The Costs Versus the Benefits of Illegal Immigration

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The Cost versus the Benefits of Illegal Immigration

Every year thousands of people choose to leave their home country and come to the United States to start a new life. They dream of freedom and endless possibilities that they would never have in their home countries. Unfortunately, there are those who chose to disregard the law and come to this country illegally. It is estimated that there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. today. Illegal immigration affects our country in many ways. The cost of illegal immigration effects many aspects of our economy. One way in which our economy is affected is when an illegal immigrant is injured or sick and must go to the hospital. They often do not have the money to pay the bill, and the hospitals do not have a way to bill the patient as they are here illegally and either move often or give false information. The hospitals cannot refuse treatment, so this means that we, the taxpayers, must take on the burden of paying for those costs. Another affect illegal immigration has on our economy is the fact that migrant workers will work for less than minimum wage. This makes fewer jobs available for legal entry level citizens, which puts a huge strain on our economy. There is also the issue of securing our borders to keep illegal immigrants out. One of the newest resolutions to this issue is building a fence, which will cost a lot of money to build, maintain and defend. Another cost of illegal immigration is the cost of innocent American lives taken by illegal immigrants who drive without insurance or a license, and those affected by the gangs that have come out of Mexico, such as the Mexican Mafia and MS-13. One might ask, “Are there any benefits to illegal immigration?” Well, it depends on who you talk to. According to some groups, there are some pros to illegal immigration. Some think that it helps to keep the economy moving by filling low-wage jobs that many Americans do not want; it creates a bigger pool of customers for a variety of goods and services; farmers are able to plant and harvest their crops less expensively; millions of illegal’s rent properties in depressed areas where renters are hard to find. There are also those who say that illegal’s contribute to social security funds, which often go unclaimed; contribute to mortgage loan profits, open bank accounts that yield interest and dividends to bankers and purchase real estate and generate commissions for agents and brokers. (Garibaldi) In general, illegal immigrants coming from Mexico, South and Central America are trying to make money and help support their families here and abroad. Many of them are fleeing oppression, unemployment and poverty. Again, it truly depends on who you talk to in order to find any benefits to illegal immigration. From what I have been able to find, there are very few sources that include benefits of illegal immigration to the United States. There are, however, many benefits of illegal immigration for Mexico. Unfortunately, that does not do the U.S. any good. It seems to me that the negative effects far outweigh the positive effects. Many studies have been done which document the fact that illegal immigrants are a major burden on local communities. FAIR estimates that current local annual costs of illegal immigration for educating the children in public schools and providing medical services in emergency rooms and prisons amounts to approximately $36 billion. It is estimated that the yearly fiscal costs in 2010 will increase by nearly 70% to $61.5 billion for those same program areas, and by an additional 73% by 2020. Studies done in 2004 and 2005 examining the fiscal costs of illegal immigration in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida show that the annual net costs were $8.8 billion ($1,183 per household), $1.03 billion ($717 per household), $3.73 billion ($725 per household), and $.91 billion ($315 per household) respectively. ( FAIR claims that illegal immigration is a...
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