Impact of Illegal Immigrants in the United States

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Since the beginning of human history, humans have migrated from one location to another for a number of reasons. To begin with, people migrate because of political instability and persecution in their home country. Also, socio-economic factors such as increasing crime rates well-paying jobs and better living conditions may cause individuals to move from one country to another. The last factor is the primary reason why most migrants prefer the United States from all over the globe. Despite contrary claims that immigration is bad for the country, the reverse is almost true. Accordingly, this essay examines whether illegal immigration is bad for the United States and its economy. Additionally, it will also discuss whether immigrant’s ways in which illegal immigration negatively affects the US economy. Even though migration has certain economic benefits to the host country, however, these benefits are less significant when compared to the security risks, job deprivation, and lower wages that accompany the entry of migrants to any country.

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According to statistics, illegal migrants constitute approximately 4% to 7% of the total United States population. Today, illegal migrants comprise approximately 12.5 million to 20 million in number (Federation for American Immigration Reform 3). A majority of this immigrants are engaged in different forms of economic activities. Despite an increase in the number of illegal migrants, the United States Congress has done nothing to rectify the current situation. Most importantly, the situation worsened during Bush’s Administration in 2004. Accordingly, these statistics indicate the need for a streamlined reform of the immigration policy. An increase in the number of illegal immigrants has resulted in doubts regarding the impact of illegal migration on the US economy, its criminal justice system, and potential national security threats. Nonetheless, it should be noted that not all persons are against illegal immigration. Arguably, it has various economic benefits that help propel the US economy forwards, as migrants are willing to work menial jobs that some US citizens are not willing to do. Yet others argue that illegal immigrants benefit the economy more than they take form it. Even Arizona Senator, John McCain quips that immigration is a plus for the US economy. With an expanding US economy, more jobs are created resulting in more naturalized Americans filling these positions creating gaps in other places which illegal immigrants are glad to fill.

To illustrate, illegal immigrants benefit the economy, as they are more willing to work in jobs that the average American despises at much lower wages. As a result, employers who hire illegal immigrants lower their operating overheads over the long term. Lowered operating costs, in turn, allow employers to save which increases their profit margins. Increased profits create more business incentives and investment opportunities for expanding businesses in the United States. Nevertheless, those against illegal immigration argue that it prejudices the economy in that it deprives native Americana access to much-needed jobs. In any country, more so for the United States, illegal immigration creates competition for scarce jobs between a country’s natives and illegal immigrants. Furthermore, American citizens are denied access to decent jobs and wages lowering the quality of life and living standards considerably. Proponents of illegal immigrant primarily rely on the argument that it drives the prices of goods down as wages are lowered making life more affordable for the larger majority of the US population. On the contrary, this is refutable by the statistics as labor costs are just one variable of the production process and the pricing of consumables. A significant chunk of production expenses is composed of rent, taxes, shipping costs, retailers’ markup, and warehousing fees that comprise a large percentage of the price of a product. Though illegal immigrants do not directly benefit the US economy through the payment of income tax, they do so when they pay sales tax on purchased commodities.  Moreover, immigrants receive no support from government welfare programs, Medicaid, or food stamps. Yet, United States citizens are concerned about potential security risks posed by illegal aliens. For instance, it is a widely known fact that several of the 911 perpetrators were immigrants with expired visas (Fonseca and Rosen 74). As a result, there is a backlash against immigrants and their status within mainstream American life is a source of a hotly contested debate. Additionally, illegal immigration undermines the process of legal immigration creating challenges for both legal migrants and residents of the United States.

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Evidently, the United State Government is required to formulate a policy that comprehensively addresses the problem, impact, and status of illegal immigrants. In the recent past, Congress and the Trump Administration have rolled out various programs to combat the rising tide of illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico. As we speak, the US is building a wall on its border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration. However, this is not the only solution; other strategies exist for resolving the present impasse. For the United States to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, it needs to initiate programs that help eliminate the root causes of migration. To begin with, Congress and the government need to pass laws that strip ways illegal immigrant access to educational, medical, and welfare benefits. Second, the creation and implementation of laws that prohibits US employers from hiring immigrants. For example, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina have laws that obligate employers to establish an immigrant’s legal status before getting hired (Pachocka and Misiuna 161). Where an employer hires an illegal alien or cannot prove their legal status, these states have laws that outline legal repercussions. Third, the federal government needs to step up efforts at addressing the pay disparity present in American society. These include factors such as technology adoption, research spending, specialization, and open trade. Finally, all efforts must be expended in finding permanent political and socioeconomic solutions in poor, violent, or politically unstable countries. Doing so will provide motivation for those looking to migrate to remain within their home countries. Encouraging illegal immigration creates challenges for their home countries, as there have less human resources for use in exploiting resources. Also, skilled immigrants deny their government the opportunity to benefit from its human resource investments.

In concluding this easy, illegal immigrants can help improve the United States economy. On the other hand, there are significant challenges that confront any country that accepts illegal immigrants. As stated previously, illegal immigration can lead to loss of jobs for a country’s rightful citizens, expose the country to potential security risks, and contribute to a lowering of its living standards. Nonetheless, there is a need for the US government to do more to curb the increasing flood of immigrants seeking to enter the United States.

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  1. Federation for American Immigration Reform. ” How Many Illegal Aliens Currently Live in the United States?.” FAIR, September 27, 2017
  2. Fonseca, Brian, and Jonathan D. Rosen. The New US Security Agenda: Trends and Emerging Threats. Springer, 2017.
  3. Pachocka, Marta, and Jan Misiuna. “Who counts as an unauthorized/irregular/illegal immigrant? Comparative analysis of the US and EU perspectives.” Studia Ekonomiczne 319 (2017): 159-168.
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