Illegal Immigration Hurting The United States
For centuries, the United States has welcomed immigrants from various countries and have become home to them. In the 1800s, immigrants were even essential for the building of the steam engine and railroad tracks (Schaefer, 2013). As time passed immigration has increased and laws regulating immigration have not been enforced causing over population of unskilled immigrants. While unregulated immigration has its benefits, which help organizations, like social security it does not negate the fact that they are straining resources and the economy.
Poverty and Immigration. The overflow of undocumented immigrants is cause for concern for many reasons. There are too many underpaid unskilled workers hired over native citizens. According to Opposing Viewpoints (2012), “wage and salary differences demonstrate how illegal and unskilled immigrants place downward pressure on wages by providing an incentive for employers to choose them over natives”. Immigrants are known to work jobs that most American’s shy away from such as agriculture work, factories, food preparation and cleaning services (Opposing Viewpoints, (2012).
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Employers rather hire unskilled workers because they can pay low wages, increase productivity, and work long hours and in poor conditions. This affects citizens because it denies them of the opportunity to find work and get paid well. While it may seem that unskilled workers increase productivity with low wages and contributes generously to the Unites States government coffers, like social security. The income they generated is not enough to cover the excessive use of resources they use.
Their dependence on government resources is affecting the economy. Immigrants with low paying jobs are not able to support their families and afford medical insurance causing them to depend on government assistance. Illegal immigrants with large families tend to drain public spending by using up more resources than the income they generate (Opposing Viewpoints, 2012). Some of these examples are; the use public schools for their children free or reduce lunch, demand fire and police protection and the use of highways.
Other resources exhausted by illegal immigrants, to name a few more are, the food assistance programs, Medicaid for their infant and children and housing assistance that Unites States government help provide for their citizens. The United States provide many resources to help their native citizens, however; there are too many immigrants using up these resources that it is putting a strain in the economy. Resources exhausted by illegal immigrants are costing taxpayer payer’s money (Opposing Viewpoints, 2012).
The United States government use taxes paid by citizens and legal immigrants for resources stated above. (housing programs, food stamps, Medicaid and other resources stated above) Impact on Health Care According to Opposing Viewpoints (2012), “There are at least 20 to 30% of uncompensated medical services being provided to illegal immigrants. ” There may be more than that has not been reported yet. The uncompensated health care services affect the economy and taxpayers. Hospital staffs have known to practice the “do not ask, do not tell”.
Therefore, the illegal immigrant patients are not asked, for proper documentation before receiving health care services. The result of not asking uninsured patients who is illegal and who is not has increased uncompensated care which is costing tax payers money. It is well known that hospitals in the United States are not, by law, allowed to turn away patients for lack of insurance. This is something that illegal immigrants, take advantage of, knowing that they do not need to fear being asked if they are illegal.
According to Illegal immigration healthcare costs affects you (2010), some states with the highest number of uninsured patients and the highest burden of illegal immigrants are those located by the border like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Tax paying citizens are reaping the consequences of having to pay the high cost for medical services. The failure to ask for proper medical services is not just hurting our tax payer it is also depleting medical resources and costing more money to keep hospitals running.
Lack Skill and Education Affects the Economy The increased poverty level in the United States is also the result of lack of education of foreign born citizens. Many undocumented immigrants are unskilled and uneducated. Many, illegal immigrants have been known to live in the United States for at years and have not learned to speak English much less made an effort pursue an education to improve themselves. There are some who have learned to speak, read and write English but have not gone further than that.
Limited job opportunity because of lack of training and education are limited to agriculture which are seasonal, like sugar beets, and picking oranges to name a couple, construction, janitorial and food preparations are filled mostly my immigrants. These are jobs that most American citizens avoid. “Nearly 31 percent of foreign-born residents over the age of 25 are without a high school diploma, compared to just 10 percent of native-born citizens” (Opposing Viewpoints, 2012). There seem to be no balance of legal and illegal immigrants. There are more unskilled and uneducated immigrants from various countries overwhelming the economy.
There are less skilled workers in the Unites States like Doctors, and Engineers to name a couple. Lack of Reinforcement According to U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2009), the Public Law of 99-603 was passed in order to control and keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States. The objective of this act was to legalize undocumented aliens who had been living in the United States illegally since 1982. Legalizing certain agricultural workers, and sanctioning employers who knowingly hiring undocumented workers was also part of the 1982 act. According to U. S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (2009), this act was meant to increased enforcement at U. S. borders to prevent an overflow of immigrants. Even though the act is still in effect, there does not seem to make a difference. There are still many employers who hire illegal immigrants and have been doing so for years and have not been caught. Some employers may ask for proof of documentation and as long immigrants can show proof many employers will follow through and document, file and copy their proof of documentation. There seems to be no monitor for employers to hold them accountable.
The 1996 act also reemphasizes the “1982 act” to keep Illegal immigrants from entering the United States and using up resources, like food assistance, and claiming social security. Even though these acts were created to protect the United States from the overflow of illegal immigrants migrating and keeping them from using up resources, these acts are not being aggressively enforced. There is a law enforcement agency whose job is to secure the borers and prevent unlawful entry to the United States but there are simply not enough agents to perform this job.
Therefore, undocumented immigrants are still getting through and are continuing to become a burden to the United States. As long as the borders continue to be unsecure because of lack of man power, or funds to supply man power, illegal immigrants will continue to cross the borders. As long as employers do not obey the law and continue to hire undocumented workers, and hospital staffs do not ask for proper documentation before health care is provided, illegal immigration problem will continue to plague the United States.
Policies regarding immigration such as the “1986” and the “1996” which were created in order to control immigrations were placed with good intentions but now it is becoming a problem. According to Center of Immigration Studies (2011), 61 percent of adults Americans believe that if laws regarding immigration were enforced, there would be less poverty in the United States. The increase of illegal immigration from various countries is overwhelming the economy and draining resources.
Balancing the United States economy and the workforce environment is crucial for Americans survival. As welcoming as the United States is to foreign countries and their people, it is important that the people in the Unites States are taken care of first. The needs and progress of the citizens of the United States needs to come first, before considering taking in more people from other countries. As immigration reform is being contemplated and worked on to benefit the United States, aggressive enforcement of immigration reform will be the key to success. Conclusion
Though the gains that illegal immigrations bring to the Unites States in terms of income generated from illegal immigrants, may be seen as a positive sign it does not offset other economy cost. It is true that illegal immigrants take on jobs that American citizens refuse to perform. It may also be true that the generated income from immigrant may benefit the social security organizations. However, there is much more to a small contribution to the United States; there are too many expenses that the United States accrued in order to care for the people in this country.
According to the Center of Immigration Studies (2011), At least 50% of immigrants, legal and illegal are on, or have used government assistance. The lack of education, the unskilled, and the inability to understand English makes it difficult for immigrants to progress and come out of poverty. Causing them to depend and the over use of government resources. It is no secret that skilled workers are need to balance out the economy. Laws and Acts are necessary, to help regulate immigrations. These laws must also be followed up by aggressively enforcing the laws and acts passed by Congress.