"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these,
the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Do our immigration policies still honor the words written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 on the base of the Statue of Liberty, and if so, what impact do they have on our economy? The issue of whether our economy is impacted negativity or positively by undocumented workers and what should be done about it is a widely debated topic in this country right now and reported about on every form of media (news, print, social) available on a daily basis. The issue of undocumented immigration is important; it concerns fundamental, moral and economic questions about how we deal with immigration in our country. Various arguments have been presented about this issue. We will consider the argument from people who feel the undocumented workers negatively affect the economy, why those views are flawed, review the evolution of immigration along with immigration policies and what are in effect presently, what policies would promote change regarding immigration, as well as how we can build a bridge between the two arguments. I will then put forward suggestions for the introduction of ways in which we can begin the changes in policy to best suit both sides of the argument. It has been argued that undocumented workers drain the economy and just benefit a few businesses at the expense of Americans citizens. An article written by Steven Malaga, published in the City Journal summer 2006, supports the belief : “unskilled, undocumented workers benefit a handful of industries by getting low cost labor, and the taxpayers foot the bill.” In other words, undocumented workers and their illegal families are a drain on our economy. It is claimed that they send every penny they earn to their country of origin, use public services they are not entitled to, perform menial labor, do not pay taxes and their children abuse the right to public services and education. However, as the pamphlet by Neighborhood center states: “ in fact there is no question as to the importance of the buying power of undocumented immigrants. the real predictor of wage disparity is not whether someone is an immigrant (regardless of status), it is lack of education. Foreign-born entrepreneurs with startups businesses have been behind 25 percent of these businesses in this country. Three quarters of the undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes and they contribute $7 billion in Social Security funds annually without the ability to collect Social Security. While the majority of the children of undocumented immigrants are born here legally and are eligible to public services and education, their parents for fear of deportation are reluctant to seek assistance. Moreover, the belief that undocumented workers have a negative impact on the economy is just a myth; there is a net benefit to the nation’s total economic output raising it by a reported $21.5 billion per year (USA Today). In addition, according to a study by the investment research company, Standard & Poor’s, “the cost of providing services to undocumented workers is largely offset by the economic benefits they generate.” We can see why if you look at the economic effect on the country without researching your views thoughly, on the surface you may be able to put together a shaky argument, but after researching the facts you do see that undocumented workers actually boost our economy, as we see in Gordon H. Hanson’s, The Economics and Policy report of illegal immigration in the United States; “the current regime of illegal immigration, despite its faults, has been sufficiently beneficial to US employers that they are doubtful about the capacity of Congress to improve the situation and therefore unwilling to take the political risk of supporting reform. The...
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