CMM 127-800/Current Affairs Topic #3
27 September 2018
Immigration in the United States Today
Immigration reform is a top debate in the United Stated in 2018. This debate has gotten more heated since President Donald Trump took office in 2016. To date there are about 43.3 million immigrants living in the United States, that is roughly 13.5 percent of the population. About 700,000-850,000 immigrants find their way into America every year. World views of immigrants are typically linked with illegal, but immigrants are people born in other countries and come to the United Stated illegally or legally. Immigrants’ values are the same as American’s, they too want to have the best life and get a job to provide for their families. Some American citizens have been argued that immigrants are taking the jobs of Americans. Yet, the unemployment rate is currently expected to be 3.5% in 2019. Which is the lowest it’s been in 50 years.
Immigrants are too often stereotyped as being linked with terrorism. For instance, there was a shooting in December 2017 in Pennsylvania. Right off the bat the Trump administration labeled it as a terrorist attack before the investigation was completed. The ethnocentrism fed by the media and displayed to American’s has contributed to the prejudice immigrants continue to grapple with. The shooter was labeled an illegal immigrant after it was found that he was in America on a “family-based immigration visa.” This type of racial profiling has increased since 9/11. The September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center made it easy for Americans to target immigrants as monsters filled with hate, that would be of no contribution to the United States. Contrary to belief Immigrants do contribute to the United States economy.
Immigration was once focused on the removal of criminals but is now more focused on the investigation of businesses and homes of immigrant families. “Family immigrants start many of America’s small businesses. Immigrants account for more than 90% of the growth of small businesses since 2000.” (Anderson 5) If congress would support the administration’s effort to eliminate family immigration then the United States could see 50 % less legal immigration in the future. Immigrants are now facing deportation in devastating numbers. Deportation is up 38% in the past 2 years. What’s worse is that innocent children are being ripped from their families. Out of the 43.3 million immigrants in the United States, roughly 11.1 million are children who were born in the United States by their illegal immigrant parent/parents. Some illegal immigrants are refugees trying to gain asylum. During the deportation process, Illegal immigrants and their families are put into refugee camps until the deportation process is finalized. These ‘refugee camps have been compared to cages that are used to separate the children from their parents.
America is the melting pot of the world and a land that is thriving in part because of legal and illegal immigrants. We are supposed to be one of the most prominent countries in the world. We should be extending out our hands and telling the history of America as a legacy for helping those in need, instead the grand narrative will be how we decided to build a wall and turn the other way. American’s need to be focused more on compassion and less on discrimination. Donald Trump stated, “make America great again.” Well, immigrants have helped to make America great! Every American living in the United States was once an immigrant or an ancestor to an immigrant. America needs to open our hearts, and in turn open the borders to “make America great again.”
How Immigration Can Help America
Whether during the colonial era, or speaking in present tense, immigrant is a word many are familiar with. Your perception of the word immigrant will most likely determine how you feel about immigrant families entering the United States. More often immigrants are stereotyped as terrorists or greedy people that want to take jobs away from hard working Americans. This type of prejudice puts into the minds of our youth and our future leaders that immigration will do nothing but destroy America, but what if I told you that immigration could help America? I know, crazy right? The idea that these coculture groups could possess language acquisition and earn an American education that would help them contribute to American society seems unfathomable, but it’s true!
If the United States allowed immigrants to earn citizenship in America, we would steadily see a boost in our economy. There are roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States; granting them citizenship would create more work competition with American employees and create better jobs and higher wages. More jobs would mean, more employees paying taxes. The federal government could gain $4.5-5.4 billion in tax revenue. Immigrants wouldn’t have to settle for a lesser amount; there would be a salary equivalency. Creating more jobs could boost our economy by $1.5 trillion dollars! In fact, States that have enforced strict laws against immigration have had negative impacts on important jobs due to the lack of workers. Jobs such as farming, food preparation, and construction all depend on illegal immigrants because they posses the hardworking values to get the job done. The only thing they do not possess is citizenship.
Immigrants are deeply undervalued and overshadowed. Not many people know that immigrants have been responsible for starting 40% of fortune 500 businesses. That’s right, odds are that you or someone you know has been hired by an illegal immigrant given that 1 in 10 people in privately owned companies are employed by an immigrant. In 2010 these businesses helped bring in $4.2 trillion dollars in revenue in the United States. Immigrants are proven to be more highly educated than American born citizens. Every highly educated immigrant who earns a degree at a U.S. university in either, high tech manufacturing or information technology, could create 2.62 American jobs!
Many illegal immigrants that have crossed onto U.S. soil and made a new identity for themselves are arrested and deported back to their homeland country. Many have established families at this point and as of 2011 5,100 children were put into foster care because one or both parents were undocumented. Keeping these families together shouldn’t be a question. If immigrants are conforming to the laws of the States, then why are we not being accepting of their citizenship? Who do you think has to pay for all these children to stay in foster care? If their parents are willing and trying to make a living the right way, all the while the U.S. is benefiting, then why are we stopping them?
Just as America’s youth are the future leaders of America, so are the children of illegal immigrants. Knowing all the benefits America can reap from these highly skilled individuals; imagine what values they would instill on their children if they could have a piece of the American dream. These 2.1 million immigrant children are called just that, “dreamers.” Former President, Barrack Obama introduced the “Dream Act” (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) in 2001. This would allow children of illegal immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship by following certain guidelines. If this were to become a reality the economy of the United States could accumulate $329 billion over the next couple decades.
America being a low uncertainty avoidance country should have no hesitation in changing immigration laws and giving our beautiful country a chance to flourish to its true potential. American’s may have hesitations due to, past histories, a bad experience, or a misunderstanding of a certain cultural group. Taking a blind approach towards immigrants and opening our borders will ensure a better life for all American’s. Every person deserves the chance to live their best life, Thomas Jefferson once said every person had the “unalienable right to,” “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Anderson, Stuart. “Here’s What to Expect On Immigration In 2018.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Jan. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/01/02/heres-what-to-expect-on-immigration-in-2018/#b0bf2d14cf24.
Beadle, Amanda Peterson. “Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” ThinkProgress, ThinkProgress, Dec. 2012, thinkprogress.org/top-10-reasons-why-the-u-s-needs-comprehensive-immigration-reform-2c5a4b718621/.