The issue of illegal immigration has been a headache for the US government for a long time. In 2014, there were about 12 million illegal immigrants in the US, and the figure includes immigrants who had extended their stay, without filing for the necessary legal documents to make their stay legal (Ngai 56). The Obama administration tried to make things right for illegal immigrants, but the Trump administration is committed to overturning most of the benefits that illegal immigrants get and put more barriers for people contemplating entering the US. The following paper will examine the issue of illegal immigrants by highlighting the pros and cons of having these people in the US.
Illegal immigrants whether skilled or non-skilled take jobs at a lower pay compared to American citizens. More importantly, they are hardworking people who put in more hours in the positions they are given hence increasing the overall productivity of the firms they work for (ChavezLeo 34). With abundant cheap labor, businesses in the US can increase production at a lower cost hence meeting their goals and improving the overall productivity of the US economy. Businesses that boom due to increased productivity is good for the marketplace regarding the spillover economic effects of increased productivity. With cheap labor from illegal immigrants, US firms can improve the unit productivity of labor (Anderson 123). The contribution of the unlawful immigrant labor force to the US economy has been estimated at $36 to $72 billion per year, hence boosting the productive capacity of the US economy (Ngai 78). This contribution of illegal immigrant to economy is referred to as immigration surplus
By contributing to cultural diversity, illegal immigrants make the US be a hub for rich cultural enrichment. Not only do illegal immigrants contribute to the cultural diversity of the nation, but they also influence the culture of hard working in the US. The illegal immigrants who work hard for less are a motivation to lazy Americans to need to arise and work hard to earn an income instead of relying on social welfare for support (ChavezLeo 109). Regarding displaying the culture of hard work, illegal immigrants are role models for US citizens who can borrow from their hardworking traits to also work hard and improve their incomes. More importantly, illegal immigrants make the US diverse regarding combining the knowledge of illegal immigrants and the knowledge of US citizens to come up with innovation and inventions that are good for the US as a country.
Allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the US saves the government about 1 million dollars from the expulsion of every 100 immigrants (Ngai 223). This is because deporting an illegal immigrant costs about $10,854 per illegal immigrant (Ngai 223). Since deporting illegal immigrants is costly, allowing them to be in the US after they have crossed the border saves the nation millions of dollars that can be channeled to other productive activities in the economy.
It has been estimated that about 4 million children born from illegal immigrants are US citizens whereas their parents are not (Ngai 278). If the governed deports the parents of these children, the burden of bringing up the children falls on the government in cases where the children are not adopted by legal parents. Notably, the cost of foster care for a child in the US is average $160 per day. This cost can be saved if illegal immigrants are allowed to stay in the US and raise their children.
Allowing illegal immigrants into the US provides an avenue for terrorists to enter the US and commit atrocities. Even though some illegal immigrants may follow the law, some of them come from countries ravaged by war, and they have grown up as extremist hence posing a security threat to the US. It has been estimated that criminal aliens makeup 5 % of the prisoners in federal jails and yet make up 7 % of the US population (Ngai 345). A good number of these prisoners have been accused of terrorism-related crimes.
Illegal immigrants do not pay federal taxes and therefore create a financial drain in the communities in which they live and work across the US. Additionally, the failure to pay taxes by these individuals means they share the resources offered to citizens who pay taxes and therefore creating a burden on the availability of essential supplies to citizens (ChavezLeo 201). With a loss of revenue from fees that illegal immigrant could have paid, funding for government programs suffer.
Condoning illegal immigration in the US makes people who would have gone through the legal process of joining the US to abandon the legal procedures when they feel that Illegal immigration is acceptable. This creates a mass influx of illegal immigrants into the economy leading to pressure on available resources to the US population. In the end, this affects the provision of essential services to US citizens.
Since most immigrants take up jobs at a cheaper cost than citizens do, they contribute to unemployment in cases where employers prefer hiring them and rendering qualified US citizens jobless (Anderson 28). Illegal immigrants lead to changes in employment dynamics by making the value of work to be priced low due to depressed wages paid to illegal immigrants, something that affects the wages paid to US workers.
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