social problems paper immigration

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Immigration, Illegal immigration Pages: 11 (2396 words) Published: April 29, 2015

The Effects Of Illegal Immigration
On American Society

Social problems exist everywhere in society today. Economic and poverty related issues tend to be among the ones we blame other people for. For example, illegal immigrants. Many Americans believe that illegal immigrants have contributed to these issues but are they truly making the economy and country worse? Just under a million immigrants arrive in the United States each year. For this reason, the United States has often been called a nation of immigrants. The United States is unique in the fact that we are a 'melting pot' for so many different cultures, races, and religions in the world. Our immigrant past has helped us mold a national character. For the last several centuries, various ethnic, cultural, and social groups have come to the United States to reunite with their loved ones, seek economic opportunity, and to find a safe place from religious and political persecution (Schneider 2011). One of the negative impacts of undocumented immigration is the low-wage jobs that they work for where they receive payments in cash, and therefore, are not subject to federal tax deductions. Although this is a significantly negative impact on the United States economy, there are also some positive impacts of undocumented immigration as well. Some positive impacts include: increasing of incomes of U.S. families, complementing skilled workers, performing manually intensive jobs to provide more communicative jobs to natives, and post-boom generation's burden to finance their retirement. We need to compare the negative impacts the immigrants have on our society with the positive impacts, before we assume whether or not they are benefiting our economy and overall country.

Immigrants, like natives, are drawn to expanding cities, making it harder to draw conclusions about the causal effect of immigrant inflows on population growth. Unlike natives, immigrants are particularly attracted to cities with historical significance of earlier immigrants. Due to popular accessibility of immigrants entering the United States, it has become a country of immigrants. It currently lets in about 1.25 million immigrants per year. The effects of these immigrants coming in are controversial, because of their size and their composition. About 35 to 40 % of new arrivals are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America, with little education and limited English skills (Passel 2005). Although a quarter of immigrants, from countries like India and China are highly skilled, people of current immigration policy often emphasize the presumed negative effects of lower-skilled people in the overall economy (e.g., Rector, Kim and Watkins 2007). Even the most highly skilled immigrants are predominately non-white, contributing to the growing presence of visible minorities in the U.S. population (Passel 2005). Visible minorities in the population shouldn't be a negative effect though, shouldn't it be embraced? Why should lower-skilled people be posed as a negative effect on the overall economy of United States?

The issue of immigration on average wages of native workers is very important, because it is not a negative effect but a positive one if closely examined. Skilled native-born workers are faced with a choice of either accepting lower pay or not working in the field at all. Labor economists have concluded that undocumented workers have lowered the wages of U.S. adults without a high-school diploma. The impact on everyone else, though, is surprisingly positive. Giovanni Peri, an economist at the University of California, Davis, wrote a series of papers comparing the labor markets in states with high immigration levels to those with low ones. He concluded that undocumented workers do not compete with skilled laborers, they complement them. Economies work best when workers become specialized and divide up tasks among themselves. Pedro Chan's (Davidson,...

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Gerking, S. D., & Mutti, J. H. (1980). Costs and benefits of illegal immigration: key issues for government policy. Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press), 61(1), 71-85.
Leon-Guerrero, A. (2014). Social Problems Community, Policy, and Social Action. United Kingdom: SAGE Publications.
MacDonald, J. & Sampson, R. (2012). Don 't shut the golden door Retrieved April 10, 2015 (
McCabe, K., & Batalova, J. (2009). Immigration in the U.S. Retrieved April 10, 2015 (
Nadadur, R. (2009). Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 35(6), 1037-1052.
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Passel, J. (2005). Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics. Washington DC: Pew Hispanic Center.
Saiz, A. (2003). "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 85(3): 502–521.
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