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In this illegal immigration argumentative essay and research paper, we explore the pros and cons of illegal immigration in regards to local economies within the United States.
Pros and Cons of Illegal Immigration Essay Example
Illegal immigration can be defined as the unlawful entry into a foreign country that amounts to the violation of the destination country’s immigration laws, with the intention of establishing permanent residence (Orrenius, 2014). Civil wars and economic challenges are some of the common factors that push people into moving to other countries in search of peace and financial stability. Illegal immigration into a country could result in both positive and undesirable effects. A brief exploration of the pros and cons of illegal immigration into the United States is provided below.
Pros of Illegal Immigration
According to research, a high proportion of illegal immigrants who move to the United States comprise of young people. It is estimated that 25% of all illegal immigrants in the country are in the years of 25 to 34 and 29% in the years of 35 to 44 (West, 2011). People in these age brackets are productive, implying that they engage in a variety of economic undertakings (West, 2011). For many years, there has been a misconception that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, but the truth is they all pay taxes through their economic undertakings (West, 2011). Research shows that most of these workers contribute significantly to the tax revenue but do not benefit from social services such as healthcare and pensions (West, 2011). Young immigrants are more likely to pay taxes for funding public services. According to this evidence, illegal immigration contributes to enhancing the economy of the United States. Some of these illegal immigrants eventually become homeowners and are compelled by law to pay taxes just like ordinary Americans.
However, there is a small proportion of illegal immigrants who belong to the old age category, and need free healthcare and pensions from the government. However, the government has employed policies to ensure such immigrants do not cripple the United States economy. The United States government has implemented social policies that restrain illegal immigrants from participating in food stamps, Medicaid, health insurance programs for children, and government aid for needy families (West, 2011). Illegal immigrants are therefore exempted from all types of welfare services that ordinary Americans have access to. The policies require legal immigrants to contribute towards welfare services for at least ten years before gaining access.
It is also noteworthy that illegal immigrants play a significant role in increasing the gross domestic product of the United States. Many of these immigrants contribute to the economy through provision of labor in industries, farms, and other economic sectors (Smith, 2014). Over the years, it has been difficult to estimate the contribution of illegal immigrants towards the goods and services produced in the United States each year. The complexity of this economic subject makes it hard to model the financial contribution of illegal immigrants (Smith, 2014). However, in 2007, a study aimed at informing the White House Council of Economic Advisors was conducted, and its findings showed that illegal immigrants raise the country’s GDP by more than $37 billion every year (Hanson, 2007). Thus even though illegal immigrants contribute to a third of population growth in the U.S. every year, they contribute economically through purchasing food supplies and homes, paying rent, getting haircuts, and consuming other commercial services.
Further, low-skilled unauthorized immigrant workers make U.S. wages to experience a downward pressure. A fall in wages both for foreign and native low-skilled workers increases the productivity of businesses as it lowers labor costs. This earns higher income for employers. In this respect, illegal immigration results in two positive effects: “it redistributes income from low-skilled native workers to employers and it creates a net gain in national income by allowing employers to use their land, capital, and technology more productively” (Hanson, 2009). In economic terms, this net economic gain in the country is known as the immigration surplus. The productive potential of the hired immigrant workers determines the size of this surplus.
Cons of Illegal Immigration
Apart from the economic contributions they make, illegal immigrants have several negative implications on the economy of the United States. In times of economic recessions, most Americans are afraid of the ‘crowding effect,’ which is brought about by increased illegal immigration (Alangari, 2016). They fear that illegal immigrants take most of the jobs that would have otherwise belonged to ordinary Americans (Alangari, 2016). Illegal immigrants are as well known to contribute to a reduction in the overall wages by accepting low remunerations in exchange for their labor. Research shows that illegal immigrants indeed contribute to a reduction in payments, and this negatively affects American citizens who have no high school education (Alangari, 2016). Research shows illegal immigration leads to a 1.1% reduction in wages for Americans with no high school diploma (Alangari, 2016). According to a variety of research findings, illegal immigration leads to increased rate of joblessness in some industries but not in all. A high proportion of immigrants get employed in service industries such as transportation and loading, and in restaurants, where they are subjected to poor working conditions and low pay (Alangari, 2016). Therefore, illegal immigration contributes to increased unemployment among American natives with no college or high school education.
As earlier mentioned, the United States government restricts illegal immigrants from accessing welfare services, but this policy does not apply to children. According to the American Constitution, any child born on American soil is an American citizen (Alangari, 2016). Through this law, children born of illegal immigrants have a different status from their parents, as they are considered legal immigrants. Research shows more than three-quarters of children who belong to illegal immigrants were born in the U.S., making them legal immigrants. A 2007 study provided an estimate of 4 million immigrant children that had been born in the US. Such children are allowed access to government aid meant for young American children (Alangari, 2016). Children education is as well treated differently from other social services, and therefore the law that restricts illegal immigrants from accessing welfare services does not apply in this case. All children irrespective of whether or not they were born on American soil are allowed access to free education (Alangari, 2016). The same policy applies to emergency healthcare services. All individuals irrespective of their citizenship status have access to emergency healthcare services. The cost of educating immigrant children and providing emergency healthcare services to illegal immigrants runs into millions of dollars each year (Alangari, 2016). Increased costs of such welfare services translate to undesirable economic implications.
Illegal immigrants contribute to economic improvement in their destination countries. They pay taxes and consume less of government funded services. They provide cheap labor to industries which translates to low production costs. They as well contribute to the GDP of their destination countries. However, governments spend money on provision of emergency health care services and educating children of illegal immigrants. In spite of this, the pros of illegal immigration far outweigh its cons.
Alangari, A. (2016). The economic impacts of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Hanson, G. H. (2007). The economic logic of illegal immigration. New York, NY: Council on Foreign Relations.
Hanson, G. H. (2009). The economics and policy of illegal immigration in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/economics-and-policy-illegal-immigration-united-states
Orrenius, P. (2014). Enforcement and illegal migration. IZA World of Labor.
Smith, J. P. (2014). Taxpayer effects of immigration. IZA World of Labor.
West, D. M. (2011). The costs and benefits of immigration. Political Science Quarterly, 126(3), 427-443.
Illegal Immigration Argumentative Essay Outline
Thesis: Illegal immigration in a country may result in both positive and negative implications.
Many immigrants are young and do not use public services.
- 25% of illegal immigrants in the US are of ages between 25 to 34, and 29% between the ages 35 to 44.
- People in these age categories pay taxes but do not use government-funded services.
The US government restricts illegal immigrants from access to public services such as Medicaid.
- Illegal immigrants have no access to welfare services.
- Legal immigrants must contribute towards welfare services for at least ten years before being allowed to use them.
Illegal immigrants increase the GDP of United States.
- Illegal immigrants are the source of cheap labor to industries and other casual sectors.
- In 2007 illegal immigrants raised the GDP of the United States by more than $39 billion.
Further, low-skilled unauthorized immigrant workers make U.S. wages to experience a downward pressure.
- A fall in wages both for foreign and native low-skilled workers increases the productivity of businesses as it lowers labor costs.
- This earns higher income for employers.
Illegal immigrants take away job opportunities of Native Americans with no high school diplomas.
- They provide labor at low wages causing a reduction in the overall payments.
- Illegal immigrants cause a 1.1% reduction in wages every year.
- Illegal immigrants contribute to increasing unemployment in the service industry.
The United States government spends lots of funds in educating children born of illegal immigrants and providing emergency healthcare services.
- The law requires that all children irrespective of their citizenship status to have access to education.
- The law also requires all people to have access to emergency health care services regardless of whether they are illegal immigrants.
Illegal immigrants contribute to economic improvement in their destination countries. They pay taxes and consume less of government-funded services. They provide cheap labor to industries which translates to low production costs. They as well contribute to the GDP of their destination countries. Governments spend money on the provision of emergency health care services and educating children of illegal immigrants. The pros of unlawful immigration outweigh its cons.