“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” remarked President Donald Trump about Mexican immigrants in America. Illegal immigration has become a widespread topic of discussion with the election of Trump. With promises to build a wall on our Mexican border to keep immigrants out, it has become a staple point of his presidency. Some may think it is wrong to say human beings are illegal while others may say these people are a threat to national security. Illegal immigration is not a threat to the United States because it assists local economies, reduces the cost of deportation and government assistance, and ultimately brings more diversity to American culture.
Before I further elaborate on why I believe that illegal immigration is not a threat, it is important that I clarify what we consider illegal immigration. “Illegal immigration isn’t a flow from a single country,” stated Alejandro Portes . It is a common misinterpretation that all illegal immigrants emerge from Mexico, which simply is not true. There were 5.7 million illegal immigrants documented in 2016 that came from countries besides Mexico. As stated by Pew Research, Mexican immigrants may no longer be the majority as non-Mexican immigrants have increased in numbers since the 2009 estimate .
According to Pew Research, undocumented immigrants made up 3.4% of the American population. That’s 11.3 million people in America without government recognition. It causes one to wonder what they are doing here in the first place. Eight million of these immigrants are working, as opposed to the thought that they are here to leech off taxpayers. In fact, half of these people pay payroll taxes. Although that is not the overwhelming majority, it is still worth noting when accounting for their contribution to the economy. They pay taxes, knowing they will be ineligible for social security benefits when they grow older. This isn’t even considering people who would be eligible for citizenship because they have lived in America for 10 years.
Some Americans characterize illegal immigrants with negative adjectives such as uneducated. It is also a misconception, even made by our president, that the majority of them are criminals and only wish to cause harm when coming to the United States. In spite of these misconceptions, 29% of immigrants have a college degree. That is a lot considering that 39.4% of adults in the United States have a college degree. Another misconception is that illegal immigrants increases crime rates. Per a study by Cato’s Institute, native born Americans are much more likely to be convicted of a crime than illegal immigrants. This study does not include the negligible amount of unreported crimes due to fear of being deported by other illegal aliens.
Illegal immigration is considerably beneficial to the economy. For example, illegal immigrants made up 20% of Texas’ workforce in 2008.
We don’t exactly make it easy for immigrants to come into the country legally. Some of the requirements to become a citizen through naturalization are being able to understand the English language and be a green card holder. However, there are a few special cases such as members of the military for one year. The United States only grant citizenship to a certain number of immigrants per year. Within that number, only 5000 visas are given to low skilled immigrants per year.
There are various reasons why illegal immigration could be considered a national threat. One of the main arguments is that it is a burden to taxpayers. Americans have to pay for their medical care, education, and arrests. Some illegal immigrants receive welfare through fraudulent documents as well. Another argument is that they displace Americans in the workplace. According to Rice University, illegal immigrants displaced 730,000 workers in 1996. While this may have been a valid argument at the time, it isn’t anymore.
I propose that the government should take disciplinary action against employers that employ illegal immigrants. In order for that to take place, more research needs to go into workers that they want to hire. There can and will be immigrants with fraudulent documents and business owners should be trained to recognize them. This would lead to illegal immigrants not being able to work in America and thus decrease the number of them in America. Expanding the number of visas
In conclusion,