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Illegal Immigration

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Beware! America is being invaded by aliens! Not the little, green, Martian type you see in science fiction movies, but the real thing. I'm talking about the illegal type who come in every day and every night, by land and by sea. Estimates have shown that as many as 500,000 illegal aliens make it across the border every year (Morganthau 67). Illegal immigration causes many problems in the United States, including economic problems, crime, education disputes, and overcrowding. All of these problems were already damaging our country and illegal immigration has made them much, much worse. Let me begin to explain the problem with a story. A woman named Xiomara T. escaped Nicaragua in 1991 to escape the violence afflicting her country (Jost, Feb. 3, 1995). She slipped across the Mexican-American border easily one night without papers guaranteeing her legal status which would give her all the rights she needed. She made it into California with no problems from the border patrol, whose duty is to keep illegal aliens out of our country. In California, Xiomara got a job working for about four dollars an hour, even though her employer knew she was illegal. A few years later, she became pregnant and Wyatt 2 received virtually free prenatal care through a government-funded public health clinic. Now she receives free medical aid for herself and her child through Medicaid because her child is an "American-born" citizen. When her child is old enough, Xiomara told sources she planned to enroll him in the public school system. She and her child receive all of this aid for free, although she doesn't pay a dime in taxes through her "under-the table" job. She is just one of the typical illegal aliens who found the "good life" for free and without the right to even be here. Too many illegal immigrants like Xiomara are causing economic problems in the American society by taking away jobs from American-born citizens. By increasing the supply of labor and settling for low wages, illegal aliens take away the jobs from Americans and force down the wages of those who withhold their jobs (Leone, ed., 1995, 8). This is unfair to Americans because they are the ones who deserve the positions, yet 7.6 percent of the United States population is unemployed (Leone, ed., 1994, 96). A large mass of them is unemployed because of those immigrants who take away their jobs. American employers who hire the aliens in the first place are also to blame for this economic problem. If there were no jobs for illegal immigrants to obtain, there would be no reason for foreigners to come here at the onset of it all. The sad part of it all is most illegal aliens have Wyatt 3 little or no job skills at all, but since they work for the low wages, they are the ones who are hired (Harrison 35). Greedy business people will do anything to save a dollar these days, even if it means committing a crime. Many of the illegal immigrants who come to our country live off of our federal aid and receive free money, when they don't even pay in taxes. This free money comes in the forms of welfare, Medicaid, education costs, and other government funds. Our hard-earned tax dollars are paying for immigrants who don't even have the right to be here. The Texas head of the House Ways and Means committee, Bill Archer, stated, "People should not expect to come to this country with their hands out to receive benefits paid for by taxpaying Americans" (Jost ). He is absolutely right these people are getting something for nothing while Americans are getting nothing for our tax dollars when we do something to earn it. Immigrants pay much less in taxes than they receive in the form of social benefits (Leone 8). In fact, the approximate national costs of immigration, including unemployment funds for U.S. workers displaced by immigrants, cost America $42.5 billion more than they paid in taxes in 1992 (Leone 8). If we didn't pay for these immigrants, maybe we wouldn't have such an immense deficit. Once again, illegal immigration is the cause of a massive problem the country is facing at the present time. It is simply a cause, and the effect is appalling. Wyatt 4 Another problem that immigrants cause in the United States is education. Illegal immigrants expect to send their children to our government-supported public schools, just because they were born here. I know that the constitution guarantees the right to free public education to American citizens but there has to be a line drawn somewhere. The children shouldn't have been born in the United States because their parents shouldn't have been here in the first place. It is physically impossible to give birth to a child in the United States while still in Mexico. Thus, they had to come here illegally. The children of illegal immigrants go to tax supported schools (without paying taxes, of course) and then they have the nerve to complain that the children aren't being taught in their native language. English is the country's official language, and if they want to come to our country, they can learn to speak English or they can leave. The money spent on educating illegal aliens' children is way too much as well. California alone spends an estimate of $1.7 billion educating illegal immigrants (Wilson 26). With the money we would save on educating them in just California, we could put a brand-new computer on the desk of every student in the entire country (Wilson 26). Wouldn't that be nice? Illegal aliens also cause problems involving crime and overpopulation in the areas they inhabit. They raise the crime rate where they live by overpopulating areas in California, Texas, and other areas along the Mexican border (James 27). Wyatt 5 Right now, immigrants compose 25 percent of the federal prison population (Morganthau 67). It is not racist or stereotyping to say that aliens cause crime and overpopulation where they live, it is a proven fact. If they came here legally, they might be less likely to commit crimes, because they wouldn't have committed a crime to get here in the first place. Former U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr has stated, "As Americans we must always remember that immigration helped make our country great, But [sic] as we welcome people in the front door...we see people crashing through the back door and the back window, violating our laws, flouting our sovereignty and ignoring our process" (Griffin, April 24, 1992). There are many things that are government could be doing to stop illegal immigration but are not. The last major attempt that was successful in limiting illegal immigration was the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. This law made it very hard for employers to hire illegal immigrants by requesting background checks of prospective employees, and punishing employers with fines up to $10,000 and prison time, as well as other minor details (Kennan, 1995, 18). What we need to do now is create a law similar to the IRCA, only update it to fit the problems caused by immigration at the present time. We must also do something to physically to keep them out as well. The army exists to protect the American borders. We should bring the soldiers back from the foreign countries Wyatt 6 so they can be used for something that affects us directly, such as illegal immigration. The IRCA was very effective when it was first passed back in 1986. The only reason it isn't as effective as it used to be is because it is so outdated that people forget about it and don't even pay attention to it. Even the government officials have forgotten about the bill because they don't enforce it anymore. When the IRCA first became a federal law, the number of people caught at the U.S.-Mexican border, where most illegal immigration takes place, dropped sharply from 1986 until 1989 (Griffin 1992). In fact, illegal immigration overall dropped about 30%, which definitely saved our country enormous amounts of money (Daniel 28). America's economy is strong enough to support itself without a number of immigrants at all, especially illegal immigrants. Look at Japan. Their economy has risen to a position of great national wealth, and they have hardly any immigration, and no illegal immigration at all. (Morganthau, May 8,1995, 68). Also, if all illegal immigrants were deported from America it would not impair our job supply at all. Those 7.6% of Americans that are unemployed would be happy to fill the jobs that were left open, and the employers would be forced to pay fair wages to the point that Americans would work for them (Leone, ed., 1994, 96). Wyatt 7 What's wrong with forcing people to be generous? Several authorities have reviewed the IRCA and feel the same way I do. They believe that if new laws were updated and passed, it would greatly reduce the problems of illegal immigration. Officials at the General Accounting Office asserted "[Industries] which prior to 1987 had high concentrations of illegal workers, may...feel pressured to raise wages to the reservation level (the level at which unemployed are attracted to jobs)" (Stein, 1990, 185). Also, Kathleen Lee, a writer on economic problems facing our nation claimed that "The IRCA was the most comprehensive immigration reform attempt in two decades...[afterward] the number of illegal immigrants coming was reduced. If it was actually enforced now, the rates could significantly drop again" (Lee, 1996, 70). To add to that, many politicians have included promises to introduce laws restricting immigration in their platforms for campaigns, including Pat Buchanan, a Republican candidate for president this year (Buchanan, 1995, 32). One can now comprehend that illegal immigration is a great obstacle afflicting the United States today. Something must be done about it otherwise, the problem will become more out of hand than it already is. Our economy is facing a dilemma that can be remedied by the passing of a law that will reduce, if not, eliminate illegal immigration. The United States has a need: a solution to a Wyatt 8 problem agonizing many, as well as a plan: to enforce laws that already exist or create new ones. If the American government uses the plan to meet the need, we can overcome the great obstacle of illegal immigration and nail it to the ground. This will bring the nation back up to its feet, as it once was. The United States is being invaded by aliens, and something must be done, before they annihilate our society.

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