Illegal Immigration Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 12 January 2017

Illegal Immigration

There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States today. This number has risen by 3 million in only 10 years. Illegal immigration has been a problem in the United States dating back to the early 1980s. In the 1980s and still until today, the United States has seen a massive increase of illegal immigrants entering the United States. While most of these immigrants were from Latin America and Mexico, they were also from other parts of the world. Many illegal immigrants were crossing the unguarded border between the United States and Mexico. Border security has increased over they years, yet the rise of illegal immigrants coming into the United States is also increasing. Illegal immigration has become a very controversial topic of today’s society, and lawmakers and legislators have been debating the topic for a while now.

Their hasn’t been much reform from the federal government; however, many states have passed their own set of immigration laws. States such as Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, and Indiana have developed their own state immigration laws. These laws are being reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States and these decisions would be heard in the near future. In Arizona, if any police officer pulls over a immigrant who is suspicious of being illegal; that person has to present documents of being in the United States legally or faced with being detained and presented in front of an immigration court. Some kind of enforcement like this is also being enforced in the other states. Immigration needs to be reformed nationally throughout the country, and the government needs to strike down on illegal immigrants living in the United States because they cost America billions, take American jobs, and also take away student financial aid for citizens and legal immigrants trying to attend college. Using evidence from a wide range of sources, I make the statement that illegal immigration laws need to be reformed in the United States, by using statistics and fiscal numbers.

Illegal Immigrants cost the Unites States billions of dollars that the government does not have. Their are 11 million illegal immigrants living within the boundaries of the United States, and only 7.2 million of these immigrants contribute to the workload of America. Those other 3 million plus the 7.2 million immigrants use welfare and unemployment money from the government by having children that are born in the United States. “Illegal-alien households cost the federal government approximately $26 billion in social services and criminal justice system expenses annually” (Albo). By collecting welfare and unemployment checks from the state and federal governments, illegal immigrants cost the American government significant amounts of tax-payer money.

Many immigrants are taking money away from American citizens who need unemplyoment checks in order to survive and to look for a new job. Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (Arizona SB 1070) does an excellent job of limiting illegal immigrants and also helps in the addition of illegal immigrants because they can be deported if they ever are suspicious in front of law enforcement. This would decrease the overall amount of money spent on illegal immigrants because it would lower the total amount of illegal immigrants; thus causing a trickle down effect of the amount of money spent on undocumented immigrants.

Another way illegal immigration negatively influences the American economy is by the amount of money that the government spends to keep undocumented immigrant children in school. Undocumented children also lead to an increase of overcrowded classrooms in certain states. Illegal immigrants account for nearly 3 billion in more tax-payer money for just California to keep these children in school because of the No child left behind act of the Bush Administration. “300,000 to 400,000 illegal alien [schoolchildren … account for the estimated $3 billion annual service costs provided to the estimated 1.7 million illegal aliens in the State” (Joch). More states also had to pay more for undocumented immigrant children. “During the 2003-2004 school year, Minnesota estimated that it spent between $79 and $118 million of its $8 billion state budget to educate an estimated 9,400 to 14,000 unauthorized immigrant schoolchildren.

New Mexico spent $67 million of its $3 billion state budget on an estimated 9,200 unauthorized schoolchildren. Colorado claimed that it spent approximately $220 million on social services for unauthorized immigrants but only collected between $159 and $194 million in revenue from that segment of its population.” (Joch) Illegal immigrants have accounted for many millions of dollars in other states also, and this is a sign nationally. There needs to be a immigration law reform that makes sure that undocumented children may be allowed to go to school in the United States only if they were born here. If children come along with their parents are are already in school age, I believe and the stats prove my point that undocumented children take tax-payers money away from where they are supposed to go.

Illegal undocumented immigrant workers take away American jobs from the American people. Since the early 1980s, when illegal immigration became a major problem for the United States of America, illegal immigrants have been taking millions of jobs from the American people. “Today, there are 7 million individuals working in the United States illegally. (Devadoss/Luckstead) Most of these jobs are hard working and low education level jobs; nevertheless it takes away nearly seven million jobs away.

The unemployment rate in the United States as of today is 7.8% and seven million jobs are a lot of jobs. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created federal program called the Civilian Conservation Corps (commonly known as the CCC) where young adults would work in preserving forests and helping with farmland. This would decrease the United States unemployment rate while also reducing jobs for illegal immigrants. With less jobs, immigrants would naturally self-deport back to their own countries where they might have a better job in finding jobs to support their families.

Another way to make sure jobs are going to the American people is to adapt the E-Verify program. The E-Verify program is a program where before employers can hire potential employees they have to enter their documents to make sure that the employee can work in the United States. The E-verify program has already been enacted by five states in the United States and many more states are considering the program as a big immigration law reform. Many other states have partially enacted E-verify. “More than 404,000 employers, large and small, across the United States use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of their employees, with about 1,200 new businesses signing up each week”. (Harvard Law Review) I firmly believe that if a nationwide e-verify program be required to check if employees are legally allowed to work in the United States that many of the potential jobs
that illegal immigrants would take, would now be filled with Americans. More American jobs would cause less dependency on food stamps, welfare, and also less unemployment checks from the US government. Naturally, this would reduce the national and state debts, while also allowing the government to spend more money on schools and education.

Speaking of education, their are many illegal immigrants taking state money for higher education purposes. In a Supreme court decision in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, the supreme court ruled in favor that illegal immigrants are allowed to use in-state tuition to pay for school and may receive state funding. This is not only in California, but this kind of legislation is available in many different states. “California gives illegal aliens between $222.6 and $289.3 million dollars in aid to attend college in their state. Texas gives between $80.2 and $104.4 million dollars, Illinois $23.3 and $30.5 million dollars, and New York gives between $28.8 and $37.5 million dollars of aid”. (Kasarda) While many college students are suffering today to pay for higher education, the state has to give illegal immigrant college students aid every year.

Along with the education budget cuts, this has sparked controversy in many universities throughout the United States. This needs to end. States should not be giving American dollars to illegal immigrants. By reforming the law in each individual state, less aid will be available to someone who lives in the United States illegally, and more aid needs to be given to more students who are deserving based on merit or poverty. Imagine in California if $270 million dollars was given back to the public universities, how many more teachers would be hired and how much more financial aid would be given to deserving students.

Many of the supporters to allow the 11 million illegal immigrants to stay in the United States state that they provide a service that not many Americans would do and they help provide to each individual state economies. Other supporters also say that illegal immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes in their perspective region. “about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual tax returns each year estimate that between 50 percent to 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state and local taxes”. (Albo) However, thats only about 50% of the total illegal immigrant population. Many supporters are adamant in saying that illegal immigrants pay their taxes; however, that is simply not the case. Yes, six million immigrants pay, but what about the other 5 million illegal immigrants. Supporters need to realize that while the 6 million contribute a small amount to the government, the other 5 million cost more to maintain. If their weren’t as many illegal immigrants then the US government would not spend as much money on illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration law reform is greatly needed in the United States.

Another argument that many supporters of keeping illegal immigrants in the United States is that they do jobs that Americans just simply won’t do. They say the hard labor jobs that illegal immigrants work help provide a spark in local economies throughout the Untied States. “The absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas in fiscal 2005 would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion. Undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state revenues, which exceeded the $ 1.16 billion in state services they received”. (Albo) Supporters would show statistics like these that show their services produced more money for the local economy, then taking from the local governments.

That illegal immigrants create a surplus for the economy. However, if we look at the same quote, that is just not the case. “However, local governments bore the burden of $ 1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state”. (Albo) If we also look at the healthcare costs and increased law enforcement, the cost of maintaining illegal immigrants, in reality, creates deficit for the local economies. Many supporters twist statistics and truths to make their point about maintaining illegal immigrants, but in the real facts, they are proven wrong. Illegal immigration law reforms need to be discussed in Congress and also in individual State Congress’s.

In all, illegal immigration has been a controversial topic ever since the 1980s. Many legislators and lawmakers have tried to reform the law and Congress has even a developed a bipartisan committee to try to develop a reform bill, but lawmakers haven’t gotten past preliminary talks. I believe the only way that Congress is going to reform its immigration laws is that if the American people stand up and petition in every state. Many individuals should talk to their regional representative and try to get talks discussed in the House and also in the Senate. Illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States and they are taking money that simply the United States does not have. Illegal immigration laws need to be reformed as soon as possible.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

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  • Date: 12 January 2017

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