Illegal Immigration and its Effects on Society
Illegal immigration is a growing problem in the United States. Illegal immigration brings in a lot more drug trade into the United States. Illegal aliens also take away a lot of jobs from legal citizens. Welfare is also something to take into account when discussing illegal aliens, considering they can’t legally be paid, so they are granted welfare, which costs taxpayers more. Many states are beginning to take action against illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States, which causes many issues for citizens, such as job loss and higher taxes, and is certainly an issue to be dealt with.
Illegal immigration damages the economy, as illegal aliens take jobs from legal citizens. Illegal aliens take many “low-skill” jobs from legal citizens in the United States, such as assisting on farms, construction, manufacturing, cooking and other jobs that could generally be taken by children looking for a Summer job or such. These jobs are very convenient for illegal workers since they are not generally run by a company, and most of their wages can just be paid in untraceable cash. Not only is it convenient for the illegal immigrants to take these jobs, but it is convenient to hire these workers, as they generally work for lower wages than many other potential workers. On top of all this, they also can’t be taxed on their income because they aren’t legal citizens. While convenient for employers, illegal aliens taking jobs is very bad for everyone else involved.
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Illegal Immigration makes it a lot easier for illegal drugs to enter the country. According to the New York Times, the Treasury Department estimates drug trafficking to accumulate $64 billion each year. A large majority of that is assumed to come from illegal immigration. Illegal immigration provides a very easy way to transport such drugs as cocaine and heroin. It is a very natural fit for cartels and such to use illegal immigrants as carriers for these substances, since their objective is to stay undetected. This problem also makes drug cartels a very real issue in cities near borders. Cities near borders are riddled with crime and drugs. This affects cities on both sides of the border as well.
Many illegal aliens bring a lot of crime into the United States aside from drug trade as well. The Texas Department of Public Safety has statistics on illegal immigrant crimes in the state of Texas in many different areas, such as over 32,000 assault charges, over 5,600 burglary charges, over 15,600 theft charges, and more than 500 homicide charges.Of all of these charges, more than 13,300 assault convictions, more than 3,100 burglary convictions, more than 6,900 theft convictions, and more than 230 homicide convictions were made.
Illegal immigration also costs all legal citizens money in the form of taxes from welfare and such. Illegal immigrants have an easy time abusing the usage of tax money in their favor. This happens in many forms, like medical assistance, schooling, and general financial aid. The most volatile and widespread of these is medical assistance. According to the Cato Institute, health care companies are given funds specifically to give to illegal immigrants in the emergency room who can’t afford their medical bills. According to Forbes, the total funds spent on Medicaid for undocumented immigrants is about $18.5 billion annually. Illegal immigrants also have an extremely easy time getting money for education. In the United States, public education can’t be denied, so literally anyone can get access to public schooling, which is paid for via taxes. The AJC reports that in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau said the total amount of money spent on undocumented immigrants’ education is about $44.5 billion in the United States, and in 2013 FAIR estimated the cost of illegal immigrants’ education to be about $113 billion. While no state permits undocumented citizens receiving government- funded scholarships, some states allow undocumented students who pay in-state tuition to receive financial support.
The total amount of illegal immigrants is stabilizing after many years of increasing. The Pew Research Center estimated from 1990 to 2008, the estimated amount of undocumented citizens has consistently risen from about 3.5 million up to over 12 million, then quickly dropped back down to about 11 million in 2010, and has hovered around that number for the past many years. Also FactCheck.org says, the total number of apprehensions at the Mexican border is consistently dropping, and has been since 2008.The number of illegal immigrants is very slowly dropping over many years.
Recently, border patrol has been stopping a lot more illegal immigrants from entering than before. The Council on Foreign Relations reports that between 1990 and 2005, the amount of time officers patrolling the border has gone up almost threefold. The result of this has been millions more apprehensions on the Mexican border, which the Council on Foreign Relations also says is where 95 percent of all apprehensions come from.
Many illegal immigrants enter the country with a work visa, and never leave once it has expired. Many companies give out work visas to specific people to come into the country and temporarily work in the United States with said company. This means that while in the country, the temporary immigrant is locked with that employer and can’t leave that company without leaving the country. These are very commonly used in construction in Southern states. When used properly, work visas can be very useful for all parties involved, but many foreign people use this as an easy way to stay in the United States. Many illegal immigrants legally obtain a work visa, and then leave the employer that gave them their visa, and proceed to live in the United States working somewhere else, and there is not much enforcement against this behavior. While there is not statistic on how many former visa-holding undocumented citizens are in the United States, it is difficult to locate the people who do this.
Many people are hesitant to apply heavy pressure on those trying to illegally enter the country, because they believe illegal immigrants truly buff the economy. Illegal aliens are convenient to hire for the employers, and fill many jobs that many Americans simply do not want to do. The concern that it might cost too much to enforce border patrol is also a topic to be discussed. The Center for Immigration Studies says that about $4.2 billion is spent on border enforcement as of 2002, and that number is on the rise, especially since 2002 considering the big step up in 2008 and later. While this number sounds very high, and it is nearly impossible to stop all illegal immigration, given the amount of money spent on illegal immigrants’ education alone, the money spent on border enforcement is very justifiable.
Recently, there has been a big push to enforce illegal immigrants being arrested in the United States, not at the border. This is primarily from President Donald Trump’s support of ICE, or the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. According to BBC News, arrests of illegal immigrants are up 42% since Donald Trump became president. In terms of deportations, BBC also says Donald Trump’s first year in office had more than 81,000 deportations, and the year before this had about 65,000 total deportations.
The President has also talked about building a wall on the Mexican border to further prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country. The wall has been heavily debated in its effectiveness, and whether or not it is a good idea for how much it would cost. The wall is estimated to cost somewhere between $12-40 billion. The wall has started construction as of February 2018. The wall’s construction is starting in Calexico, California, and consists of seven miles of 30 foot high walls, and is currently 37 miles long, with a long way to go. The president also promised the wall to be paid for by Mexico, which is currently not the case. So far, the wall has costed to government $5 billion. AZCentral states there has also been construction in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.
Another problem with illegal immigration is the cost to teach in many languages. Most illegal immigrants don’t know English, so when they go to school they can’t learn in English. Because of this, schools need to hire many more teachers which splits up the school into those who speak English and those who speak Spanish. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates it costs nearly $60 billion annually to fix the problem of bilingualism in schools. This means that money can’t go toward things like improving education for any other students, hiring more teachers for more diverse classes, and extracurricular activities.
While illegal immigration provides some benefits, it also comes with many downsides. Illegal immigration is beneficial to business owners who are looking to hire cheap workers, and gives the United States more cultural diversity. However, illegal immigration is also a big contributor to issues like drug trade, other violent crimes, higher taxes to pay for education, and higher taxes to deal with the issue of illegal immigration itself. While over time there has been much more enforcement against illegal immigration, it is an issue which can never be fixed completely and will always exist.
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