Illegal immigration in the United States

Illegal immigration in the United States . In the United States, immigration elicits public and political debates. Frequently, the questions are about the place of immigrants in the labor market, immigrant volumes, advantages, and the expenses. Correspondingly, there’s always a query on humanitarian admission policies. Statistics point out strongly that illegal immigrants contribute to the increase population in the United States. Apparently, there are over eleven million illegal immigrants in the US today.

According to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a significant percentage of the illegal population is a result of accumulated visa overstays. The figures estimate rates stand between 27 to 57 percent. In 2014, 8 million illegal people constituted the American workforce including all those who were actively looking for jobs. About 26 percent of illegal immigrants work in the agricultural sector while around 15 percent of them work in the construction industry (Jie & Batalova).

Illegal immigration in the United States

It is also worth noting that though their numbers have declined a bit recently, in 2014, 5.8 million illegal Mexicans were living in the United States. In the same year, aliens coming from Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia increased significantly offsetting the declining population of Mexicans. Also important to note is that California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois combined accounted for 59 percent of aliens. During the same duration, illegal immigrants destined for Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Washington rose(Jie & Batalova). But for other states, in Louisiana, it was the rising Mexican population that solely contributed to an increase in the alien population.

Immigration is one of America’s powerful national identity symbols. Perhaps, the allure for better jobs and improved living conditions in the United States justifies the reason as to why illegal immigrants are flocking the country. Reasonably, illegal immigration brings along its advantages and related problems. There is public dissatisfaction in the United States for the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants into the country. Ideally, the reason is that the negative impacts outnumber the advantages which justifies public uproar. Glaringly, there are many loopholes people may exploit to facilitate illegal immigration.

Methods that Illegal Immigrants Use

  • An estimated six million aliens arrived through legal means such as non-immigrant and temporary visas.
  • While some immigrants enter the United States without inspection, others find an entry using fraudulently acquired documents. The United States-Mexican border is the most preferred crossing point for many aliens. Other aliens use fake and duplicated certificates thus making immigration illegal. Sometimes, the people behind illegal immigration are the miscreant and fraudulent agents who perpetrate forgery. By the end, some aliens have no knowledge about the legibility of their documents.
  • Notwithstanding, wars and civil unrest in countries fuel illegal immigration. Most recently, many illegal immigrants entering the United States from civil war-torn Colombia and Syria as a result of the Syrian War.
  • Persecution due to religious differences, oppression, may make individuals seek asylum. However, it is clear that asylum seekers are illegal immigrants if their reasons for asylum are determined to be invalid.
  • In dramatic incidences, human trafficking invariably contributes towards illegal immigration. Many smugglers attempting to transport victims to the United States use the porous Mexican border.
  • Sham marriages also contribute to illegal immigration. In this case, marriage is conducted for a couple to gain immigration advantages. Most of the times, the couple might not be in an actual relationship. Under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement law, such as offense carries a five-year jail term and a fine that is not less than 250,000.USD.

Positive Effects of Illegal Immigration

  • One of the noticeable positive impacts is that aliens boost the economy within their areas of residence and in general, the country. For instance, in the United States, the Social Security Trust Fund has received around USD 300 billion amounting from alien contributions.
  • Considering that illegal immigrants have no access to some benefits, some companies and institutions capitalize on the cheap labor that aliens offer to cut their expenditures on labor. Moreover, aliens always take low-end jobs which do not provide a minimum wage. Often, these jobs do not attract locals. Because of this situation, illegal immigrants substantially avert the probable workforce vacuum that would have resulted if nobody else would take such jobs(Chavez, “The Latino Threat” 23).
  • Illegal immigrants contribute towards America’s diversity as long as they do not have a criminal record.
  • Additionally, there is an increased consumer base with illegal immigrants. Therefore, there is increased money in circulation.
  •  Illegal immigrants contribute taxes thus enhancing tax revenue.

All of these benefits cumulatively lead to economic growth which is a plus for the United States.

Consequences of Illegal Immigration

  • Illegal immigration exerts pressure on the country’s resources. Clearly, when aliens enter the country without the knowledge of authorities, they are unlikely to be accounted while planning for amenities. In the long run, hospitals, schools, and other social amenities are expected to be overwhelmed. Given that every human being requires basic needs, the influx of illegal immigrants stretches health, shelter, and food supplies. As a result, there are increased conflicts between residents and the aliens after they find hardships as they seek these basic needs.
  • Aliens are increasing competition for jobs. Seemingly, Americans without college degrees and high school diplomas have an interest in lower-skilled jobs and often lower-paying jobs.
  • Aliens do not pay federal tax deductions. Nevertheless, they have access to some government service which increases the financial obligations of legal citizens. Economists argue that these illegal immigrants cost the American government a significant amount of cash when they receive government benefits such as welfare and food assistance programs, education and health care. In fact, legal immigrants take the advantage that since some of their children are born in America, which makes them American citizens. And so, they have a right to receive government benefits and services (Hanson 124).
  • Illegal immigrants threaten America’s national security. According to the FBI’s findings this year, criminal gangs were significantly comprised of aliens. Indeed, many jurisdictions in the US have reported that 95 percent of all crimes were gun-related cases. Besides, these cases involved aliens (Klein).
  • Drug-related crimes and weapon-smuggling are on the rise as a result of illegal immigration. The FBI also found out that 80 percent of immigrants in the southwestern border were agents of drug smuggling cartels (Klein). To add on, these individuals are also the ones behind money laundering syndicates. Most of the aliens in the drug business come from Mexico and Columbia.
  • Cartels enhance prostitution by carrying human trafficking. Most of the illegal immigrants in America find their way into brothels. In this way, they fuel prostitution which increases the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections.
  • A significant number of undocumented immigrants are violent. In 2013 alone, 9.2 percent of the murder convictions were undocumented workers. It has been found out that most aliens are more criminal than an ordinary American. The number of illegal immigrants throughout federal prisons in the fiscal year 2010 stood at approximately fifty-five thousand. In 2009, local jails held about 296,000. Surprisingly, most of the prisoners were of Mexican descent.

Problems Undocumented Immigrants Face

Undocumented immigrants face many difficulties as they pursue the “American Dream.” As a matter of fact, aliens risk deportation any time they are held. So, they live in fear of the known. As a recurrent difficulty, immigrants face mistreatment from the host community. Owing to their undocumented status, they cannot report cases of harassment to the police (Chavez, “Shadowed Lives”43). They then remain subjects of torture in the hands of locals. Noticeably, moral and physical pain on illegal immigrants stands at an all-time high because Americans are opposed to the idea of outsiders taking their jobs. Also notable is that employers benefit from illegal immigrants by tapping their cheap labor. Unscrupulous employees offer poor working conditions while they do not provide insurance and welfare for their staff.

Feeling of Americans on Illegal Immigrants

Most Americans treat aliens with so much contempt to the extent that it psychologically affects their well-being. According to Pew Research Center’s survey targeting to find out how Americans feel about immigration finds that they have a significant bipartisan gap. On the question of how Americans think about the impacts of Immigrants to the greater American society, 45 percent view that aliens are making the society better. On the other hand, 37 percent say that unregistered foreign nationals make the community grow worse. By the partisan divide, almost fifty-three percent of all Republicans say that immigrants lead to the deterioration of the society while only twenty-four percent of Democrats have the same view. Despite the mixed views, both Democrats and Republicans agree that the United States Immigration system is broken. Undeniably, everybody agrees that there needs to be significant changes to fix the situation urgently.

What the Government is doing about Illegal Immigration

Overall, the government has improved the efficiency of dealing with illegal immigration comparing with the previous years. The government has tried to dragonize the problem. Further, it has taken great strides to control the problem. The Department of Homeland Security has made significant leaps with programs such as CBP and ICE. Their achievements include reducing the number of undocumented immigrants. On the other hand, it has tried to regulate the rate of influx of aliens into the country. Notably, security has been beefed up at access points which has reduced the number of passers considerably. The government created the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection in 2002. Ever since then, the number of undocumented immigrants deported has gone up(Borjas 78).  Even then, a lot remains to get to effect.

Although calls to build a fence at the border between the US and Mexico have gained momentum over the recent years, there is nothing that is on paper for implementation. In the same vein, American citizens have called for a ban of birthright citizenship that has also not achieved getting to effect. Also, the government is running a program that trains enforcement officers.

Plausibly, the government has restored leadership and sanity in border control and patrol.

On the other hand, the government encounters bureaucracy when passing laws through Congress. There is a tactical debate raging with conflicting views from the Republican and Democrat parties regarding the U.S. Immigration Policy. A majority of the Republicans support the idea of providing a legal procedure that will make undocumented immigrants in the US legal citizens. In another opposing view, some Republicans believe that by granting American citizenship to migrants in America, it will be a tacit reward to badly behaved immigrants.

During the 2016 Presidential campaigns, there was a heated debate with the now President-elect Donald Trump threatening deporting all undocumented illegal immigrants. Additionally, he vowed to make Mexico pay for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico. Although the President-elect has been vocal about the implementation of an electric employment system that verifies eligibility that goes by E-verify, the suggestion does not substantially point at the ability to identify aliens in the workforce. The reality is that the system is incapable of preventing ineligible immigrants from getting jobs. Also, aliens can use other people’s valid documents to certify the process. In spite of the logicality of the proposal, it will only take severe penalties on employers using E-Verify to avoid any violations.

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