U.S Immigration Should Not Be Curbed
The argument over whether or not immigration should be restricted, is fought out by Daniel James and Stephen Moore. James essentially believes that jobs are being taken away from American workers, immigrants are causing an increase of population (and subsequent pollution of the environment), and breaking up American culture. Moore, on the other hand, insists that immigrants are vital to the success of the country as a whole and without them, we would not be the country that we are. He believes that immigrants have created, not destroyed, jobs and have enhanced the economy and the culture. The arguments are presented well by both sides, however, Stephen Moore is the better voice for my opinion; Immigration to the United Stated should not be restricted.
James fears that current laws on immigration will eventually lead to unprecedented numbers and unforeseen problems. He sights several problems, one of which is overcrowding. Projections indicate that between 45 and 54 million people will enter the U.S. in a little over a generation and this number would increase if Communism falls in Cuba. This overcrowding, he feels, would lead to another problem: pollution. In California, for example, the population has swelled from 23.7 million to more than 31 million since 1980. This boom has led to the contamination of waterways in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange counties were once pristine bays are now “hopelessly polluted”.
Another worry of James’ is the cost to taxpayers. Projections show that from 1993 to 2002, immigration may cost citizens $668.5 billion, driving the national debt up. In a study conducted by economist Donald Huddle, it was found that the cost of immigration was $42.5 billion (even after subtracting $20.2 billion of taxpayer money). The cost of incarceration of immigrants also swells this figure. In 1992 alone, the cost of the imprisonment of immigrants was nearly $2 billion.
One of Daniel’s major concerns is the supposed taking away of American jobs by foreigners. He sights a study that suggests 2.07 million jobs were displaced as a result of immigration. He also points to two examples where currents citizens were replaced by new-comers. In Los Angeles, unionized black janitorial workers were replaced by non-union Hispanics. In Washington, D.C., a similar situation occurred with black hotel workers who were displaced by Latinos.
The last issue that James deals with is the issue of what he calls “natural separation” He supposes that when more immigrants group together, they feel less need to adjust and assimilate causing a major rift between immigrants and those that may have been there longer. He says that immigrants then refuse to learn the language of the country. This “separation” could lead to political separation and then he suggests, by example of French Quebec, that it could lead to the fall of our confederation.
He opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for fear that it would initially inflate emigration out of Mexico into America and it would also increase Mexican imports which would hurt U.S. workers and drive unemployment up. He suggest that a moratorium be put on all immigration saying that legal immigration entails as many problems as does illegal immigration. He proposes a universal identification card that should be issued to all citizens in order to receive benefits and receive a job; an action that would cut down on illegals. James would also like to see a cooperation between the Naturalization Service and the I.N.S. in sharing of information to stop illegals from entering and to exile those currently in the country. Daniel James ends his argument with a play on the words that reside at the foot of the Statue of Liberty when he expresses that “we can no longer afford the world’s ‘huddled masses’ when our own are so often homeless and jobless”.
Economist Stephen Moore disagrees with virtually everything that James states. He, like James, uses the words from Lady Liberty, but in different context. He asks of the world to “Give us your best, your brightest” and believes that that is just what we receive. He agrees that public opinion show that nearly 6 out of every 10 people want to see immigration restrained in some manner, but he blames this on the influence that the media has on people. Immigrants are the “lifeblood” of many of the countries biggest and most successful corporations in his view. He points to corporate giants such as Intel and Du-Pont to illustrate his belief. Intel’s top executives include 3 immigrants and similarly, Du-Pont-Merk Pharmaceutical has seen immigrants not only succeed in the company, but also create many innovative medications. Silicon Valley, also represented by a large number of immigrants, “would not be one of the most international business centers in the world” without them. New research produced by the National Research Council reported in 1988 that “a large fraction of technological output of the United States [is] dependent upon foreign talent and that such dependency is growing.”
Moore has belief in the fact that the United States has a competitive edge of Japan, Germany, Korea, and much of Europe, largely in part because of our immigrants.
In response to the allegation that immigration takes jobs away from the American worker, Moore offers the opinion to the contrary. Immigrants, he states, are largely entrepreneurial and prone to start their own businesses; subsequently creating, not destroying, jobs for Americans. Lastly, he calls for unity instead of division in the country in order to “ensure that the 21st century, like the 20th, will be the American Century”.
I agree with Stephen Moore’s views over those of Daniel James, although he makes some good points. Most of what James states is theoretical and cannot be proven. The tendency is to blame the immigrants, but this is a dangerous practice. People need to become accountable for their own actions. Immigrants take tedious jobs that most Americans would sadly never dream of doing. Picking oranges, piecework in factories, working in hotel services, etc. and other vital jobs are taken by many immigrants. I believe that the economy would cripple with a ban or curb on immigration. I also would like to know what gives people the right to say that someone else is not welcome into this country? Nobody is indigenous to this country. Those today that are drawn to the “Home of the Free” are drawn for some of the same reasons that our very own ancestors were. If they want to peruse a life where their voices are heard, where they have the freedom to say what they want, practice the religion they want, and other basic liberties, more power to them. I, like Moore, call for us to rally around our fellow citizens and live under the principle of “united we stand, divided we fall”. Or as Benjamin Franklin so eloquently put it, “We must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”