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Immigration Restrictions: Immigrants and Amnesty in the United States

By garsue31 Nov 06, 2010 1599 Words
For many years, Immigration restrictions have been a major social issue that affects the United States in so many ways. This review argues against U.S. immigration restrictions. The U.S. stance on immigration policies will need to be reevaluated as it has been in the passed. Many believe Amnesty is a practical and just solution and should not be taken lightly. Granting Amnesty will be best for the U.S. economy and illegal immigrants. This review will also show it is time the United States government pass another Amnesty act similar to the IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli act) passed in 1986. It will also reveal that some Americans are against illegal immigration and want the government to end it. It also shows why Americans believe immigrants are getting a free ride.

Grant Amnesty or Punishment to illegal immigrants?

Legalizing undocumented workers will help alleviate some of the issues faced by the United States Government today. The legislative plan that would allow illegal aliens currently residing in the U.S. to apply for citizenship is called Amnesty. Amnesty should be granted because it’s a practical solution and should not be served as punishment towards immigrants. Granting Amnesty for the over 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States today will only boost the United States economy (Pawlick, Immigration Restrictions 2007) and bring stabilization to it. Illegal immigration is a widespread social issue that affects the United States nationwide. There are millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States today that contributes to the economy but with restrictions. To elaborate on that a little more, many illegal aliens (as they’re commonly referred to) uses fictitious documents to work, open bank accounts, drive, and basically survive in the United States.

Legalizing these immigrants will allow them to conduct businesses legally using their legal identifications, social security numbers, and etc., which will intern contribute to the economy. This can eliminate them getting caught by the law and avoid deportation which can be costly to the United States Government. One way in which they can contribute is by paying taxes like American taxpayers. It’s been documented that illegal immigrants often send the most of the money they earn back to their countries because they afraid if they’re found and deported, they will have nothing when they return. Research on the IRCA amnesty suggests that legalized status would mean wage increase as far as illegal immigrants are concerned. The average earnings for newly legalized Latino men rose by 6 percent relative to the earnings of undocumented Latino men between 1989 and 1992

Amnesty would also give access to social services like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance programs to the 12 million undocumented residents currently living in the United States. There will be no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers if immigrants are allowed access to these services. Many illegal immigrants use emergency rooms services when seeking medical attention because they do not have the necessary insurance to see a primary care physician. Going to the emergency room could be very expensive for illegal immigrants. When legalized, they could use social services and even obtain better jobs that give them access to medical insurance through their employer. Population growth plays a vital role in having a strong and healthy economy, and at present rates, immigrants and their decedents will account for over 50 percent of U.S. population in the next 4 decades or more. When the baby boom generation begins to retire, immigrants will play a vital role in fulfilling the country's human capital deficit. Within 2 decades, immigrants and their decedents will account for most of the labor force growth in the U.S. As a counterpoint, a majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration and feels it’s detrimental to the United States (Bowman, 2007). Americans also feels immigrants are getting a free ride and that the government must end it immediately. Americans feel the immigrants are taking their jobs, because most illegal workers will settle for lower paying jobs due to their circumstances. Illegal immigration could affect the country in many different ways. While illegal immigrants do not pay the taxes that American citizens pay, they are getting public benefits they have no rights to, such as public hospitals and public schools. The Center for Immigration Studies released a report from recent data used from the Census Bureau, stating that illegal immigrants ended up costing the U.S. over $26 billion by utilizing federally subsidized programs, but paid only $16 billion in taxes to the federal government. It also stated that the deficit of over $10 billion a year, was a burden that fell on American taxpayers.

Build Fences or Open doors for Immigrant students?

Leaders across the country, particularly in Arizona want illegal immigrants out of the U.S. They argue that illegal immigrants have no respect for the country and that they degrade their states in non-economic ways. They are against amnesty and call for tougher policies and in many cases deportation (Kavanagh, 2008). They’re claiming the illegal immigrants threaten the national security and the nation on economic and non-economic levels. Arizona lawmakers also points out the illegal immigrants should not be granted scholarships or in-state tuitions at colleges and universities around the country. They also argue that denial of scholarships or in-state tuitions benefits the schools financially because they will a little higher tuition for out-of-state tuition. On the other hand, North Carolina lawmakers argue some illegal immigrants came to the United States as children having no choice in the decisions made by their parents and they should not be considered “lawbreakers” (Lancaster, 2008). There’s an open door policy that allows undocumented students regardless of their status. They believe colleges should keep their doors open for immigrants because we are a nation of immigrants. North Carolina lawmakers believe that in order to be competitive in the global economy, they must produce a workforce with knowledgeable workers. Denying a huge portion of the future workforce of a higher education will not only hurt them but it will also hurt the state of N.C. For years, many countries in Europe have denied immigrant’s basic rights and services, which have created a permanent disenfranchised underclass. N. C. and the United States as a whole could face the same eventuality if children of document immigrants are refused education.

Laws proposed by the House and Senate

Undocumented foreign-born men from Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala were eligible for amnesty under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act also known a NACARA in 1997 on employment and earnings. NACARA had a slight increase on the wages by three percent and weekly earning by four percent. The act granted amnesty to about 450,000 immigrant men from the above named countries. NACARA went into effect in June of 1999(Kuashal, 2006). In 2005, the House passed an immigration bill, HR 4437, which primary focus was strict enforcement measures against illegal immigrants (Som, & Momblanco, 2006). The bill also included of a construction of a 700-mile-long fence along the US southern borders, and harsh penalties for employers who were hiring illegal immigrants. Many rallies, marches, protest, and both pro- and anti- immigration was seen across the country within the first six months of 2006. Later on in May of 2006, the Senate passed S. 2611 which provided greater border protection, temporary Visas, and a multi-year path to permanent residence status for those who had not committed crimes, who paid their taxes and was willing to learn English. In 2007 there were two Immigration bills proposed to Congress and both were overturned the following month. On April 3, 2007 the House Of Representative introduced the Security through Regularized and a Vibrant Economy Act of 2007 (STRIVE Act of 2007; H.R. 1645) and May 9, 2007 the Senate introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007; S. 1348). Both bills are based largely on three previous failed bills: the "McCain-Kennedy Bill" (S. 1033, May 2005), the "Cornyn-Kyl Bill" (S. 1438, July 2005), and the "Specter Bill" (S. 2611, May 2006). Bills require ratification by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in addition to presidential approval before they become law.

This review on Immigration Restrictions has shown arguments from both sides with valid reasons on why restriction should be imposed on immigrants and also why it should not. It also addressed why Amnesty should be granted and why it should not.

Kaushal, N. (2006, January 1). Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers. Journal of Human Resources, 41(3), 631-647. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ746511) Retrieved October 5, 2008, from ERIC database. Kavanagh, J., & Lancaster, M. (2008, January 1). Build Fences or Open Doors? Community College Journal, 78(5), 46-47. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ794103) Retrieved October 5, 2008, from ERIC database. Som, S., & Momblanco, E. (2006, September 1). The Immigration Reform Debate. Social Education, 70(5), 286-292. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ751198) Retrieved October 5, 2008, from ERIC database. Bowman, J. (2007, February). Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now. Points of View: Immigration Restrictions, Retrieved October 5, 2008, from Points of View Reference Center database. Pawlick, P. (2007, February). Point: Amnesty Is a Practical and Just Solution. Points of View: Immigration Restrictions, Retrieved October 5, 2008, from Points of View Reference Center database.

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