The effects that immigration has on the United States are limitless. There have been endless debates over these effects since as early as the colonial times. The economic, fiscal and demographic effects are three major topics that tend to rule these debates. Regardless on someone’s political view of immigration, everyone should realize how it has and is shaping the United States today.
Based on both positive and negative essays on immigration by Roberto Rodriguez and Star Parker, one can conclude that immigration is good, but should be limited. The economic, fiscal and demographic effects are three major topics that tend to rule the debates on immigration and its laws. Rodriguez points out in his essay “The border on our backs” that Mexicans and Central Americans are targeted by shameless politicians. These politicians target groups based on statistics that show crime rates, productivity and gain.
Parker states in her essay “Se habla entitlement” that latino immigrants are responsible for most of the gang activity, but fails to say whether it is positive or negative activities. The most prominent advocate of the “more immigrants, less crime” theory is Robert J. Sampson, chairman of the sociology department at Harvard. A year ago, Sampson was an author of an article in The American Journal of Public Health that Combs, Page 2 reported the findings of a detailed study of crime in Chicago.
Based on information gathered on the perpetrators of more than 3,000 violent acts committed between 1995 and 2002, supplemented by police records and community surveys, it found that the rate of violence among Mexican-Americans was significantly lower than among both non-Hispanic whites and blacks. Based on studies like the one Sampson conducted, immigrants, both legal and illegal do not raise the rate of crime in the United States and native born Americans are five times more likely to be incarcerated than immigrants.
In a study released by the non-partisan research group The Public Policy Institute of California immigrants (legal and illegal) were ten times less likely to be incarcerated than native born Americans. Based on these views immigration is actually keeping the Unites States crime rates lower. According to the Rodriguez Mexican-Americans face the dilemma of racism, every person with half of a brain knows that racial tensions are high in the United States, and this is not limited to Mexican-American or Mexican immigrants.
Racism applies to all people, it does not matter what race you are; you could be white, black, brown, or yellow and some person would have problems with your race or have some sort of unspoken prejudice against you. Rodriguez states on paragraph 11 of his essay that “Through all this, we’ve been baited into fighting with African Americans, American Indians, Asians, Mexican Americans, and poor and white middle class workers – because Mexicans supposedly steal their jobs and are ruining the quality of life. ” Many Combs Page 3 Mexicans are working at places for a substandard rate, especially the immigrants who are illegal.
With the illegal immigrant the employer does not have to pay them employees the same as everyone else because the labor laws do not apply to them, they are illegal workers. Not only do we have this problem in bordering states to other countries, but in labor work all over the country. The problem lies with both American people and immigrants, legal or illegal. When discussing the job market many of us Americans will not do the job because it is too hard of work, or the pay is not that great, but the immigrants are more than happy to do the work because they need the money.
According to Rodriguez Mexican-Americans also suffer from some sort of environmental justice issues. Mexican-American constitute a large group of people that are impoverished and poorly educated, which in turn leads to living in areas that are less than more affluent Americans. Mexican-Americans have definitely been affected by affirmative action, but so has every other race in the United States. Affirmative action is good in theory, but the law in itself is a form of prejudice against better qualifies applicants at jobs and at colleges.
Mexican-American and other minorities were also affected by banking practices and even just going to the supermarket. Some banks will loan money to lower income Caucasians, but not to the same type of income to a Hispanic family. Rodriguez writes about the draconian immigrations bills and the wall that the government wants to build, but not the cost. While were spending millions of dollars trying to keep illegal immigrants out of our country by putting up state of the art fences Combs, Page 4 hat don’t work and increasing “border security” that doesn’t seem to make a difference. Probably thousands of people are being murdered, raped and forced into prostitution and slavery in their attempt at getting into the United States.
Since 1993, the amount of money spent each year by the federal government for border enforcement has more than quintupled according to the U. S customs and border patrol fiscal report of 2010 from $740 million to $3. 8 billion most of which is being spent on the Mexican border. Think of what our country could do for immigrants with $3. billion dollars. If we took all the money that we are wasting on increasing our Mexican border patrol and instead turned that helping people who have immigrated get a good education think of the difference that it could make. Many people argue that the newly Mexican emigrated people to this country are taking up jobs that could be taken by Americans in our shrinking job economy but the reality is that our economy continues to create opportunities for low-skilled workers while the pool of Americans willing to fill these jobs continues to shrink.
Americans are becoming increasingly more focused on secondary education and depend less of the low-skilled jobs that our parents and grandparents were forced into taking decades ago. If it sounds to you like were forcing Mexican emigrated people to take the low-skilled jobs that we don’t want then you are thinking correctly. Similar to what was mentioned earlier in this paper our government is ignoring the call to providing education for Mexican immigrants and instead is gladly allowing them to take the unwanted jobs in this country. Combs, Page 5
We aren’t the only country that is has a large political debate when referring to immigration. In fact the very country that we’re trying to stop people from immigrating from has almost just as many illegal immigrants in its country, Mexico. According to the Mexico’s equivalent to the U. S Census Bureau, in the first six months of 2005 alone more than 120,000 people from Central America have been deported to their countries of origin. This is a significantly higher rate than in 2002, when for the entire year, only 130,000 people were deported.
Sound familiar? It’s even been estimated that there are so many illegal immigrants in Russia that the Chinese may become the dominant ethnic group in Russia within the next twenty years. Russia, Mexico and the United States of America all share the same common underlying theme with illegal immigration; they are all spending too much government funded money on trying to keep out all these people instead of helping them get a proper education once they get to their country.
Regardless if one agrees with Roberto Rodriguez ancestral rights or with Star Parker false sense of entitlements, it is obvious in today’s politics that immigration, legal or illegal, has proven to be a very significant topic in this year’s election. Whether it is within our own country or somewhere halfway around the world everyone is ignoring what should be done with the millions of illegal immigrants that, instead of improving their lives, have become a part of a horrible system that is solely focused on sending them back to the country that they came from.
Regardless of your political views it’s important to realize that the very country that you live in was founded upon immigrants who came from countries all over the world in search of a better life. The United States of America always has and will hopefully continue to be the “land of opportunity” to Combs, Page 6 those who seek a better change in their life and it is my hope that we will support those who choose to find that opportunity in our country.
One can see that limited immigration is good based on the good and bad results immigration has on the economical, fiscal, and demographic positions of the United States. The positive and negative effects that immigration in general and workers have on the economy cancel each other out. Many factors influence the United States fiscal situation, including age, causing the federal fiscal level to generally be positive, while the state level is normally negative.
The fact that so many factors influence the fiscal situation proves that one can never determine whether immigration has a good r bad effect on the United States. The increase in population caused by immigration is also causing both good and bad problems in the United States, causing some people to feel threatened, while others feel a sense of togetherness. Without immigration the United States would not be what it is today. Almost everything in life has both good and bad qualities, but with a little regulation and control they can turn out to be positive. Immigration is one of those instances in life where with a little regulation immigration can be a great push towards a better future.