Free «Immigration» Essay
Immigration and the related issues represent the integral part of demographic processes in any country. The most intensive and diversified immigration can be spotted in the US. This country has tight historical connection with immigration, because the original American society was formed due to arrival of immigrants from Great Britain, Spain and other countries of the Old World. Eventually, more and more people were coming to America with hopes for a better life, better conditions of working and real opportunities for climbing the social ladder. Accordingly, government of the US was favorably disposed towards immigrants, while they were helping in building successful and effective economy. However, now, when America has become one of the most powerful and prosperous empires in the world, government made a decision to shut the doors of the country to the millions of foreigners and gradually decrease the number of permanent legalized immigrants. The question is whether such an attitude is irrational and the American government should allow legalization of illegal immigrants.
First of all, numerous talented and highly skilled people, who cannot achieve recognition and success in their homelands, would come to the US. Nowadays, America offers brilliant opportunities in the sphere of education, entrepreneurial initiative and development of the technological progress. These opportunities together with decent wages attract scientists, businessmen or other innovators to the New World. The legalization of immigration would break the psychological barrier of rejection in the minds of those people and guarantee the flow of professional and skilled workforce to the US.
Results of the study center “Pew” showed that about three percent of the world population is international migrants. The total number of migrants equals 214 million people. According to the study, Christians make up almost half of international migrants – 106 million, or 49 per cent of all international migrants worldwide. Muslims are the second largest group of people crossing international borders; it's almost 60 million people, or 27 percent of all migrants. Among international migrants there are far more Christians than Muslims, including migrants in the European Union, where the immigration debate usually involves the Muslims. Religious identity of migrants in some way reflects the religious composition of the population of the world, the study said. Christianity and Islam are the two major religions, therefore, Christians and Muslims are the two main religious groups of migrants.
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The legalization of permanent immigrants will be beneficial not only for immigrants themselves, but also for the economy of the US. Legal immigrants would obtain rights and duties of the native citizens, including the duty to pay taxes. Nowadays, numerous employers refuse to hire illegal immigrants, because they do not want to break the law and endanger their business. However, such law-biding policy harms the profitability of their business, because the majority of Americans does not want to take the low-paying jobs or those jobs, which require intensive physical labor. The legalization of immigration would solve this problem and employers would be able to hire immigrants for these jobs. Such situation would benefit immigrants, who will receive the stable source of revenue, employers, who will be able to develop their business, and the government, who will receive additional tax payments. Accordingly, government will ensure increase of the cash flow and fill the state treasury.
Moreover, legalization of immigration will provide immigrants with another privilege of indigenous population, namely the right to receive decent education. Children of immigrants will have the right to go to American schools and will become educated and professional workers, who will encourage and support the further development of American economy. Immigrants, who will receive American education, will also be able to apprehend the culture and the history of their new motherland. Consequently, they will become more devoted and patriotic members of American society.
However, despite all advantages that a legal immigrant might have, it presents a lot of troubles for the country and for itself. First of all, immigrants’ rights advocates say that a new plan would bring only disappointment to illegal immigrants. People will be very dissatisfied. According to the Associated Press, such a plan will be provided for the introduction of a new category of visa for illegal workers, which will give them an opportunity to request a work permit for three years in exchange for 3.5 thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the right to legalization in the U.S. will be available to them only after returning to their native country, filing a new application and paying a fine of 10,000 dollars. For most workers, who are illegal immigrants, this is simply an unaffordable expenditure. Under such orders, they will never be able to seek the right to registration of citizenship for themselves. Undoubtedly, they are not able to gather so much money, so barely anybody can receive a legal status.
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In addition to the legal ways of entering the territory of the United States for working or studying which are often mentioned, there are certainly many different options to do it illegally. In fact, this happens often enough – not for nothing the U.S. immigration authorities are so strict and picky. Currently, the U.S. is experiencing acute shortages of working force in the country, and the official authorities are forced to fill this shortage of labor force from abroad. According to official projections, for example, it was expected that the territory of the country in 80 years will welcome no more than 8-9 millions of illegal and legal immigrants, which itself is 50% more than in the 70s. However, in reality, in this period nearly 10 million people came to the United States. In the 1990, a census found that the country's white population was 80%, but the number of the black Americans has increased by 13%; the Hispanic immigrants – by 53%, and the Asians – as much as twice. The wave of immigration lasted throughout all the 90s.
Generally, it is fair to say that the United States of America is a unique state organization, since the Americans living in the country now as a nation have been formed as a result of relocation of many millions of immigrants, the vast majority of whom were the Europeans. Still, this was not always this way: the doors of the United States were sometimes open for people coming to them as well as closed. Throughout the history the United States called for immigrants, and even tried to get rid of them.
It is clear that due to the increased flow of immigrants the anti-immigrant sentiment increased in the country. The press began to raise debate about whether the present-day America needs immigrants in general. Polls showed that almost two-thirds of the population of the United States is against the liberalization of immigration laws. However, at the same time, it is obvious that without immigrants the United States can experience some difficulties in economic development. On the other hand, the U.S. has imposed increasing penalties for illegal immigrants, since they contribute to the fall in prices of labor and cause great resentment among the American workers. Yet, although the U.S. government is taking drastic measures to fight against the illegal entry of immigrants, the situation is clearly not on the side of the authorities. The number of illegal immigrants cannot be taken into account. According to different estimates, from 1 to 8 million people are among illegal immigrants. Most of those who arrive in the United States illegally are the natives of Mexico and Latin America – as a rule, they come for unskilled work.
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Clearly, the complexity of this situation is closely connected to the fact that illegal immigrants create a range of problems in health, education and law enforcement. Today, illegal immigrants are one of the main challenges for the U.S. government. Attempts to adopt partial measures in this area, such as amnesty of illegal immigrants, had a short-term effect. Currently, federal, state and local governments of The United States should address the issue of illegal immigrants. Developing an effective package of measures aimed at solution of this problem is extremely difficult because of excessive politicization of the problem, the lack of political parties’ stances, as well as the opposite attitude to this problem from business and government.
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First of all, it is worth noting that the problem of illegal immigration lies at the intersection of the opposite direction of government and business interests. For local, regional and federal authorities, the presence of illegal immigrants pours into millions expenditure budget to work with them, their content in immigration centers and prisons, the procedural costs, deportation, the costs of health care and education. In a sense, illegal immigration is importing poverty and poor living conditions. Therefore, with legalizing it, the United States will decrease their wealth level sharply by introducing masses of the poor into the country.
With regard to illegal immigrants, the state bears direct and indirect costs for payment of subsidies to large families and medical expenses to provide emergency care. Many immigrant families, even when receiving subsidies, have extremely low incomes, education and poor quality of life. That, in turn, leads to a widening gap between the rich and the poor in the American society and the change in the ratio of these groups in the general social picture. Besides, the Authoritative and independent Congressional Budget Office represented its estimate of costs associated with different legislative initiatives. Legislators consolidated monitoring the pressure exerted by illegal immigrants on the social system and the budgets of various levels. The conclusions reached by the authors of this review are disappointing for the supporters of legalization of immigrants illegally staying in the U.S.
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Like many others, the problem related to illegal immigrants in the United States is politicized. The Obama administration cannot achieve a reduction in the unemployment rate below 9.7% percent. Economists, even predicting the end of the recession, do not promise a significant reduction in unemployment over the next three years. With unemployment any suggestion of the authorities to legalize immigrants will cause criticism from the opposition, who accuse the authorities that they are, thus, contributing to a sharp rise of a very high unemployment. Thus, in addition to political difficulties, any project of reform of immigration policy is at risk to encounter resistance to reform for economic reasons, not only at the federal but also at regional and local levels. One of the main reasons for the lack of effective measures to address the problems associated with illegal immigration is the lack of funding for deportation and improving security of the border. Regarding the above information it is possible to conclude that legalization of immigration has numerous advantages as well as disadvantages. By prohibiting immigration the American society loses intelligent, talented workers and millions of dollars of tax payments. However, with legalizing it, the USA will face a threat to its society at many levels. Consequently, the legalization of immigration could become the most beneficial social and demographic reform, which would reinforce the development and prosperity of the American society in case it is fully planned, foreseeing all possible troubles.