Undocumented Workers Benefiting America

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21 March 2011
Undocumented Workers Benefiting America
Contrary to what most Americans believe, illegal immigrants are not causing our economy to weaken, in fact, they are causing just the opposite. Immigration enforcement has increased greatly in the past few years and undocumented immigrant workers are being deported much more frequently. America refuses to recognize the positive impact these illegal workers have on our economy. Without the surplus of illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. our country’s economy would suffer greatly. Illegal immigrant workers help our economy flourish and they positively influence the American workforce. Even though the effect illegal immigrants have on this country is a hot topic of conversation, the majority of Americans are unaware of the facts regarding their presence. A report was done by D’Vera Cohn and Jeffrey S. Passel of the PEW Hispanic Center; in February of this year that established national and state trends in regards to the unauthorized immigrant population for the year 2010. In March of 2010 an estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants were living in America, representing 3.7 percent of the total U.S population of 305,999,000 people (Cohn and Passel 15). An estimated 8 million unauthorized immigrants were apart of the U.S. workforce, accounting for 5.2 percent of the total U.S. workforce of 154,939,000 people (Cohn and Passel 21). PEW also included estimates for Illinois in its report. In 2010, Illinois had a total population of 12,840,000 people, unauthorized immigrants accounted for 4.1 percent of the states population totaling 525,000 people (Cohn and Passel 14). Pew also estimated that a total number of 6,719,000 people made up Illinois’ labor force; unauthorized immigrant workers represented 5.6 percent of the total labor force, totaling 375,000 people (Cohn and Passel 14). It is believed by many Americans that illegal immigrant workers pay no taxes for the money they make and still benefit from federal and state relief programs. Those who believe this to be true are ill informed. An article written Bruce Mauriello entitled, Tax-paying Illegal Workers Contribute to the Economy, addresses the positive influence illegal workers have on the U.S. economy. Illegal immigrants do in fact pay multiple federal and state taxes, however, these undocumented workers are unable to benefit from federal and state aid programs. Statistics recorded by the National Council of La Raza states that undocumented workers annually contribute 7 billion dollars to Social Security taxes and 1.5 billion dollars to Medicare taxes, even though they receive no benefit from ether program (Mauriello 1). All of the money that these undocumented workers contribute is used to benefit American citizens. Because they are living here illegally, undocumented workers are unable to utilize federal and state aid programs available to legal U.S. citizens living in poverty. This is true even with the fact that the majority of illegal immigrants are living below the poverty level (Mauriello 1). Writer Gene Cubbison discussed the benefits of having illegal immigrants in this country in his article, Economists say Illegal Immigrants Generate more than they Cost the U.S. Regardless of the fact that they reside in the U.S. illegally, undocumented workers still have the same basic expenses as U.S. citizens do. Illegal immigrants recycle their hard earned, below average paychecks back into the economy by purchasing goods (Cubbison 2). They shop at grocery stores and retail stores, eat out at restaurants, and purchase houses and apartments, all of which are taxed by the government.

As stated earlier, there is an estimated 8 million undocumented workers in America (Cohn and Passel 21). Most Americans view this surplus of illegal workers as a bad thing and wish to see these workers removed from the country. Those who promote enforcement of immigration laws claim that these workers are taking job positions away...
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