Immigrants formed the American society, which is why it was originally called “the nation of immigrants” because of its welcoming policy towards immigrants. America was coined the term “melting pot” which essentially meant there were people of all origins and backgrounds mixing together. Recently many people and politicians want to decrease the amount of immigrants they let into the country closing the Open Door Policy, which was originally in place. These people have many misconceptions of immigrants and do not realize the contributions they make to the American society.
America should maintain, if not, increase the number of immigrants they allow into the country. By allowing immigrants into the country it increases the diversity and expands the culture of the nation, it gives struggling people all over the world an opportunity for a better life. This country was built on immigrants who looked for opportunities, political and religious freedom.
One misconception people have about immigrants is that they have a negative impact on the economy and the wages of citizens and also take jobs away from citizens. In reality, immigration has a positive effect on the American economy. In June 2007, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers issued a report on “Immigration’s Economic Impact.” The council concluded, “immigrants not only help fuel the Nation’s economic growth, but also have an overall positive effect on the American economy as a whole and on the income of native-born American workers.” Immigrants have different skills, which allow higher-skilled citizens to increase productivity, which increases their incomes.
Also, as the native-born U.S. population becomes older and better educated, young immigrant workers fill gaps in the low-skilled labor markets. In addition to having an overall positive affect on the average wages of American workers, an increase in immigrant workers also tends to increase employment rates among the native-born. According to a Pew Hispanic Center study, between 2000 and 2004, there was a positive correlation between the increase in the foreign-born population and the employment of native-born workers in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Many people also believe that most immigrants are undocumented and have crossed the border illegally. Two thirds of immigrants are here lawfully and almost half of all undocumented immigrants have entered the United States legally. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, one third of all immigrants are undocumented, one third have some form of legal status, and one third are naturalized citizens.
Another misconception concerning immigrants is that they are a drain on our social services. In reality by paying taxes and social security, immigrants contribute far more to government coffers than they use in social services. The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark report in 1997, which is probably the most accurate report published on “Immigration Fiscal Impacts.” They concluded that on average, immigrants generate public revenue that exceeds their public costs over time approximately $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in state, federal and local benefits over their life times. This same conclusion was reached in 2007 by the Council of Economic Advisers. In their report to the Executive Office of the President, they stated that “the long-run impact of immigration on public budgets is likely to be positive,” and agreed with the NRC report’s view that “only a forward-looking projection of taxes and government spending can offer an accurate picture of the long-run fiscal consequences of admitting new immigrants.”
There are many people and organizations involved in the movement for immigration rights. The American Immigration Council was established in 1987. The mission of the American Immigration Council is to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history and shaping of how Americans think and act towards immigration now and in the future. The American Immigration Lawyer Association is a national association of over 10,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. The Immigration Policy Center is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council firmly believes that the movement of people across borders improves quality of life worldwide. The Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council advocates for fundamental fairness in U.S. immigration law. These are a few people and organizations committed to the movement of immigration rights.
It’s ironic that a country founded by immigrants could have such a big issue over new immigrants coming into the country. Even the natives of this country come from somewhere else originally. Most people that come to this country are looking for freedom or the opportunity to achieve the “American Dream.” America has always stood for its’ diversity and freedom. People should have the right to enter our country and have a better life.
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