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Illegal Immigration in America - Assignment Example

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Illegal Immigration in America Date Illegal immigration has been a subject of both debate and controversy for most countries that face this problem; and the United States of America has seen their fair share of the concerns and issues related to illegal immigration…
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Illegal Immigration in America
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Download file to see previous pages Illegal immigration provides private employers with a profitable alternative workforce who are willing to work for less than the average worker. The cost of harboring illegal immigrants is borne by the State, and has been estimated at $133 billion each year by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (Barnes, 2010). According to the report, a significant part of this cost goes towards educating American born children of undocumented persons. This inclusion has been criticized as unfair as it pertains to future citizens and job holders of the country. Critics also point out that the purchasing power of these families adds $245 billion to the GDP; and thus it is in the interest of the country to accommodate immigrants. A significant number of illegal immigrants come from Mexico, and are estimated to be at about three million (CAIR). It has been postulated that this is a result of the shutting down of the "maquiladoras" or U.S. owned factories in Mexico which sustained a large number of working class families. After these units were closed and production was moved to Asia, the high rates of unemployment prompted people to attempt to cross the 1,940 mile long border and enter the United States in search of work. These workers usually agree to work well below the minimum wage rate, and are ready to take up jobs that may be difficult, unsanitary or dangerous. Unscrupulous employers are able to maximize profits, and thus inadvertently encourage illegal immigration (CAIR). The lack of border security and low punishment rates for employment of illegal persons further increases the problem (CAIR). Given their low wages, a significant number of the illegal immigrants live close to or below the poverty line. Studies show that approximately 20% of Hispanic families live below the poverty level as compared to 8% of Caucasian families. Individuals of African origin also form a large part of the illegal immigration population, a fact that is also reflected in their economic status with 22% of African American families living below the poverty level (Corvin). As more illegal immigrants come into the United States each year, the competition for jobs increases, leading to a further reduction in the wage rates. This phenomenon affects the overall wage rate, and may be held responsible for approximately 16% to 20% decline in the wage rate as applicable to American citizens as well. Reduced wages and increased poverty have been found to correlate with an increase in drug use, crime rates and violence (Corvin). Given these concerns, as well as concerns relating to increased unemployment for citizens across the country; it is essential that illegal immigration be treated as a serious problem that requires immediate and consistent address. Over the years, a number of possible solutions have been proposed to this issue; each having found some support and some criticism among political leaders. The different solutions proposed include legalization, deportation, border fencing, maintaining an amnesty, punitive measures against those who hire illegal immigrants and strict enforcing of immigration laws. Deporting – although an ideal solution from many standpoints – has logistic concerns, as the resources required to locate and deport the large number of illegal persons would be enormous (ProCon.org, 2009). Fencing the borders is expensive, and it cannot be considered a permanent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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