November 4, 2014
Illegal immigration, a fervently debated issue in the United States, is defined as the migration of people across national borders, or the residence of foreign nationals in a country, in a way that is illegal according to the immigration laws of the destination country. Because the United States is such an attractive country, for it provides opportunity and prosperity, many people who live in less fortunate countries legally and illegally migrate to the United States. Illegal immigration causes a great ordeal, because many politicians and economists argue that illegal immigrants are an economic burden to the United States. On the other hand, some economists claim that illegal immigrants do not actually hurt the economy but they help it. In the article “Illegal Aliens a Drain on U.S. Taxpayers, Report Says” Writer R. Cort Kirkwood argues that Illegal aliens are largely poor, uneducated and drain the welfare and public education systems, which causes a burden on the economy. Because most immigrants don’t have papers to work, they have to take jobs, which pay less then minimum wage causing them to live in poverty. Kirkwood writes, “’according to the CIS (Center for Immigration Studies) …Illegals live in poverty at high rates because they earn much less money compared to Americans. The average household income for illegals is $49,191. For Americans, it is $68,361, a difference of about $19,000. The difference in median income between illegals and Americans, just below $15,000, is less but still significant. The median income for illegal household is $35,755, for Americans, $50,437.The per-person household incomes show a similar disparity. The average for illegals is $12,991. For Americans, it is $28,185, a difference of about $15,000. The median was $9,443 for illegals versus $20,795 for Americans, a difference of $11,352.”” Since most immigrants live in poverty, they are more prone to use welfare, use Medicaid and get food assistance, all of which is paid by American citizens. “Nationally, 47 percent of illegals use welfare; 39 percent use food assistance and 35 percent use Medicaid “ (Kirkwood). Not only do American citizens have to pay for illegal immigrants welfare, Medicaid and food assistance, they also pay for illegal immigrants education. “Since per-student expenditures in the United States are roughly $10,000 a year, it is likely that some $13 billion annually goes to educate illegal aliens in public schools. The total cost for educating illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children likely comes to over $39 billion a year”(qtd. CIS). Overall Illegal immigrants cause more taxes on American citizens, which cause citizens to have less money to fuel the economy.
In the article “The Economic Benefits of Immigration” written by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor argues that immigration is linked to economic growth of America, because illegal immigrants play an expontial role in the labor force, and illegal immigrants take jobs American citizens do not want. Illegal immigrants are a huge factor of the labor force. “In recent years, immigrants have had higher labor force participation rates than native-born Americans… In 2012, 67.5 percent of immigrants participated in the labor force, compared to 63.2 percent of native-born Americans”(Furchgott-Roth). The Labor force is crucial to economy, because if people work then it keeps the money flowing, causing the GDP to grow. Illegal immigrants also take jobs that American citizens do not want, Diana Furchtgott-Roth writes, Hispanic and Latino immigrants comprised 42 percent of the American unskilled labor force (defined as those without a high school diploma). Low-skilled immigrants are disproportionately represented in the service, construction, and agricultural sectors, with occupations such as janitors, landscapers, tailors, plasterers, stucco masons,...
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