Immigration: A Time for Reform & Reevaluation
By Ricardo Cerna
Devry University / January 2012 / English 112
Immigration reform is the old yet new revitalized hot topic being discussed in the media which will not seem to fade away from the spot light despite its drawbacks. The reality of that ongoing debate is that this country, and the State of California in particular, was founded by immigrants fleeing an oppressive government, yet this same country and state now oppress immigrants fleeing from similar situations trying to reestablish new lives within its borders. We cannot forget where we originated from and the foundation this great nation and state was built upon. In this age of progressive thinkers, it is time to tackle the elephant in the room. Though Americans might not agree 100% or be on board with the idea of rethinking the way most California natives view the immigration topic, the reality is that there are potential economic benefits of grand proportions to mending the immigration system. It is very common to hear political analysts and community leaders and organizers discuss the immigration debate on the nightly news broadcast. It is a topic that has gained momentum since the election of our nation’s first black president. Let’s not forget this was part of the president’s campaign promise during his first term in office. This discussion is not fading; it has been reenergized since the president’s reelection of 2012. As a minority and an immigrant, I too feel that the time has come for California to reevaluate how it can benefit from making “illegal aliens” no longer so called “illegal aliens”. Being that I am labeled a minority by statistics, mass media, and social elite, it is easy to perceive my position as bias and well obviously it is a logical perception. However my position and views are not based on my ethnicity, they are based on common sense, the tremendous potential financial stability and growth that such reform can generate for such an economically fragile state, and sometimes doing the right thing is just that. Allowing so called “illegal aliens” to reside legally in this nation and California in particular would be a benefit to our state’s financial infrastructure. It is estimated that in California alone there is an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants residing illegally (us immigration support, n.d.,2012). Think of the tax revenue that these subjects could contribute to the State in social security, federal & state tax, and Medicare alone. When everyday productive “illegal aliens”, or citizens contribute to these programs they generate income coming into the states’ coffers. Just image if hypothetically this same 3 million “illegal aliens” were contributing 15-25% in tax revenue of their income to these coffers which ultimately do pay for social services, civil servant salaries, road and infrastructure maintenance, transportation and most important education. If this tax base was in fact allowed to legally work and be taxed like the rest of the country and state there would be no state employees on furlough days creating a back log in public services, closure of social programs for the elderly and impoverished, dilapidated and outdated highway systems in need of drastic maintenance. In addition if these funds were available there would not be a state run education system that in all reality under educates our children due to financial woes. The California State University system would not be so underfunded that it clearly makes obtaining higher education virtually impossible for the average college student without the need to get in devastating financial debt. This newly acquired tax revenue could fund all these programs which in all reality are diminishing due to lack of funding. Imagine being raised in this country since the age of 1 or 2, growing up in this nation and the State of California in particular. As a child you attend school,...
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