The question is have we given up on turning our immigrants into Americans (Brimelow 30). Undoubtedly, all the hipped-up controversial rhetoric will deter the immigrant population from becoming legal. It has become such a hassle to go through the process that many people choose to cross the border without permission. Before 1960, eighty percent of the immigration to America came from Europe. Since 1960, however, eighty percent has come from places other than Europe (Wishard 153). As a result, immigrant laws have become less accepting of the immigrant community. Long ago, European immigrants were given a job, shelter, and food. Soon, the new immigrants were granted citizenship and voting privileges (Hernandez A1). Today, immigrants are lucky to cross the boarder without being shot--God forbid they become citizens.
Contrary to what many believe, many immigrants are not here to become citizens. Many wish to stay for a short time and then return to their home. In fact, many immigrants are reluctant to become legal. Many harbor hopes and dreams of eventually returning to their friends and family back home. Then there are the distinct few who do not wish to decide, and would like have "dual citizenship." To be loyal to more than one country, to vote in both countries, and to travel back and forth easily (Limon).
To understand the affects of immigration one must study the state where it is more rampant. California is a magnet for immigrants. As a result, many claim that immigrants are a great economic burden. California does, however, benefit from its porous borders. The succession of immigrant groups has brought the state unparalleled ethnic diversity (Gerston 9). Besides ethnic diversity, California has one of the most diverse economies in the world. Despite its problems, California prevails in agriculture, mining, manufacture, transportation, communication, electronics, construction, and defense. These industries contain a high percentage of immigrants. If California were an independent nation, with a 695.3 billion dollar economy, it would rank eighth in the world (Gerston 8). California's dense population is a direct result of immigration, which accounts for California's great political and economic strength.
The unregulated movement of goods, services, and people throughout the states is what makes this country economically stable and productive. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and GATT (General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs) are examples of successful agreements between neighboring countries. These agreements have resulted in the unparalleled betterment of the economies involved. Open markets in banking, insurance, agriculture, telecommunications, construction, tourism, advertising, etc. are essential to a capitalist economy. We cannot, in a world economy, close our doors to the rest of the world (Limbaugh). The Clinton Administration is committed to reducing illegal immigration, and agreements like NAFTA are critical to that effort (Christopher 785).
Laws do little or nothing to curb the illegal immigration problem. Everyone claims to be against immigration, but those same people love the low-cost agricultural products they purchase from the supermarket. No one seems to protest the inexpensive fruits and vegetables cultivated and grown by undocumented workers. Politicians who claim to be adamantly against illegal immigration turn around and hire illegal aliens. Pete Wilson, Dianne Feinstein, and Michael Huffington have all contributed to the "nannygate" problem. It is actually no big deal, but it shows how honest and forthright our politicians are.
Everyone contributes to the problem, but no one will face reality. Let's face it, we all reep the benefits of illegal immigration. Let's forget about all the useless rhetoric, and cut a deal with Mexico and other countries that will benefit everyone (Olmo B7). If politicians are serious about curbing immigration they should...