US History 5
3 November 2006
Immigration Is OK By Me
Illegal immigration is a large problem in the Untied States today. This problem overwhelms many of the citizens in the US. Congressional Quarterly reports that, “More than ten million illegal immigrants live in the United States and 1,400 more arrive everyday” (1). This is a problem that has always been around and has only gotten worse over the years, and there are two sides to the argument. Americans who oppose immigration feel that illegal immigrants are a danger to both America’s national security and its economy while the supporters of immigration feel that immigrants boost the economy and further American equality.
Americans who are anti-immigration fear that national security is endangered by illegal immigration. Some Americans think that if immigrants can get into the country without consent maybe others can who could be potentially dangerous. This thought worries many Americans into thinking that our national security is weak. “The borders are out of control” says T.J. Bonner, president of National Border Patrol Council (1). Many citizens would agree that this is a dangerous situation America is dealing with. They don’t know who is coming across the borders. Congressional Quarterly speaks of representative Tancredo who is worried about border security: “Tancredo worries about men like Mohamed and Mahmud Abouhalima, who were convicted of their roles in the 1993 bombing of the world trade center” (1). If these men could come across through the Mexican border, Americans are worried that others just like them can do the same. This kind of event proves that America’s border protection is very important.
Americans who are opposed to immigration fear that the nation’s economy will be negatively affected. Illegal immigrants come to America and take jobs. Many Americans feel they take these jobs from US citizens. In addition immigrants also work for lower wages and some people feel this means some Americans are paid less. Adam Davidson of National Public Radio reported: “High school drop outs are suppressed by some where between 3 and 8 percent because of competition from immigrants both legal and illegal.” Davidson continues saying that if there were no immigrants, high school dropouts would receive an extra 25 dollars a week (4). This is a huge problem because Americans believe that they should not have to compete in their own country against people who do not belong there. Jorge Borgas, from the Kennedy school of government, reported that “between 1980 and 2000, immigration reduced the average annual earnings of US born men by an estimated 1,700 dollars or roughly 4 percent” (3). Americans are not keen to the idea of losing 4 percent of their yearly salary.
Supporters of immigration believe that the nation’s economy is improved by immigration. Many Americans like illegal immigration because the immigrants fill many jobs that Americans do not want. The immigrants also keep the economy moving by charging less money for services. Brendan Flanagan, director of legislative affairs for the National Restaurant Association says “Restaurants, hotels, nursing homes, agricultural-a very broad group of industries- are looking for supplies of workers to remain productive” (1). Immigrants are needed in those industries for Americans to live the way they do. In fact, some Americans believe immigrants help everyone get jobs. They allow Americans to start certain businesses such as restaurants and hotels. John Gay co-chairman of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, reported, “immigrants didn’t displace millions of Americans; they helped employ Americans” (1). There are many Americans who argue that immigrants are necessary for the economy to keep growing.
Supporters of immigration believe that the nation’s equality will be greatly strengthened by immigration. Americans believe in equality for all citizens. Some Americans feel that equality applies to everyone, even those who are not legally allowed in the country. The immigrants long to be legal and live without the thought of being deported. Ruben Arita, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, said, “we want to be legal. We want to live with out hiding, without fear” (2). The idea of being legal for immigrants means acceptance and the feeling that they belong. Staff Sgt. Jose Soto, a marine and a illegal immigrant, said, “I’ve fought for freedom over seas, now I’m fighting for freedom here” (2). A lot of Americans would be shocked to hear that someone who fought for their freedom would be kicked out of their country. For some equal rights means equal for everyone within the borders of the United States.
Americans who oppose immigration feel that illegal immigrants are a danger to both America’s national security and its economy while the supporters of immigration feel that immigrants boost the economy and further American equality. The pro-immigration stance that immigrants are good for the economy and equality of the United States is the most compelling argument for America. This is the country of the melting pot and should stay that way. President Bush said in April: “It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave there homes, leave their families, and risk everything to come to America” (2). The president is correct in recognizing that the United States is the model for the world. As the model country as borders should be open to new immigrants who will strengthen America.