because they fill the jobs when no one else is available to fill them.
This is only partially true. There are native born workers and even legal immigrants who are available to fill the jobs, but they are reluctant to fill those positions because of low wages and poor working conditions (Katel 2, 7). There are several people who believe that immigrants are beneficial to the economy in America. Pro-immigration people argue that if there is a ten percent raise in immigrant population that it would lower the native wages up to one percent, which is $44 billion a year. Aslo that products made by immigrants also raises profit.
Illegal immigrants are also damaging to the economy because they work and earn money in the United States, but they put very little back into the economy. These illegal aliens do not pay taxes, and yet they still receive the benefits of government-funded programs such as education, medical care, and welfare. These programs are funded by taxes paid by citizens of the United States (Barlett-Steele 5). Some proponents of the open-borders suggest that illegal immigrants add more to the economy through their labor than they take out in services and programs. This is simply not true.
A recent study from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that illegal aliens “use an estimated $2,700 more per year in services than they contribute in taxes. ” This cost the federal government $10. 4 billion in the year 2002 (“Open-Border Lobby”). When illegals take advantage of government-funded programs and services without doing their fair share to support them, then the tax burden that falls on the legal citizens increases. In addition, many illegal workers from Mexico (America’s largest source of illegals) work and earn money, but then send a majority of that money back to Mexico.
This has a large impact on the economy because money is being earned in the workplace, but that money is not being put back into the economy. In fact, $13 billion dollars was sent to Mexico by immigrant workers in the year 2003. This is Mexico’s third largest source of income behind oil and manufacturing (Barlett-Steele 5). Not only does the economy suffer from unpaid taxes and loss of money, but it also suffers from the amount of money spent on illegal aliens. The government spends billions of dollars and a great deal of manpower (11,000 officers) on border control, just trying to keep out the illegal aliens (Katel 5).
In one deportation program implemented in July of 2004, approximately $13 million dollars was spent on transporting illegal immigrants back across the Mexican border (Barlett-Steele 6). Also, because of the large percentage of illegals that are incarcerated for criminal activities, the government must commit larger funds to the penal system. Where does the government get all this money to pay for these illegal aliens—from American tax dollars! (MacDonald 4). How does illegal immigrants affect the American culture?
Another area that is affected by the invasion of illegal immigrants is the American culture. The constant influx of illegal aliens combined with their unwillingness to conform to the American way of life is slowly eroding many of the cultural aspects of the American society. Often illegal aliens refuse to or do not take the initiative to learn the nationally spoken language, English, and are reluctant to be assimilated into the culture. These immigrants tend to group together and create their own neighborhoods, secluding themselves from the rest of the country.
This often creates communication problems and promotes segregation, hatred, and fear among differing races (Katel 19-20). Harvard historian Samuel Huntington stated, “Continuation of this large immigration [without improved assimilation] could divide the United States into a country of two languages and two cultures…Hispanic leaders are actively seeking to transform the United States into a bilingual society” (Katel 20). The United States is beginning to become no longer “united. ” When a nation cannot maintain unity among the people within its own borders, then that country will not long stand.
Many also argue that immigration is good for our culture because it brings diversity, but all the negative aspects out way the good. The diversity leads to more crime, ethnic violence, and so on. It is also beneficial for the immigrants to come to America because of the increase in their standard of living, but that in no way helps the host country but normally hurts. And the invasion continues even today. Conservative estimates claim that almost 1,400 people everyday—511,000 a year—cross over the American borders illegally, and those numbers continue to increase each year.
In years past, illegal aliens often confined themselves to just a few areas such as Texas and California, but now immigrants are beginning to infiltrate all areas of the United States. People all over the country can now readily see the influence of illegal immigrants in the community, while this was not as true only ten years ago (Katel 3). Can Americans help the issue of illegal immigration? So what are Americans to do about this invasion of our homeland? We should first look at it from a Christian standpoint.
First of all, there should be a rejection of trespassing among the American people. Among illegal aliens we have brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are called to share the Gospel, but that does not stop our national borders (Barber). It is not “un-Christian” to support restricted immigration in ones country. Secondly, Americans should support the government in its enforcement of the law. It is not “un-Christian” to advocate the deportation of illegal immigrants, know that the government is supposed to punish lawbreakers, and Christian criminals are no exception to the law (Barber).
La Shawn Barber said this in one of her recent articles on illegal immigration,” To require my government to ignore crime, ask others to do the same, and pay to support criminals is unbiblical! ” Lastly, we as Americans need to pray for our government and the illegals that are invading out borders. We need to pray that our government will handle this situation with a solution that will bring glory to God. The immigrants also need prayer that they will see that immigration is not the problem; the illegal part is the problem. Many citizens have already taken action.
For example, groups of individuals, such as the Minutemen, have gone to the Mexico-United States border in order to drive back the illegals crossing the border, but they are only a small group and cannot do it by themselves (Katel 7). Some Americans are unaware of the issue illegal immigrants impose, but many others do not see the urgency of the situation or simply choose to do nothing about it. For years, men and women have defended this great country from enemies from both sea and land. Many have sacrificed land, family, comfort, and even life to promote the security and well-being of this land so many Americans call home.
Now this country is being invaded by a more subtle and quiet force, but still the consequences could be fatal to the unity of this country. The solution to this growing problem is summed up in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt in his speech on immigration in 1907,” In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. Are we as Americans simply going to sit back and allow our country to be overtaken? Is it not our duty as American citizens to defend this land against all forms of attack? Do we dare do nothing to preserve our great nation? What can the Government do to help? The United States government needs to get more involved with this issue of illegal immigration. Instead of setting back and just having debates about what should be done, law makers need to just decide what is best for our country and act upon that decision.
Every minute law makers delay with passing bills to try to solve this problem, more illegals cross the borer. Strict affirmative action needs to take place to solve this problem. The issue of illegal immigration is very relevant today in our country. It is something that could completely change our nation if not dealt with soon. This attack of immigrants is threatening to destroy our economy, our national and domestic security, and our culture. We need to pray, take action, and stand firm as a nation to defeat this difficult foe.