Threats Illegal Immigration Poses to the United States and Possible Solutions

Immigration has been a key dynamic in America’s growth and development for the entirety of its existence. In fact, immigration has been characterized to be as old as America itself. This is not surprising given that the country was founded and built by immigrants from the ground up. The first wave of immigrants arrived in the Americas as early as the 1500s and consisted of Spanish ethnicities. The Spanish did not precisely settle in the northern part of the continent designated as modern day America. Rather, they conquered and settled in the southern part of the continent. The biggest wave of outsiders to settle in United States arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries and was predominantly composed of Europeans and Africans. Most of them were inspired by the pursuit of resources while others were laborers and slaves. Since then, more waves of immigrants have inhabited America through the years, leading to the creation of a multicultural nation with a multiplicity of races, ethnicities, and cultures.

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While most immigrants are documented, there is a large share that is not documented. Undocumented immigrants, commonly known as illegal immigrants, are migrants that have entered the United States territory without adhering to federal immigration laws (Motomura) The number of undocumented immigrants is estimated to be 10 million. Researchers and political commentators have argued on the benefits and harms of illegal immigration. Some claim that illegal immigrants contribute to economic growth, increase the size of the economy, contribute more tax revenues, and enhance the welfare of natives. However, others cite their harmful implications such as displacement of employees in the labor market, abuse of welfare (Fox 1052), and increase in budget. This essay details the threats that illegal immigration poses to the United States and possible solutions.

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            It is hard to ignore the positive aspect of illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants constantly add to the unique blend of cultures that defines the United States. It is important to note that the common motivation of people that immigrate illegally is often tied to the economic and democratic success of the country. In fact, today’s illegal immigrants move into the United States to embrace American values, including the ability to worship freely, chart economic destinies, and express themselves without retribution. Hence, illegal immigrants do not move into the nation to undermine American values. Instead, they are attracted by those very values. As far as the cultural wealth is concerned, it is evident that America’s cultural composition has significantly changed to immigration. Since 2000, populations of Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans has increased. During the same period. America’s culture has shifted immensely, resulting in a diverse population. Increased diversity and cultural assortment has not only contributed to America’s economic vitality but also promoted innovation, created jobs, and increased national productivity. Seemingly, immigrants have collectively strengthened and revitalized American institutions and beliefs nationally and internationally.

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            On the other hand, illegal immigration poses real threats to the success and stability of the United States. One of the most common arguments against illegal immigration is normally attributed to the displacement of workers. Proponents of this view maintain that illegal immigration has a deleterious effect to the job economy (Liu 2547). The core notion is that illegal immigrants find employment quickly because they are more likely to accept low wages and minimum benefits. Indeed, a large part of illegal immigrants who enter the United States border from Mexico rarely need healthcare insurance plans and benefits in the same way that documented citizens do. Hence, illegal immigrants are an attractive option for employers who want to save on taxes and costs. Moreover, illegal immigrants do not remit their taxes and information to the government. It is this reason that makes illegal immigration a threat to the economy.

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            Another threat regarding illegal immigration is that undocumented immigrants have outwardly anonymous profiles. Once an illegal immigrant enters the country, there is no record of where they go or where they originate from. This has numerous repercussions to the citizens of the United States. Such anonymity means that terrorists can use illegal immigration as an avenue to target Americans. Additionally, anonymous profiles mean that immigrants may transmit diseases and cause untold suffering to the entire population. This threat does not only directed towards American citizens but also towards the immigrants themselves. Due to lack of medical coverage and access to public services, immigrants face significant health and economic threats (Martinez 947). Illegal immigrants are likely to have poor housing and education, in addition to deprived living standards. In reality, illegal immigrants are victims to human trafficking, prostitution, and kidnapping (Cianciarulo 54). For instance, it is estimated that there are approximately two million victims of human trafficking among Mexican immigrants in the United States. Some are kidnapped and forced to work as laborers while others are tricked to work in foreign countries where they are abused and raped.

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            The attempt to address illegal immigration is not an impossible feat as many would claim. In point of fact, the government can address the issue through proper reforms and reliable task forces. The effort of stopping illegal immigration is especially reliant on political goodwill. Leaders and politicians can create measures to reduce illegal immigration without the need for new legislation.  Federal immigration laws that have already been instituted should be applied universally as opposed to selectively. When laws are implemented universally, there will be a less likelihood of successful illegal immigration. For instance, the government should ensure that all employers employ documented workers. Employers should primarily focus on the bigger picture rather than on the fleeting economic benefits of hiring undocumented workers. Illegal immigrants tend to take job opportunities from locals because of their cheap labor offers. The congress and court system should simplify laws to help prospective immigrants to understand the legal requirements of immigrating into America.

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            A significant measure of curbing illegal immigration is the prohibition of crossing and deportation of undocumented immigrants. Since a majority of illegal immigrants cross into the United States territory through the Mexican border, the government can concentrate efforts on avoiding such crossings. Possible solutions include increasing the number of patrol officers and the use of restrictive infrastructure such as lights, fences, and barriers. Security agencies should map out key hotspots and interdict offenders. For arrested offenders, the government should consider deportation as a possible option. Deportation has been an effective option of dealing with illegal immigration (Capps). For example, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported about 330,000 illegal immigrant in 2018. Deportation represents removal and court-ordered departure of undocumented immigrants back to their place of origin. In 2013, nearly half a million illegal immigrants were deported. The Obama administration deported three million people in total. Nearly half of those had a criminal record under their names. Previously, the bush administration had also deported undocumented persons. Apart from deportations, the United States government also uses returns as a viable option for offsetting illegal immigration. Returns mean turning people away at the border.  In 2018, the ICE returned about 100,000 potential immigrants.          

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On conclusion, this essay has presented the threats that illegal immigration poses to the United States and possible solutions. Although some commentators claim that illegal immigrants contribute to economic growth, increase the size of the economy, contribute more tax revenues, and enhance the welfare of natives, others point to their harmful implications such as displacement of employees in the labor market, abuse of welfare, and increase in budget. One positive aspect of Illegal immigrants is that they constantly add to the unique blend of cultures that defines the United States. The common motivation of people that immigrate illegally is often tied to the economic and democratic success of the country. Hence, a majority of illegal immigrants move into the United States to embrace American values, including the ability to worship freely, chart economic destinies, and express themselves without retribution. On the other hand, illegal immigration poses real threats to the success and stability of the United States. One of the most common arguments against illegal immigration is normally attributed to the displacement of workers.

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Another threat regarding illegal immigration is that undocumented immigrants have outwardly anonymous profiles. Once an illegal immigrant enters the country, there is no record of where they go or where they originate from. This has numerous repercussions to the citizens of the United States. The government can address the issue through proper reforms and reliable task forces. Leaders and politicians can create measures to reduce illegal immigration without the need for new legislation. A significant measure of curbing illegal immigration is the prohibition of crossing and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

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