"E Pluribus Unum"-- from many, one. We are a nation of immigrants, yet still must constantly be reminded of our shared heritage with those currently setting out for America. Immigration benefits our country, permitting immigrants to better themselves as they enrich the United States. Still, we are unable to admit all those who wish to start new lives within our borders, and ultimately many of those denied legal entry still fight to achieve the better life America has to offer.
Illegal immigration today is having devastating effects on our country, occurring at historic rates and far exceeding that of any other time in our history. Illegal immigration spurns violence and crime on the border, takes jobs away from our citizens while lowering wages, and costs the federal and state governments millions of dollars each year.
The U.S. Border Patrol estimates that more than eight million illegal immigrants reside in the United States, and half a million more continue to cross the border each year. These immigrants, about a third of whom originate from Mexico, are posing a serious strain on our economy and job market. Mexican immigrants in particular are estimated to earn ten times the wage in the U.S. as they earn in Mexico, making the illegal trek into America even more alluring (U.S. Census Pg. 2).
Illegal Immigration has grown into a specialized industry, dealing jointly in the trafficking of human lives and drugs. Lance Izumi, a journalist for Capital Ideas, points to the fact that nearly 15 percent of California's state prison inmate population is made up of illegal aliens (approximately 22,000 prisoners), and that in 1997-98, the state expected to spend half a billion dollars for incarceration and parole supervision of convicted illegal alien criminals. In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens and up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal...
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