Both Sides Of The Illegal Immigration Issue

1632 words - 7 pages

Immigration has always been a major issue in the United States, a large portion of our population is made up of people who came from other countries. But it is becoming more important now with the population topping 300 million and concerns of illegal immigration becoming a hot issue. Legal immigrants are far more accepted in the country than immigrants who enter the country illegally across the borders or water barriers. But like most concerns the nation is facing, illegal immigration has both upsides and downsides to the issue.Being a legal immigrant is a much smoother road than entering the nation illegally. Many legal immigrants enter this country to take advantage of job opportunit ...view middle of the document...

Here in the U.S. we get many of our illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico to the United States or coming to our country from Cuba. An estimated 700,000 immigrants enter the United States illegally every year. Many of them are undereducated; in fact 67% of the illegal immigrant populations that enter the U.S. have less than a High School education.( Since these immigrants are undereducated they usually end up with jobs in that involve unskilled manual labor and will work for fewer wages than Americans. This has recently brought the issue of illegal immigration to the front of many political debates.With 12-20 million illegal aliens residing in the United States today, many politicians and lawmakers considered amnesty and employer sanctions as options to deal with the problem. Amnesty has been used in the past. The United States passed the Immigration Reform Control Act in 1986 which granted amnesty to over 2.25 million illegal immigrants employed in the U.S., along with employer sanctions and better border enforcement.(Djajic, Slobodan P. 605) Since they were employed, policy-makers at the time felt that they should at least make them citizens so that they can pay taxes on their income. But it does seem to send a contradictory message when at the same time you make laws that punish employers for hiring the illegal immigrants that you just gave amnesty to. But employer sanctions can also be a powerful tool in fighting illegal immigration.(Hanson, Spilimbergo 1337) Fines that were put in place for employers who hired illegal aliens made them think twice. If the employers were caught, the money they saved by hiring the illegal aliens might not compare to the money they would lose in fines and court fees.But the reality of the situation was that employer sanctions were rarely seen enforced with few convictions, and when they were the penalties did not outweigh the benefits from hiring illegal workers in the first place. These sanctions did not deter the influx of illegal workers across the border. This left the amnesty program, which caused an even greater number of illegal immigrants to come into our border with the hope that they could gain citizenship if they could find employment. Additionally, the IRCA promised a 70 percent increase in the budget of the INS. This increase included $100 million toward employer sanctions, but by 1987 only $34 million had been handed out and less than that had been spent. It does not seem that the IRCA was very effective in helping to control illegal immigration.(Djajic, Slobodan P. 608)Border security is a recent issue that has come up in American politics. The U.S./Mexican border patrol apprehended 1.1 million people trying to sneak into our country illegally in 2005, 165,000 of which were not from Mexico. This means that the border is being used by more than 1 million people per year as a means to get into America. Many of these illegal aliens are trying to cross the border to f...


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