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Immigration Reform NOW

Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
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1/24/2012 8:41:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I wrote an essay for Immigration Reform for my english class.

The New Colossus

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Emma Lazarus
Inscribed on the Statue Of Liberty

Immigration Reform: A Necessary Step Towards A Better America

America: The Land Of Opportunity, The Home of the Brave, The Land of The Free. The home of the American Dream. All of these names can be, and are ascribed to the United States of America. We are a nation inhabited by the sons and daughters of immigrants. Everybody who lives, will live, and has lived in this country is an immigrant or a descendant of one. But once the immigrants settle down, they have an unfortunate tendency of trying to keep other ones out. This "finders-keepers" mentality is sadly dominating public policy, explaining many of the anti-immigration laws that keep immigrants out. The current immigration policy is not only inefficient, cumbersome, and counter-productive, it is also morally wrong. In a nation of immigrants, it is hypocritical to turn away people who are simply looking for a way out. It is clear that the United States requires immediate immigration reform that allows workers to more easily obtain green cards or work permits. Such reform would increase national productivity, reduce crime, and raise the wage floor for the country as a whole.
A very common and overused argument against immigration reform is that immigrants, legal and illegal, "steal" jobs from hard working Americans. If a flood of low-skilled workers flood into a country, any American can be easily laid off in favor of the cheaper-working immigrant worker. Even if he could still hold onto his job, the American's wages would sharply decline as demand for the job increases drastically. Makes logical sense, right? Wrong! There are many glaring flaws in this assumption, most importantly that the skill placement of Americans and immigrants vary greatly. The majority of immigrants have little to no job training or are highly skilled craftsmen who have years of experience in one specific art or craft. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of Americans have an intermediate level of job training, such as finance. These figures compliment each other perfectly. Few Americans are willing to do manual labor, such as collecting crops, and few immigrants have the college level training for office work.1 Another common argument against immigration reform is that immigrants bring with them drugs, weapons, and other contraband. While I can admit that this is true, it is also true that immigration reform would combat this, and simultaneously create jobs for immigrants. If immigrants are more compelled to apply for work permits or green cards, it would be much easier to keep track of immigrants and their locations. The more widespread availability of green cards would also discourage smuggling because, with a green card or work permit, it is much easier to apply for work, whereas if one enters the country illegally, they have less chance to find work (many businesses require proof of residence etc) and more opportunity to make money by the sale of contraband. The wait time for green card/work permit approval can vary from a matter of weeks to up to five years. The difference in wait times is seemingly arbitrary as people with clean records have waited for years, and people with criminal records have been received within months. In extreme cases, families have waited up to 22 years before hearing a response. "If I don't [take the] risk, I'll die anyway and my family will die of hunger," said Manuel Cruz, an undocumented immigrant in Los Angeles. "Who wouldn't like to come to the U.S. legally and avoid the fear of suffocating in a van, or dehydrating [in the desert], getting bitten by a poisonous insect, or killed… or drowning in the river?" he asks. 2 On August 9th 2004, a group of 5 illegal immigrants were found dead in the middle of the Arizona desert, their bodies scorched almost beyond recognition. These five people, two of which were female, added to the 154 additional immigrants that had died during crossing that year alone. An average of 300 immigrants die each year crossing the Arizona Desert.3
Crime is something that everybody fears. Whether it be murder, rape, home invasion, drug sale, or identity theft, everybody fears being a victim. Drawing upon these fears are our politicians, who strategically hammer into us that immigration equals crime, pulling our strings, giving us a knee-jerk reaction that says "crime is bad, immigration is crime, therefore immigration is bad". What our law makers fail to realize is that immigration reform will in fact reduce criminal activity. Immigration reform is like putting a turbine dam in a river, it lets the water go through, but is able to control it more easily and create energy at the same time. While it is no myth that a large amount of illegal drug imports to the United States come from Mexico, it is also true that the conduits of this trade are mainly not evil drug lords, or born criminals, but regular, hardworking men who are looking for a way to make money after not being admitted to the US. Take this hypothetical situation. You are a hardworking father who has just lost his job in Mexico. You apply for a green card to come to the United States to work. It has been two years since you have applied, and have heard nothing. A drug cartel representative comes to your home one day and offers you a business proposition. He'll guarantee you entrance to the US if you can deliver some drugs for him. It would be a hard proposal to turn down. But, if this man had been able to get his green card, he would not have to make this decision. If immigration is reformed to make the entrance to the country easier, it would also make it easier to monitor everyone inside our country. If we have thousands of undocumented people running amok, it would be nearly impossible to keep records of them. Giving people documentation makes keeping records a piece of cake.4
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
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1/24/2012 8:42:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It is clear that immigrants want opportunity, but do we want them getting it? The short answer is yes. It is not only beneficial that we do, but for the sake of our crippled economy it is essential. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), predicted that fully comprehensive immigration reform would not only raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs, and increase tax revenue, it would also increase the nation's GDP. Using the IRCA predictions and taking into account modern day inflation, reform would yield $1.5 trillion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over ten years (an increase in .84% per fiscal year). Ignoring predictions, statistical evidence also demonstrates this same principle. In the years of mass deportation, US GDP decreased by an average of 1.46%, with a cumulative loss of $2.6 trillion dollars. If the United States reformed immigration and ended mass deportation, GDP would increase by 2.4% per year, yielding a cumulative gain of $4.1 trillion dollars over ten years. With the current US deficit at a steady $15 trillion dollars, this one simple reform would cut a large piece of the deficit away.5 In addition to raising GDP, immigration lifts wages across the board. In the study "Rethinking the Gains From Immigration: Theory and Evidence From the U.S" Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano of the University of Bologna and Giovanni Peri of UC Davis estimated that immigration in the 1990's increased the average wage of American workers by 2.7 percent. Though the study does admit that immigration has a negative effect on Americans without high school diplomas, Peri states "If you look at the U.S. labor force, those people born in the U.S, I am talking about a negative effect for about 9 percent of the population and a positive effect for 91 percent of the population." This supports the assumption that immigrants compliment the labor force perfectly, as immigrants fill the gaps in the workforce, the productivity of the nation increases.6 It's a win-win scenario.
Immigrants are not to be feared, ridiculed, deported, or turned back, rather they should be welcomed with open arms, as they are the solution to many of the country's problems. When I see hundreds of immigrants losing their lives every year in attempts to leave their rotten homelands into this land of opportunity, it makes me wonder how we can have The New Colossus inscribed upon the statue of liberty. These huddled masses, these tempest tost, are at our door, and we are turning them away, forcing them to cross a treacherous desert, or return to their horrible lives back home. We don't need a border fence, we don't need armed border patrols we need a new Colossus, that glows world-wide welcome, to everybody.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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1/24/2012 8:52:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I would gladly read it if it was double spaced and had paragraphs.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
days3331
Posts: 9
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1/26/2012 5:01:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm Canadian, so my opinions might differ a bit just because I'm familiar with a different place.

I think you failed to consider some points.

First of all, not all immigrants are the same. Consider an 80 year old man immigrating to say, the USA, to join his son. He's not going to work. He will not be contributing to the economy. And furthermore, he might take resources away. In Canada, this immigrant would be utilizing all sorts of social benefits that he didn't spend his life paying through taxes.

Second of all, you failed the consider the cultural implications of immigration. How would you respond to things like honour killings and fundamentalist religion? In Canada, right now, there's a huge trial going on for a father, mother and son group that killed the other three female members of their family. Consider how much a trial like that costs and the implications it has on society.

I'm not saying that immigration should be banned altogether, but to say that we should accept everyone with open arms is a little idealistic.