Immigration Research Paper

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Shaneryka Howard
September 19, 2011

Immigration Research Paper

Do illegal immigrants harm America? That question is like asking if going outside is harmful to your body. Sure, you could swing your door open, take a few steps, and walk back inside, uninjured or you could live your life outside of that door, no worry about what will happen. Will that lead to harm? Possibly. Almost certainly. As undoubtedly as there are positive things that result from living outside of that door, there is also potential danger. Who determines whether you come across that danger? You have a role to prevent danger, but will it sneak up on you nonetheless? Often times it does. Terrific! You’ve landed yourself in the middle of an ethical conundrum, all because of a simple analogy that managed to compare illegal immigration to a life: lived or closed. Now an issue that used to look so unimportant is thrust into a thought-provoking position. Is itre a l l y dangerous to open up to it? What are the potential dangers of illegal immigration? What, if any, positive could come of it? Itis illegal for a reason, is it not? There are plenty of reasons to examine the subject, from every point of view. “The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a sub- ject is by….studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind,” states John Stuart Mill (Dudley 9). Mill explains the basis of motivation to delve into the topic. And so, looking ahead, it becomes quite obvious to realize that the query “does illegal immigration harm America?” only has two solid outcomes.

Just like stepping through that door, immigration, despite its legality, produces a number of bene- fits, and, on the flip side, it introduces danger and hurt, economically, politically, and socially. Two opposing views on illegal immigration

VIEWPOINT ONE: Illegal Immigrants contribute to and build America If only illegal immigrants, or perhaps immigrants in general, could have their own PR marketing campaign. Everything from “artsy” television commercials to informative magazine ads could revolu- tionize the way the American public view a population that continues to form and transform our nation in every possible way. What are Americans blind to? What is the image or perception that must be changed? It boils down to image. Americans must realize that immigrants aren’t invading the country, in general, they aren’t dishonest, and they aren’t ruining the economy. “The perception is that immigration is out of control. It isn’t. If you say to most Americans, ‘we have 800,000 legal immigrants a year’ they’re going to reply, ‘Hey, that’s not so bad.’ And this is the truth of the situation. But it’s somehow been demonized so that people think there are millions coming across the border,” said Joel Kotkin, the author of “Tribes” (Dudley 26). Kotkin makes a strong argu- ment for immigrants, and continues to say that the number of illegal immigrants who enter and stay in the United States each year is approximately 300,000 according to the Census Bureau and the Immigra- tion and Naturalization Service (Dudley 27).

“The number of illegals in California is thought to be growing by 125,000 a year - hardly an eco- nomic catastrophe in a state of 31 million. In Los Angeles, where 80,000 jobs were created last year, it’s a definite plus. The city has a thirst for people who will work for $5 or even $3 an hour,” Kotkin says, defending illegals on an economic level.

Kotkin also states, surprisingly, that many people have a fear of immigration because they have a fear of Latinos. The populous tends to believe that they are untrustworthy, lethargic, and dirty (Dudley 28). However, there is quite an expressive amount of sympathy for illegal immigrants who learn Eng- lish, get documentation, and work. Sixty-nine percent of people say that illegals do the work that cit- izens would rather not, even though it needs to be done. In...
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