Truth About Illegal Immigration Essay
Immigration is defined as the transfer of people from their original country towards another, usually based on their preference. This is considered as one of the most sought issues nowadays because of endless debates from both proponents and opponents of immigration (Douglas 66). Deliberations and policies were created, to alleviate illegal immigration. Illegal immigration has some notable positive effects; however, this is greatly overshadowed by the negative ones, for both the country of origin and on the recipient country. In the long run, one will find out that the real issues on illegal immigration are based on decisions and actions of immigrants themselves. The consequences of their decision migrating illegally on a certain country will make or break their life.
There are factors which attract immigrants to go to foreign countries. In the United States for example, the ‘American Dream’ has always attracted people to work and settle there for good. The ‘American Dream’ basically means living a prosperous life (Boritt). The United States is one big country which offers the best of the best for immigrants. It is a highly industrialized country which gives out riches for persuasive and determined workers, regardless if you are an immigrant or a native of the country.
It is in this country that you can find almost all kinds of people from a myriad of culture and beliefs. Here, true milk and honey flows. Money is as easy as a blink of an eye when working. “America is one of history’s few examples of a successful multiracial melting pot. From the first British colonists in the seventeenth century to today’s immigrants from Latin America and Asia, people seeking economic and political freedom have sought out America” (Lee 33).
All the aforementioned adjectives are true about the United States. Nevertheless, one of the greatest problems faced by this country is the problem of illegal immigration.
Migrating to another country makes the population grow big. When this happens, the socio-economic conditions of the said country are affected which in turn cause the local population to experience suffering. Immigrants opt to go to foreign countries to have a better life. Industrialized countries such as the United States or Western Europe have the most number of immigrants because of high paying jobs. There are cases of illegal immigration that had started legally.
This happens when an employee from foreign country migrates into the recipient country with a legal contract and valid visa which allows the person a few years of stay. After such time expires, he or she needs to return to his original country to avoid being charged of overstaying. But then, since the immigrant already experiences benefits and opportunities from the host country, they will opt to stay as illegal immigrants.
On the other hand, illegal or unregistered immigrants also help in the productivity of the host country. This is because of the diverse knowledge offered by immigrants, both legal and illegal. There are companies who offers job to illegal immigrants because they can be paid lower than legal immigrants. Governments, on the other hand do their part by coming up with decisions and policies to address the issues of illegal immigration immediately (Chaon 67). This is to resolve the issue and give due punishment to those who goes against the law.
Illegal immigration has numerous disadvantages. Many immigrants are exploited for cheap labor, without the protection of the law given to legal citizens. The usual situation for this is such that they are required to work for longer hours and are paid with relatively lower rate. One example of this can be traced in the history of immigrants in the United States.
Asian Immigrants like Filipinos, Japanese and Chinese who were recruited since the mid 18th century up to the period of the Second World War were exploited to work for the agricultural, textile and other service industries (Lowe 12). The harsh reality is that these workers are inexperienced with the industrialized way of living because most of them work manually. Illegal immigrants cannot complain because they are afraid of being terminated and be reported to the US immigration and be deported right away.
The country where they came from also suffers because of “brain drain”. This phenomenon happens when highly trained and qualified professionals of a native descent migrates permanently to a foreign country for a more stable job and a higher salary rate (Sukhatme 1).
Professionals of different nationalities migrate out of their countries because of their unstable economic conditions and belief that neighboring countries can offer them high paying salaries (Sukhatme 1). Most of them believe that being a high skilled professional justifies their desire to leave the country in exchange of a higher compensation. They chose to do a desperate move to give their own families a better life. As soon as arriving in the country where they chose to work, more risks are at hand.
Majority of immigrants has always experienced racial discrimination. Natives of that country tend to look at immigrants as fortune hunters and opportunity grabbers which are never worthy of living the good life. This is because they are competitors in terms of acquiring jobs in their own country. There are times that companies tend to accept employees from different country because they are more industrious than native workers. Illegal immigrants are also involved in high risked jobs which are often attributed to criminal activities like drug trafficking, theft and other forms of corruption. Illegal immigrants also affects majority of legal immigrants because there are situations that they are paid higher than the legal immigrants.
Because of these, policies were formed to create heavier punishments for illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is counted as an indirect cheating and lying from the government of the recipient country. Taxes were not paid accordingly and the employment rate is not well reflected. Terrorist attacks are more likely to happen because of illegal immigrants.
This is one of the reasons behind the September 11 bombing of the World Trade in 2001. It really alarmed the government because the control among immigrants was not that sufficient during that time. The security and safety of the whole society is at risk because of illegal immigrants. The local population are now more focused in scanning the entry and exit of immigrants to avoid cases of bombing again. Recipient countries are also conscious of accepting massive immigrants because they are afraid of being colonized by foreigners.
Illegal immigrants affect the economy and the society in both negative and positive ways. On the issue of taxes, legal immigrants pays lower taxes than native workers. If this is the case, illegal immigrants do not pay any single tax at all. This is an opportunity for them to save more for their families. But the risk is that once they are caught, more money is involved to pay out their debt. At the same time, they may face the punishment of being deported back to their own country and may suffer the possibility of not being allowed to enter that country again. On the other hand, immigrants add up productivity to businesses according to the local population’s view (Suarez-Orosco 41).
When it comes to politics, immigrants are more of the democratic type individuals (Smith). They are the ones who opt for freedom, human rights and equality. Illegal immigrants on the other hand are not keen about the manner politics is run in the country which they are staying. For as long as they are earning money and living with vast opportunities, they do not care of the political situation. Natives on the other hand are alarmed by these because they are afraid of being colonized. The theory of power in every society is an important factor for the native population because domination of immigrants in number means greater chances of colonization (Smith).
Illegal Immigration also involves health issues. Illegal immigrants who get sick are more at risk because they cannot go to the hospital immediately because they might get caught by the Immigration. Access to health care and insurance for immigrants both legal and illegal is lower than those of the local population. This issue is really important because low access to health care means greater exposure to health risks and even worse, death (Brown, et al.).
Americans are ambivalent about immigration (Lee, 33). This is because both legal and illegal immigrants are affecting the country’s performance at a whole. Illegal immigration drives down wages and hinders the local workers from getting jobs. In addition, a huge part of illegal immigrants gets involved in illegal activities such as human trafficking, drugs and violent street gangs. Thus, immigrants who are illegally living in foreign lands tend to contribute to restricted and “evil” activities within the recipient country (Clymer). To counter the negative effects of illegal immigration, there are means and ways discussed by James Clymer (2006) in a website discussing about illegal immigration.
Lawlessness is the main reason that illegal immigrants are not afraid of invading other countries. Law must be enforced at a larger force and the boarders of countries should be patrolled at all times to capture illegal invaders (Clymer). Another way to solve illegal immigration is by finding and deporting illegal aliens (Clymer).
Though there are bills and proposals to address the problem, most of these have not been passed and implemented. Once these bills are imposed, punishment will be given to violators. A certain bill about amnesty is also in the process to be given out to illegal immigrants. This discusses a more humanistic treatment of immigrants because they are also considered as significant contributors in the country’s progress.
Illegal immigration has produced numerous victims over time. The illegal immigrants themselves are victims of their own actions. They are underpaid and some of them suffered from being abused by their employers. They are not protected by the law, thus they are incapable of voicing out their complains in the fear and threat of being deported.
However, everyone has the right to expand his/her horizons in order to be successful. Though there are rampant opportunities available in foreign countries, people should still be responsible in abiding with the law. Immigrants who seek for good life must also learn to live the good and legal way.
Boritt, Gabor S. Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream, 1994. 1.
Brown, Richard, et al. “Access to Health Insurance and Health Care for Mexican American Children in Immigrant Families.” In Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, ed. Crossings: Mexican Immigration in Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998. 225-247.
Justin Akers Chaon. No One is Illegal. Hay Market Books. Chicago. 2006. 67
Clymer, James. “Illegal Immigration: The Soft Underbelly.” 13 March 2006. Constitution Party. 16 May 2008
Douglas, Massey. The New Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States. Population and Development Review. V 21 1995. (3).
Lee, Kenneth. Huddled Masses, Muddled Laws: Why Contemporary Immigration Policy Fails to Reflect Public Opinion. London: Praeger Publishers, 1998. 3.
Lowe, Lisa. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.
Smith, James. The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE). National Academy of Sciences, 1997. 5.
Suarez-Orozco, Carola & Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo. Children of Immigration. Harvard University Press, 2001. 41-45
Sukhatme, S.P. The Real Brain Drain. Hyderabad, India: Orient Longman, 1994.