Effects of Illegal Immigration

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Illegal immigrants entering the United States from other countries has played a major impact on the quality of life of our society. The majority of Americans believe there are no benefits to United States citizens by having illegal immigrants remain in this country. Much of the funding that would typically go to tax paying citizens is now being directed to programs for illegal immigrants, which do not make enough money to financially support themselves and their families. To date, the largest costs that have been paid out to as a result of illegal immigration are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion). (Camarota, 2004) Taxpayers should not have to absorb the costs for education, medical care, welfare or incarceration for those that were not invited to this country. An estimated two thirds of illegals who are house hold heads lack a high school diploma. (Camarota, 2004) Without adequate education, illegal immigrants subject themselves to jobs set aside for unskilled workers with low paying salaries. Due to the fact that many of the illegal immigrants live below the poverty level, money must be allocated for funding to help offset the costs of necessities such as education. The 1982 Supreme Court Case of Plyer vs. Doe makes it illegal to deny children of illegal immigrants the right to go to school. Another factor in this equation is the children of illegal aliens that were born in the United States and are therefore citizens. In either case,

both are living in households of illegal immigrants, many of whom are living below the poverty level, and would be considered in the same category with the children not born in the United States because they are living under the same circumstances. The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states nearly $12 billion annually, and when the children born here to illegal aliens are added, the costs more than double to $28.6 billion. (Martin, 2005) Money has to also be allotted for adult illegal immigrants, many of which cannot speak English and therefore have to take classes to be able to effectively communicate and be a member of society. As a country, we are sacrificing the quality of life and education of our children to support the quality of life for those who have broken the law by being here. Efforts are underway in several states and in Congress to allow illegal aliens to pay steeply discounted in-state tuition at public colleges and universities— rates not available to American citizens from other states. (Martin, 2005) One such program - The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act - has been recently reintroduced by lawmakers. This program would allow students who were brought to the United States as an illegal immigrant prior to the age of 16 to become a citizen provided they go to college or the military. Initiatives like this make it hard for the U.S. taxpayer to embrace the masses of illegal aliens when same aid cannot be obtained for themselves or their children for pursuit of higher education. If we continue to receive the amount of illegal aliens that are believed to be entering the country as they have in the past few

years, education costs are going to skyrocket beyond control. This could severely impact the quality of life for future generations as a result. Already a heavy burden for the U.S. taxpayer, there seems to be no relief in sight. In a perfect world, if the United States was a self-sufficient country with an overabundance of money, people might not mind helping out illegal aliens in search of a better life. However, the reality is that the United States cannot continue to foot the bill for the education of illegal immigrants at the cost of cutting funding for programs and aid...
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