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Illegal Immigration in the United States - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Illegal Immigration: A Middle Ground. Illegal immigration to America shows an exponential increase in the past decade, and is now the focus of social and political debate. It is so much in the public glare, that it is a factor which shapes the current Presidential campaign…
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Illegal Immigration in the United States

Download file to see previous pages... On the other side stand those who advocate the granting of amnesty and citizenship to all illegal immigrants. The only consensus which emerges on the issue is that the current immigration policy is inadequate, and is badly in need of urgent reform. The fact that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains almost half a million illegal immigrants this year, and follows “a policy of mandatory detention, detaining individuals in inhumane and unsafe conditions, depriving them of access to legal counsel and a fair hearing in court” (Esposito and Davis, 5), is a testament to a failed immigration system. An analysis of the issue of illegal immigration is required to find a middle ground which will be acceptable to the two opposing factions. The anti-illegal immigration group agitates for the deportation of all illegal immigrants. This group unequivocally blames the government for inaction, and sees a conspiracy to form a North American Union with open borders between the USA, Canada and Mexico. This faction calls for the securing of the national borders, blocking access to welfare measures and employment for illegal immigrants, rejecting amnesty, rejecting birthright citizenship to the children born to illegal immigrants, stopping all temporary worker legislation, and strictly enforcing immigration laws (Greenley, 16). The anti-illegal immigration group supports its stand by listing several adverse effects of immigration. As “foreigners enter the country with fewer skills on average than native-born workers, immigration --- lowers the average skill level in the American work place” and leads to lower wages, and fewer job opportunities, for American workers (Hall, VanMetre and Vedder, 203). Today’s immigrants bring with them a diversity of language, customs, distinct physical traits, and religions. They hold on to their cultural roots, emphasize the preservation of their ethnic identity, and do not submit to assimilation. This is seen in “immigrant isolation” and “ethnic concentration” (Hall, VanMetre and Vedder, 205), and cause fractures in the American social fabric. Divisive multiculturalism destroys the American identity. One very valid argument is that illegal immigration poses a threat to national security, allowing drug-dealers, terrorists and criminals into the country. Another centers round the high consumption of government resources and taxpayer money by illegal immigrants, through “medical, welfare and education benefits” while paying minimum taxes (Greenley, 17). All these reasons engender a strong resentment towards illegal immigrants. The supporters of a liberal illegal immigrant policy counter the above arguments. They argue that “in the long run, immigration attracts new investment and promotes entrepreneurial initiative,” and “makes the American labor market more competitive, thus enhancing its overall efficiency” (Hall, VanMetre and Vedder, 204). It cannot be denied that large numbers of intelligent and highly skilled immigrants come to America. The unskilled immigrants migrate to the low-paying jobs, such as cleaning and food service, which native-born workers do not desire. Again, cheap labor adds to the flexibility of business, leading to cheaper prices, better quality products, and higher profits. American society has a long tradition of “celebrating diversity” (Hall, VanMetre and Vedder, 205). The pro-immigration group contends that multiculturalism is part ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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