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The history of immigration is defined by human behaviors and its primary origin is as old as origin of humanity. It is significant to note that illegal immigration poses a number of threats to the political, social and economic of a nation. In addition, immigration policies are discriminative in some places, thus, they may cause societal conflict and possible diplomatic tensions. This prompted Bush to initiate immigration reforms in a bid to ease the strictures on millions of illegal immigrants. It faced opposition from Congress. This essay establishes the state of illegal immigration into the U.S. and the impacts it has in the political, social, and economic arenas.
Illegal immigration is a result of hardship lifestyle faced by immigrants in their home countries. They opt for illegal immigration if they cannot be granted visas to work abroad. Other than economic prospects, immigrants also fear political instability and the need to reconnect with relatives who had already immigrated out of their homeland.
Diplomacy is affected because different leaders have different views towards immigration policies. As a result, there are series of democratic and variant views concerning the different issues that surround illegal immigration. There is a strong base for those who support illegal immigration, as a necessary ingredient for economic growth and an essential element of a cosmopolitan society. Contrarily, illegal immigration is a vice that the U.S administration continually fights. Immediate former president of the U.S., George W. Bush pushed for deportation of illegal immigrants and President Obama has even gone a notch higher. According to Bedard, “He's deported about 18 percent more illegal immigrants than former Bush did in his last two years in office. And he's on par to have given the boot to nearly 1.5 million immigrants by the time this term is done,”. This has been aided by increased border operations that have seen the number of patrol agents grow by 32%.
Social problem arising from illegal immigration is broken family relationship. Zarembo cites the case of Ana, an illegal immigrant who supports her family back in Mexico. According to Zarembo, (2001), Ana cannot return home despite making $50,000 annually, “To her children, she is now just the things she sends home: the latest videogame, the piles of clothing and the wired cash that has turned her relatives into the royal--and resented—family of an impoverished neighborhood,”. This view is supported by Menjivar and Abrego, (2005) that, “families throughout the world are experiencing long-term separation across national border”.
Population of illegal immigrants from Mexico is rapidly increasing. Zarembo notes that “As many as 8.5 million illegal immigrants live in the United States; 54% come from Mexico,” (25). It is projected that Latinos will surpass the African-Americans in the U.S. to become the biggest minority group. They hold significant political future and as a result, Latinos are pushing for blanket amnesty on illegal immigrants. In addition, “there is recognition that U.S. economy has been built, in part, on the labor of foreigners who arrived without visas. The new thinking can be seen in the small but growing number of states that grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens”. Illegal immigrants bring an untrained workforce that finds it hard to communicate in English, which is first language in the U.S. They have found their way into main learning institutions in form of in-state tutorials and the illegal immigrants can open bank accounts without legal documents. Legal Mexicans who have legal work permits assist in these maneuvers.
Effects of Illegal Immigration to Mexican Economy
Report by the Economists shades light into impacts of Mexican immigrants’ remittances to the economy of Mexico. The recent financial crisis that brought down world economy, started in the U.S., and its ripple effect was felt in Mexico. This is because there were reduced remittances by immigrants as hardship set in. However, the recession period led to decrease in number of illegal immigrants crossing to the U.S. The Economist samples the case of Amelia Cerezero whose mother worked in Florida. “She lost her job and was unable to send her weekly 1,500 pesos to her daughter in Mexico. And Mrs. Cerezero’s sister has came back from Florida, reckoning it was better to be unemployed in Mexico”.
Chincua, a small village in Mexico is a classical example of how remittances affect Mexico’s economy. Before the economic crisis, the village land lay fallow for a considerable time despite being a maize plantation years earlier. This is because the population went to seek greener pastures in the U.S. Chincua, with an approximate population of 700 people was affected by the fall in remittances as this accounted for 12% of its economy. Generally, in Mexico, remittances by immigrants fell by 4.2% between January and August 2008. The trend was reversed in October following immigrants’ payout for job losses followed by savings back in Mexico.
There is another theory fronted by the Pew Hispanic Center to explain the rapid fall of remittances to Mexico. The think-tank observes the stabilization of immigrants from Mexico at below 12m after an ever-increasing number in the preceding years. They attribute the stagnation to stricter border operations that has made it difficult to cross into the U.S. territory. The Economist, (2008) note “Mrs. Cerezero and her husband tried repeatedly earlier this year but were caught each time. Now they have given up. Many people in Chincua have opted to stay at home with their families even if that means staying poor, says the village priest,” (46). Despite having a falling value of pesos against the USD, those who remitted their salaries have nothing to celebrate. The economy of Mexico weakened and this affected a number of businesses in healthcare, retail, to mention a few.
The resolution of the illegal immigrants’ crisis in the U.S. through deportation was granted to a halt following establishment of the DREAM Act. According to Miranda, “The DREAM Act would grant undocumented immigrants who were 16 years old or younger when they came to the United States a path to legal status and, eventually, citizenship if they enroll in college or the military,” (20). GOP opposes the DREAM Act in Congress and as a precautionary measure; pro-immigration citizens are brainstorming on other mechanisms to keep illegal immigrants. Their hope lie in the observation that president Obama, who support deferred actions has the legal jurisdiction to overrule on the matter. However, the president and other legal practitioners agree that is a president does not have constitutional power to make an overruling. Miranda, (2011) observes that, “About 2.1 million undocumented youth would be eligible for the DREAM Act, according to a 2010 study by the Migration Policy Institute, (20).”
Illegal immigration is a reality in America and American politics. This paper has found out that, other than the politics of the day, illegal immigration has far-reaching consequences. It has economic significance for both America and immigrants’ country of origin. Whereas immigration is a source of American labor, remittances made by immigrants are important part of their countries national budget. The relation between Mexico and the U.S. are dependent and this call for a comprehensive resolution to the situation. The platform is set by the DREAM Act.