Is Illegal Immigration Beneficial to the U.S. Economy?
Legal immigrants have been welcomed to the United States for centuries, for the United States was founded as a nation of immigrants. Although, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the number and countries of origin for illegal immigrants coming to America from Mexico (majority) has raised a much higher concern for our national security and the safety of our citizens. The question that is currently being debated in Congress is how to gain better control of U.S. borders, and stop the flow of illegal immigrants. There are basically two sides of the debate: those favoring closed borders and absolute control of all immigration as more important than the economy; and those favoring controlled access, but more open borders to allow foreign workers into the U.S. economy to provide for a perceived labor shortages. Immigrants actually contribute to our economy as workers, taxpayers, entrepreneurs and consumers. Undocumented immigrants account for 5 percent of the total U.S. labor force (New York Times), and at least a quarter of the workers in industries like construction, agriculture, grounds keeping, meat processing, textile production, and the list could go on. Lawmakers need to revamp our immigration system so that it works with our economy, not against it. These positions are being held and kept, in which the majority of American citizens will not do. Immigrants keep these positions, thus contributing to our economy productions, increasing import goods, as well as export goods. They fill positions in the majority of our countries agriculture. Immigrants work long hours, at very low hourly rates. Most Americans refuse to work in such conditions or if so, they are not employed for long. Furthermore, the job market is not the only area immigrants can affect the U.S. economy; they can also have significant impact on the housing market. If immigrants were taken away, both the production and selling of houses would decrease significantly. Consequently, removing immigrants from the United States would not only pose a problem to the production of goods and the job force, it would also put the housing market at an even higher risk than it currently is facing. Just rumors of new immigration laws that might soon be coming into effect, are already showing drastic scare in immigrants which has caused them to flee, job lost, and desperately in need to be filled. So where are all our unemployed Americans? Not willing to do the work of immigrants, so it seems. In a recent article from The New York Times states, “Undocumented immigrants make up about 4.2 percent of Alabama’s work force, or 95,000 people in a state of 4.8 million. For all of the talk about clearing the way for unemployed Americans, there is no evidence that Alabamians in any significant numbers are rushing to fill the gap left by missing farm laborers and other low-wage immigrant workers” (New York Times). One of the most successful states in the United States is Texas. Texas is closest to the Mexico Border and the easiest for immigrants to migrate from. This is just an example of how and why immigrants help the economic flow. In an article by Scott Cohn of CNBC he writes regarding how Texas has taken the top spot in the nation as the #1 Winner in Business across the board. Categories that Texas was measured by included, but were no limited to: work force, economy, and cost of living, which set them apart from the other states. “Texas powers past the tough times on the strength of its economy—top-ranked in our Economy category four years in a row. The Texas economy is the 15th largest in the world, according to government figures; larger, for example, than all the Scandinavian nations combined,” (Cohn, CNBC). Immigrants have a lot to do with these numbers and figures. The plain fact that immigrants have contributed in recent years with the economic...
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