Immigration (w/ 5 rounds)
Debate Rounds (5)
One of the main issues with illegal immigration is national security. The presence of millions of illegals distorts law, creates a cover for terrorism, and distracts resources. In Los Angeles, 95% of outstanding homicide warrants are for illegal aliens. More than 60% of gang members in Southern California are illegal immigrants.
Another major issue comes with the economy. In a 2002 survey, illegal immigrant households cost the government $26 billion dollars while they only took in $16 billion in taxes. Big corporations exploit undocumented workers while taxpayers pay for the infrastructure. These undocumented workers are taking low level jobs from Americans and drive down the net pay of low level employees. George Borjas PhD and Robert Scrivner, professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard University have stated in an essay that "Economic theory predicts that increasing the supply of labor... will reduce earnings for natives in competition with immigrants... Statistical analysis shows that when immigration increases the supply of workers in a skill category, the earnings of native-born workers in that same category fall. The negative effect will occur regardless of whether the immigrant workers are legal or illegal, temporary or permanent. Any sizable increase in the number of immigrants will inevitably lower wages for some American workers. Conversely, reducing the supply of labor by strict immigration enforcement and reduced legal immigration would increase the earnings of native workers."
Illegal immigration is a problem in America and legislators should work to control immigration.
Research across the country indicates that there is very little connection between immigrant labor and unemployment rates of American citizens. On the contrary, immigrants actually help the United States" economy; they provide a cheap source of labor and take American jobs that many native-born Americans would not even want. The cheap labor of immigrants allows products to be sold cheaper, helping the economy. The American economy today is far stronger than in the past, yet the population of foreign-born Americans is far higher than in the past. If immigrants hurt the economy, how could this be so? Research shows that when immigrant labor increases by 10%, native-born Americans face a wage reduction of only 1%, a very insignificant amount; this does not drive down the net pay of employees. Also, since undocumented immigrants currently do not receive federal benefits, immigrants" families actually add $88,000 in tax revenue per household and a total of $463 billion in social security taxes that they cannot use. While most families in the United States receive more from the government than they pay in taxes, undocumented workers are actually the opposite. The immigrants may not be the reason for the strong economy, but they should not be targeted as the scapegoats for any and all problems in the country"s economy.
The idea that immigrants bring crime to the country is also false. Most illegal immigrants are law-abiding workers who just wish to live their lives. As a whole, they actually take fewer risks than native-born Americans because they have more to lose. The rate of immigrants incarcerated in the United States is actually far lower than the rate of native-born Americans in jails. Estimates of gang members and homicide warrants are skewed by those who wish to target the immigrants. William F. McDonald, a PhD of Sociology and Anthropology, noted that, "[...] The criminality of the first generation of immigrants (those who migrated as opposed to their children) is less than that of the native-born. There have been many studies in the United States and abroad that have addressed the question of the criminality of immigrants. [...] there is little reason to believe that the findings would be substantially different for illegal immigrants assuming data were available that would allow us to make the necessary statistical controls for age, sex, economic status and immigrant status. Public fears about immigrant criminality have usually not been born out by research."
With these points being made and the arguments against illegal immigration proven false, there is no reason to deny immigrants citizenship besides prejudice and greed.
Immigration to escape awful conditions at home can be done legally. The U.S. offers asylum and refugee status and will offer immigration visas to "people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home countries because of persecution or a wellfounded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion." There is no need for illegal immigration to escape persecution. An immigrant does not even wait and they can receive asylum if they are already in America. These immigrants are fine and SHOULD be allowed into the country. It is the illegal aliens that must be targeted.
On the topic of crime rates and the economy, illegal immigrants run a high cost. B. Lindsay Lowell, PhD, director of Policy Studies at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University stated that "There is a shadow side to the population that needs to be considered. It's real. U.S. immigration policy... has, with a wink and a nod, encouraged the growth of a low-rate sector that is supplied to a large degree by unauthorized workers. And in that regard, perhaps employers and consumers benefit, but as citizens we're abetting the growth of an underprivileged class, and as taxpayers, we are subsidizing employers... 17 percent, according to best estimate, of those in federal prisons are illegal aliens and they run up a substantial cost. This isn't news at all to the states that seek reimbursement. A roughly similar cost is found in federal courts. And payment for the treatment of the uninsured may run as high as $2.2 billion." 17% of prison populations may not seem that substantial but compared to only 3% of the American population being comprised of illegal immigrants, that number seems to grow. This shows that many illegal immigrants become exposed to crime.
At the same time, the point made that about taxes is also skewed. In fact, illegal household create large net costs to the government. Steven A. Camarota, Ma, PhD, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies has supplied data stating that "Illegals Create Large Net Costs....When defense spending is not considered, illegal households are estimated to impose costs on the federal treasury of $6,949 a year or 58 percent of what other households received. When defense spending is included, their costs are only 46 percent those of other households. However, they pay only 28 percent as much in taxes as non-illegal households. As a result, the estimated net cost per illegal household was $2,736. Whether one sees this fiscal deficit as resulting from low tax payments or heavy use of services is a matter of perspective. As already discussed, illegal households comprise 3.6 percent of the total population, but...they account for an estimated 0.9 percent of taxes paid and 1.4 percent of costs."
Clearly, illegal immigration has become a huge problem for the nation. The need to limit immigration is NOT based on racism and prejudice but on hard facts that illegal immigration is hurting our nation.
Estimations for the percentages of prison populations that are illegally in the country range wildly, yet even if the immigrants did appear to be more likely to commit a crime, an entire group of people cannot be targeted for the actions of a few. The reason to deny illegal immigrants entry to the country based on individuals" actions would be synonymous to passing bills about the personal actions of individuals aged 18 to 21 because they are more likely to commit a crime.
In the scientific paper, "Fear vs. Facts: Examining the Economic Impact of Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S." published by the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, it is concluded that although undocumented workers may cost the government some money, in the end, their economic impact is positive on both the state and federal levels. There is no solid evidence or citations that show the cost or benefit of undocumented workers on the United States, yet the economic benefit of their work is great enough that it guarantees the individuals" necessity in America. Even if the United States cracked down on illegal immigrants, deporting or securing the borders, the extreme cost of these actions would far exceed current expenses.
Even then, not everyone was admitted into the country. All immigrants were subjected to screening. This screening helped to ensure that those who carried diseases and those who would cause trouble would stay out of the country. Why can this not be done today? Those who enter illegally have not been screened and can be dangerous. THESE ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS, they do not have the same rights. Since it would be impossible to screen all illegals, then they should not be allowed in the country because of the risk they pose to real American citizens. Those who truly want to become Americans for the right reason should seek legal immigration that way all immigrants can be deemed suitable for American society and can mesh well into society without threat. It makes no sense to allow illegal citizens access to America when there is a legal process to do so. If our ancestors could go through the much stricter entrance exams of old, then so can those who want to immigrate today.
You state that Ellis Island could only handle 15,000 people a day as if this is a small number of people; 15,000 people a day is a very large number" that amounts to nearly 5.5 million people a year immigrating to the country, a number far lower than the statistics of the modern era. Currently, there are only about 300,000 illegal immigrants to the country each year, yet more people than ever are turned away by the United States office of Immigration. If you believe that immigrants should always just wait for strangers to judge them before they get the chance to improve their life, then you do not understand the concept of personal initiative. If immigrants waited for visas, they might have to wait decades for a green card that is not even guaranteed to arrive. In the last line of your argument, you say, "If our ancestors could go through the much stricter entrance exams of old, then so can those who want to immigrate today." Honestly, the examinations of the past do not even compare to those of the modern era.
The point is that illegals are not American citizens and should not be treated as such. Your argument wants to give everyone who wants to, the rights of American Citizens just for hopping a border. This is not feasible nor should it be treated as such. Myron Weiner, PhD, a professor of Political Science at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, on ther issue of immigration and illegal immigrant rights stated that "What we don't need--at the expense of workers and taxpayers--is the kind of solution [where] everyone present within the boundaries of the United States ought to have the same rights and benefits. It would be politically irresponsible to turn these legislative issues over to the courts to decide on the basis of constitutional principles. Instead, we need reasoned analysis and public discussion of how we can balance diverse objectives to accomplish what is fiscally possible, what is humane, and what best serves the goals of incorporating migrants into citizenship, deterring illegals, maintaining public health, and protecting children."
The constitution protects American citizens, not illegal immigrants. There are difficulties, and genocide, and civil war, and strife across the world. Much like we cannot send our military to protect those around the world, we cannot be expected to take in the refugees of the world. As Americans, we need to dedicate ourselves and our country towards the betterment and portection of U.S. citizens. That should be the nation's top priority. Helping illegals should not take priority over U.S. citizens. As stated before, if someone wants to flee from turmoil, they can escape to America and receive amnesty. There is no reason or need for illegal immigration.
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