Illegal immigration is a divisive and controversial topic all over the world. Illegal immigrants are normally categorized into two; those who enter a country illegally and those who enter a country legally, but violate the terms of their refuge permit or overstay the number of days they were permitted on their visa (U.S. Immigration Support 1). Illegal migration has both positive and negative effects to a nation. Most of the illegal immigrants move from their original homes to look for green pastures in other countries. The aim of this paper is to address positive and negative impacts of illegal immigration.
Generally, people decide on immigrating to countries that have greater resources, are technologically advanced and can offer more opportunities. In few cases, some individuals may move to a foreign country so that their children can have a better life. For instance, in the US, illegal immigrants children gains citizenship automatically (Katel 31). People are forced to emigrate their countries of origin by push or pull factors. Push factors are those events, reasons and trends that force people to emigrate while pull factors can be described as those characteristics of a particular country that invites immigrants for permanent settlement (LeMay 3).
There are 10.5-11 million estimated illegal immigrants in the US currently in which 40% are fraudulent entrants, those who have overstayed or individuals failing to depart, and 60% comprises the undocumented immigrants (LeMay 2). This kind of analysis helps in discussions of immigration policy and its reform because the effectiveness and nature of different policy options to be used to cope with each kind of illegal immigration vary substantially. The critics of nation’s immigration policies argue that illegal immigrants threaten national security, take Americans jobs and change the nation’s culture by not assimilating. On the other hand, immigrant advocates argue that illegal immigrants generally boost the economy by taking the jobs Americans refuse to take (Katel 4).
Whenever illegal immigrants successfully enter a foreign country, they engage themselves in low skilled jobs which do not require any qualifications. Other employment sectors they engage themselves in include hospitality, agriculture, restaurants, prostitution and domestic service (Katel 4). Proponents of illegal immigration argue that immigrants only take jobs that citizens or residents refuse while opponents argue that illegal immigrants take residents jobs in overall.
Employers sometimes tend to take advantage of the illegal immigrants in that they may pay them below what is required. They also make illegal immigrants employees work under unsafe working conditions. Such employers feel they can easily get away with these human rights violations since illegal immigrants cannot report them out of fear of deportation.
According to Bascio (11), illegal immigration does not have any positive side. It causes harm to America’s workers in terms of shrinking wages, joblessness, and poor working conditions. African American workers are the most affected by illegal immigration because they are already being faced by job discrimination; thus, illegal immigration drives their wages below the acceptable levels or locks them out of many workplaces. On the hand, legal immigration also contributes negatively. For instance, it steals the brightest and best of the third world countries (physicians, scientists and teachers). Unchecked illegal immigration will directly influence the growth and performance of a nation, and it might lead to some illegal issues such as identity and document fraud, street gangs, disdain for the rule of law, education costs and staggering welfare (Bascio 27).
The issue of illegal immigration has divided American a lot. The proponents of illegal immigration argue that illegal immigration benefits the US economy by expansion of low cost labor, additional tax revenue, and money in circulation increment (ProCon.org 1). According to proponents of illegal immigration, immigrants take jobs that Americans dislike, brings good values, have motivations that are consistent with the American dream. They also believe that opposition to immigration is as a result of racism (ProCon.org 1). In another point of view, opponents argue that illegal immigrants are criminals as well as economic and social burden to tax paying, law-abiding Americans (ProCon.org 1).
Real ID bill and “guest worker” programs are some of the proposals that are put forward to deal with illegal immigration. Real ID bill would block illegal immigrants from acquiring driver’s licenses while “guest worker” programs would grant illegal workers temporary legal status (Katel 17). The two proposals have raised a lot of issues and some argues that uncontrolled immigration will increase crime, depress wages and cause neighborhood blight, thus, allowing illegal workers acquire driver’s licenses will legalize illegal behavior. Others are of the opinion that illegal immigrants benefits both consumers and employers. That is, employers benefit from low cost labor that makes it possible to produce goods and services that are cheap and affordable to the consumers. Illegal immigrants are also consumers thus contributing positively to the national economy.
According to Hanson (29), legal immigration cannot be considered economically doing well than illegal immigration. In reality, illegal immigration responds to market forces in a positive way than legal immigration because illegal immigrants tend to move in when the economy is booming and spread to regions with strong job growth (Hanson 33).
In conclusion, illegal immigration has raised many controversial issues due to that fact that some support it while others do not. Supporters argue that it contributes positively to economic growth of a nation through expansion of low cost labor, additional tax revenue, and money in circulation increment. On the contrary, it has received a lot resistance from a great number of people due to the negative issues associated with it. In order to avoid the disagreements which have been there for a number of years concerning the issue of illegal immigration, a consensus should be reached so as to come up with a lasting solution that will satisfy both sides.