Table of Contents
The modern world has gone through various challenges in terms of economic and social reforms. In reference to this point, people across the globe have been seeking for greener pasture as they seek to improve on their living conditions. As a result, the movement of people across national borders or rather from one nation to the other has been on the rise in the recent times. With this in mind, one of the countries across the globe that continues to faces different challenges as a result of experiencing higher levels of immigrants is the United States of America. This is due to the fact that the United States of America is believed to be a land of opportunities since it the most developed country across the globe. Similarly, there are beliefs across the globe that political, social and economic structures of the United States are well developed and thus offer freedom and fairness to every person in the US. This is further supported by the fact that there is fully access to important amenities such as education and healthcare (Preston, 2010).
In spite of the fact that the United States is the most developed country in the world and may be in a position to provide shelter to immigrants through the provision of the necessary economic, political and social structures, there are reasons that have been cited in the past on the importance of limiting the number of immigrants that find their way into the US. On the other hand, there are also reasons why the US needs to allow immigrants into its boundaries. In line with this, this essay will examine why it is important for the United States to implement tougher or rather stringent immigration laws, whereas on the other hand examining why it need to be lenient on its immigrations laws. The essay will approach this topic of discussion by looking at the effects of immigrants on the social, economic and political structures together with national security of the United States.
Effects of Immigration on the US
Immigration across the globe in human history has always resulted in either chaos or peaceful moments depending on how it is done. Therefore, immigration into the United States by immigrants from across the globe has both positive and negative effects on the United States. These effects can be categorized as social, political and economic to national security threats. It is important for one to understand that before any laws on immigration are implemented, it is important to consider the effects that such implementations would have on the political, economic and social structures in the United States.
There are positive effects or rather benefits of immigration to the United States. To begin with, it has been found out that immigration has enabled the United States to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge that it would not have otherwise acquired. In reference to Preston (2010) in her article that appeared in the New York Times, there has been an increased rate of immigrants who have important knowledge and skills that are needed in the American workforce. In this regard, the American workforce has been receiving a flow of skilled workers from other countries into its labor market thus reducing the risk of lack of necessary skills that are needed in the workforce for an economy to continue thriving. In other words, the flow of the workforce has minimal chances of being interrupted due to a continuous supply of labor.
Apart from the formal labor force, it was found out that there are a lot of immigrants who were recruited into the American armed forces. This has enabled the United States to be in a position to deal with the demand for soldiers that have been send on different missions across the globe to fulfill the US policy of improving on global security. In the past, the United States armed forces faced challenges due to the fact that there was a shortage of Americans who were willing to join the armed forces. However, the inclusion of immigrants into the US army has been able to deal with these challenges, thus enabling the US to avoid compromising with its security standards.
The integration of immigrants into the American workforce has also been found to increase competitions in the American labor force (Preston, 2010). In this regards, some of the immigrants who come to America have the same skills as the Americans. Therefore, for the Americans to protect their jobs, most have been forced to pursue higher education and training as a way of improving their skills and knowledge and increasing their chances of being employed. In addition, others have been forced to pursue complementary courses and training that has raised their labor skills and knowledge. This has raised the standards of goods and services that are produced in the American economy.
Following this point, there has been an introduction of new forms of technology from other economies into the American economies as a result of integrating immigrants into the US economic, political and social structures. This has been facilitated by the fact that counties such as Japan, China, India and South Korea are specialists in certain types of technological pieces. However, buying this technological know-how has proved to be expensive in the past. However, through immigrants, these forms of technology have been able to trickle down and get into the US system thus putting the US at a position of efficient production at reduced costs of labor.
In line with this, the labor costs that are offered by immigrants are far much lower as compared to the costs of labor in the US. This is due to the fact that the US is developed more than any other country across the globe. As a result, the wages that are paid to its workers are very high as compared to any other country across the globe. Therefore, when these immigrants come to the United States, most of them are willing to be paid lesser that what is offered in the US labor market but higher than what they were being offered in their home countries. This has facilitated the fact that there is a substantial decrease in the cost of labor and consequently the cost of production in the US markets (Preston, 2010).
It has also been noted that the economic structures of the United States offer a favorable environment for conducting business. As a result of this, there are a lot of immigrants who have seized this opportunity to invest heavily in the American markets as to reap the benefits that are found in such market structures. Whereas this is a way of making profits to them, the American government has gained substantially since these businessmen and women have created jobs for the Americans. This has boosted the economy of the US in the past and when well maintained, this economy will continue to grow and expand with investment from foreigners who come to the US as immigrants contributing heavily to this economic development.
Negative Effects of Immigration on the US
There are numerous negative effects that immigrants pose to the United States; economically, socially, politically and in terms of national security. To begin with, the movement of immigrants into the United States has been found to increase the national spending of the US due to the fact that most of these immigrants are poor and unable to support themselves when they arrive in the United States. This has increased strain on the national budget of the United States especially during the recent economic downturn that affected the US economy to the point of recession (Archibold, 2010). It is particularly important to note that the support that is accorded to immigrant is not given to one person alone but to the whole family that this person has. For instance, if a person is married and has three children and immigrates to the United States, his family is supported together with himself. There have also been arguments that this has extended to gay marriages whereby gay families too are supported by this plan.
Whereas one of the advantages of immigrants to the United States is their injection of new skills and knowledge in the workforce, there are a lot of immigrants who have moved to the United States without knowledge and skills that could enable them to contribute positively towards growing the economy of the United States. In this regard therefore, such immigrants have been able to receive assistance from the government of the US to settle whereas they have little or no contribution at all towards building the American economy. Such immigrants are therefore more of a liability to the United States rather than an asset. On the other hand, language barrier has proved to be a hindrance to the dissemination of skills and knowledge of these immigrants into the United States. For instance, some of the Latin immigrants have the required skills and knowledge that could enable them work towards enhancing their lives and contributing towards building the US. However, most of these immigrants are unable to do so since they are not proficient in English. Therefore, they have to spend more of their time learning English before they are integrated into the workforce (Archibold, 2010).
In relation to this point, the level of crime and crime-related cases has been on the rise in the US. These crimes are committed by two groups of people; the America citizens and some of the immigrants. First, it is important to understand that when one does not have anything to do for a living, he or she will engage in criminal activities in order to have a means of surviving. As a result, the immigrants who have failed to secure jobs in the United States of America have ended up engaging in criminal activities. Additionally, some of these immigrants act as drug agents for drug traffickers outside the United States. Therefore, they have promoted the use of drugs among the American youths thus endangering the future generations of the Americans (Hall, 2005).
On the contrary, as a mentioned earlier, there have also been reported cases of crimes among the Americans that are on the rise. This is as a result of the fact that most of these Americans have lost their jobs in the recent past because the immigrants are willing to offer their labor at a cheaper cost. In line with this, these American have resulted to crime as a means of earning their living thus increasing the crime rates in the US. Therefore, the combined statistics of crimes committed by the immigrants and the Americans have produced an overall high rate of crime in the American society.
There have also been social impacts on the American society as a result of immigrants being integrated into the American society. To begin with, there are different characteristics that these immigrants have that have found their way into the American society. Some of these characteristics include the use of drugs among the immigrants. Therefore, after being integrated into the American society, the immigrant communities have managed to introduce these vices into the American societies. As a result, there are more Americans who have begun using drugs not because they learnt it from fellow Americans but because they have been introduced to it by immigrants (Hall, 2005).
In line with social behaviors in the American society, there have been serious problems between different races across the United States due to a high level of immigrants. The issue of race has managed to crop back into the American society with the Americans both blacks and whites discriminating against the immigrants. In most cases, the African Americans have been assigned menial jobs due to the fact that most of them are unable to access higher education that could help them be prepared for white collar jobs. However, the entrance of immigrants into the American societies has been found to take low class jobs that most of these blacks could be doing. Consequently, most of them are left without jobs. Therefore, to revenge back, most of them have been found to discriminate against the immigrants since there is nothing more that they can do to get back to them.
The inclusion of the immigrants into the American security forces has also continued to pose a risk to the national security of the United States. In this regard, some of the individual immigrants that have been recruited to fight and defend the economic, political and thus democratic and social structures of the United States have links to terrorist groups across the world. Therefore, there are high chances that these individuals can pass important information that belongs to the United States to terrorist groups thus compromising with the national security and making the US vulnerable to terrorist attacks across the world (Hall, 2005).
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Tougher on Immigration
Since the second half of the 20th century, the issue of immigrants into the United States of America has raised many concerns as immigrants from different parts of the globe trickle into the US to seek for greener pastures and better their lives. Accordingly, the US government under different regimes has worked on different ways of dealing with this issue, with the Senate and the Congress formulating different laws and regulations to deal with the issue. As a matter of fact, the policymakers in the US have had a great divide on immigration laws. The Congress and the Senate has been divided in the past right in the middle with some policymakers arguing that the immigrants should be given an opportunity to live, work and acquire American citizenship whereas other policymakers have argued against the issue of being lenient to immigrants and instead proposed that tougher immigration rules should be put in place to deter or rather make it difficult for immigrants to gain access to the United States (Preston, 2010).
With this in mind, there are strong arguments that have been presented by both the supporters and those who oppose the implementation of tougher immigration laws by the United States. Furthermore, their arguments have been backed up with concrete evidence to support their sides. In this regard, before a conclusion can be reached on which side to take, it is important to examine, first why it is necessary to implement tougher immigration laws and then examine why such an implementation would be detrimental to the US or rather why the US needs to be lenient on its immigration laws.
To begin with, the United States’ economy has been struggling in the last ten year period. This has been made worse in the last fours due to the onset of economy downturn that affected nearly every economy across the globe. As a result, the national debt has grown to enormous amount and it continues to grow even as the US works on getting out of the current economic recession. Therefore, when immigrants are allowed to freely immigrate into the US as a result of lack of stringent measures, this would increase national debts and continue to create budget deficits each and every year. Therefore, to deal with immigrations that could further worsen the economic situation of the United States, the government of the US has a mandate of formulating laws and regulations that would make it difficult for immigrants to gain an easy access into its boundaries (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
Following this point, it is important to note that the contribution that is made by immigrants with professional skills and knowledge is minimal as compared to the contribution that is made by the US towards immigrants as the settle in the US. Therefore, this means that the US has been going at a loss rather than profiting from the skills and knowledge that these immigrants have. In this regard, the tax burden to support these immigrants is passed on to the citizens of the US thus straining them even more, especially during this period of economic recovery of this economy. Therefore, to lessen the tax burdens on the American citizens, the US legislature have to makes laws that will be strict on immigrants to reduce the number of immigrants who would be a liability to the government rather than being an asset by contributing positively towards building the US economy (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
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There is also the need of the United States to protect its employees from unfair competition from immigrants. Currently, immigrants have been found to offer cheap labor as compared to American citizens. As mentioned earlier, the countries of origin of these immigrants offer cheap labor as compared to the US. Therefore, when these immigrants arrive in the US they are more than willing to offer their labor at a cheaper price as compared to US citizens. This has forced the American citizens out of their jobs as employers are more willing to employ immigrants due to their cheap labor. This poses a risk to the economy, political and social structures of the United States.
The number or rather rate of unskilled workers in the United States has been rising at a very high speed. It is important to note that despite the fact that the US is one of the most developed countries across the globe, it still has issue with its literacy level and possession of professional skills among its citizens. There are a lot of people across the US especially among the African Americans who have basic education but lack the necessary skills and knowledge that could secure jobs in the professional fields across the United States and in other parts of the world. As a result, these people are employed in different sectors that do not require a lot of education such as doing menial work in industries and other areas of the economy (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
Therefore, allowing immigrants to continue settling the United States without tougher immigration laws would increase the number of people who are unskilled. This poses a risk to the economy of the US since as the corporate and industrial world continue to adopt new technology and means of production, these people faces a high risk of loosing their jobs, a factor that could tremendously increase the number of people who are unemployed in an economy. In other words, as time goes by, companies and industries would increase the minimum level of education and skills that is required for one to either continue working with them or to be employed. Therefore, those who lack these skills and academic qualification would be kicked out of employment thus increasing the unemployment rate. Thus, immigrants would worsen this figure if they are allowed to continue trickling into the US (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
Still on the issue of employment, the securing of jobs by the Americans ensures or rather guarantees that the economy of the United States continues to develop and expand. This is due to the fact that these American would invest back their proceeds or rather earnings into the American economy. However, it has been observed over time that most of the earnings that immigrants get are usually send back to develop their home country, with or without their knowledge. In other words, when these immigrants send home some of their earnings, they build their country of origin’s economies rather than building their own economy. This has been found to create a vulnerable point for the United States since much is taken out of its economy and used to build other economies (Hall, 2005).
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The unfair competition in the employment sector has also been found to affect the social lives and status of the Americans. In this regard, reduced earnings by the American due to lowering of wages affect the overall spending by the Americans. As a result, the American citizens have to changes their spending lifestyles in order to be in a position of living within their budgetary means. In this line of thought, they therefore have to reduce their spending on luxurious goods and services such as electronics and holidays that has uplifted the social standards of people in the American society. In this way, leisure is eliminated from the budget of the US citizens. Therefore, to ensure that Americans are not living on the edge in terms of their earnings and spending, the government has a responsibility of limiting the number of immigrants that find their way into the United States. This can only be attained through the implementation of tougher immigration laws (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
Another issue that has continued to raise concerns in the American society is the resources that are available to cater for the American citizens. Such resources or rather amenities include healthcare, education, national security and social welfare. Every year, the government has budgetary allocation to these amenities to ensure that American receive the best services ever. However, with the increase in the number of immigrants, the services that are delivered in the healthcare, education, social welfare and national security is reduced drastically as there is an drastic increase in the number of people who need these services whereas budgetary allocation and the number of professionals offering these services remains relatively constant. With this in mind, there would be a compromise in the services that are offered to the US citizens thus putting their lives at risk due to poor services. For instance, an increase in the number of children per classroom has been found to compromise with the standards or rather quality of education that is offered to these children (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
On the other hand, whereas there are measures that have been put in place to control or rather deter people from discriminating one another in the American society in terms of race, there is still racial discrimination that is still elicited in the American society. One of the contributors of racial discrimination is the high level of immigrants who have been settling in the United States and taking over jobs that belong to the American citizens. Therefore, to reduce cases of racial discrimination in the American society, the government should work on ways of reducing the number of immigrants who have taken up job opportunities that belong to its citizens. This can only be done by controlling the number of immigrants into the US through stringent immigration laws and regulations.
Immigrants have also been a cause of the rise in the rate of drug use in the American society. This is as a result of the fact that some of the immigrants are drug dealers in their countries of origin and their aim of immigrating into the US is to further their drug trafficking businesses and activities. Therefore, they have acted as the source of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroine. Among the immigrants that are feared due to their involvement in drug trafficking are the Latin Americans, especially from Mexico. There is therefore the need for the government of the US to cub the number of immigrants from these areas by increasing cross border surveillance and formulating stringent laws that would make it difficult for these immigrants to settle in the US. With this in mind, the US government would be able to help its citizens to protect their children and secure their future which will act as a way of protecting the future of the United States (Borjas & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).
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The challenges that have resulted from drug trafficking are not the only challenges that the US face due to the high rate of immigrants into its boundaries. Another issue of concern is terrorism. The recent times have seen a rise in terrorist activities that have targeted the US citizens. In line with this, it is important for one to note that there is need for strict laws and regulations to be formulated on immigration as a way of reducing the risk of terrorist activities on the US soil. It is also important for one to note that some of these terrorist have worked on their way into the US as immigrants in order to recruit disloyal US citizens to accomplish their terrorist activities. Therefore, while taking this into account, the government should always remember the September 11 attack on the US soil that caused many deaths and casualties to the US citizens (Hall, 2005).
Leniency on Immigration
Whereas the government of the United States has been working on different ways in order to reduce the rate of immigration within its boundaries, there are various issues that need to be considered before strict laws on immigration are implemented. It is therefore important for the government to understand that whereas there are factors that could lead to implementation of tougher immigration rules and regulations, there are also important benefits to the economic, political and social development of the American society. In this regard, the government of the United States should be lenient on immigration as a way of attaining these benefits.
To begin with, whereas it has been cited that immigrants would take over the jobs of American citizens when they are allowed to flood the labor market in the US, it is worthy noting that every economy across the globe desires to develop and expand its horizons. As a result, the inclusion of the immigrants in the workforce would aid the American society to be able to continue development and thus be in a position to retain its status as the most developed economy in the world. One of the issues that have been noted among immigrants is the fact that most of them once lived in poor condition and their aim of coming to the US is to create wealth that would enable them to lead prosperous lives. Therefore, since they have that desire to make wealth, they have been found to be industrious more than the American citizens. Therefore, their inclusion in the economy would enable the American economy to prosper more than it has done in the past (Hall, 2005).
As the American community continues to develop, there would be more and more Americans who would have an access to quality education and professional training. As a result, in future there would be few people to take up menial jobs. Therefore, since there are many immigrants who are unskilled, allowing them to immigrate to the US would provide an opportunity for this nation to tap into the labor force that is provided cheaply by the immigrants. In this way, the American economy would not be able in any way to stall since there is enough supply of both professional labor and casual labor. Notably, this labor would be available at a relatively cheaper price than when it had been offered by American citizens (Miller & Spoolman, 2008).
Past development and economic growth resulted from the fact there was a lot of competition. On the other hand, the downfall of most economies across the globe resulted from the fact there competition was restricted. Therefore, the American labor force needs to be exposed to tough competition from the outside source in order for it to search for newer methods of ensuring that there is competition to reduce redundancy in its labor force. Therefore, immigrants could prove as one of the perfect ways that could be explored by the American labor force to induce competition which will create an environment of innovation and high quality production. However, this cannot in any way be achieved if there would be strict immigration measures in this economy. As a result, there should be lessened immigration laws that would facilitate easy entrance of immigration as they could a lot towards building and enhancing the American economy (Miller & Spoolman, 2008).
Immigrants have also continued to help the United States to maintain its status as a superpower in the world and to market it as a land of many opportunities. In this regard, the US, through offering opportunities to immigrants has granted it an opportunity to market its economic, social and political structures to the outside world. The immigrants, especially immigrant investors have been used to attract other investors from their countries of origin thus injecting funds into the US economy. This has facilitated a continued growth of the US economy even during moment when it is perceived that this growth was on the verge of declining (Preston, 2010).
Immigrants have in the past acted as agents of technology transfer. In this case, learned immigrants have been forced to practice their skills and knowledge on the American soil as a way of carving for themselves a niche in the job market. This has provided the American society to learn this form of technology from these immigrants and then implemented it in their own lives. As a result, slight improvements on these technological pieces have proved to be beneficial to the American economy. This technology would have been more expensive to buy directly from the country where it originated from. Therefore, immigrants lower the cost of technology transfer by a substantial margin (Hal, 2005).
The success of any country economically, socially and politically requires that such a country obtain bright people and train them in different areas of their interest. Therefore, through immigration, the United States has an opportunity to capture and retain a lot of people who are bright and have a vision of not only expanding themselves but also the country in which they are living. For example, India has been known to produce some of the best computer programmers and software developers in the world. Therefore, the United States of America can allow these professional to immigrate to the US and be employed in IT firms and companies. This would then position the US as one of the best producers of quality products across the globe (Archibold, 2010).
The United States too need to advance its policies across the world if it is to remain relevant in the global economy and politics. Currently, there is a stiff competition that has been emanating from China who has a vision of taking over the world and to expand the coverage of its policies, thus enabling them to reap heavily from the world’s resources. In this regard, the one of the most effective option that the US can utilize and propagate its policies across the globe is through allowing immigrant to come to the US and learn these policies and then send them back home to exercise them in their country of origin. For instance, Malaysia and Singapore were able to send their students who learnt the policies that were used by the United States in advancing its economy and then recalled them back home to implement these policies in their own economies. They succeeded (Miller & Spoolman, 2008).
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In this regard, the United States could employ the same method to expand its democratic rule and policies and be able impact different nations across the globe. In line with this, it would be easier for the United States to maintain its status as a world in social, economic and political circles. On the other hand, this would go along way in elimination social, economic and cal structures such as communism and socialism that have take root in some countries in Asia and parts of Europe.
Immigrants have also enabled the United States to examine the social, economic and political structures of different nations across the world. It is important to note that when these structures have crumpled in many nations across the globe, the immigrants were a clear indication of the conditions at home with most of them seeking for asylum in wealth nations such as the US. When this number increases from a single, the US has had an opportunity to examine the situation in these nations and find out ways of correcting these anomalies and restoring them to normalcy. In addition, immigrants have in most cases acted as a link between the US and the other nations of the world.
The immigrants too have acted as a boost to those sectors where there is a demand for manpower whereas the supply in the US is very low. Among these areas that have benefited from immigrants is the US Army that has in the recent past recruited non-Americans to go and the fight for the American course in different parts of the globe. For instance, the war against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan demanded a large number of soldiers to deal with militants and restore normalcy in these nations. Most of the soldiers that were recruited, a good number comprised of them were immigrants. Therefore, where may be disregarded by the American community, these immigrants have contributed enormously to the success of the US in the battle field. Most of them have lost their lives as they sought for better lives in the US (Miller & Spoolman, 2008).
Globalization, economic, social and political development of the United States has come with issues to deal with in the society. One of the issues that have raised concerns is immigration. The recent times have seen a tremendous increase in the number of both legal and illegal immigrants in the United States. As a result, the government of the United States has been working on different ways that could be explored t ensure that immigration issues is brought under control. This has resulted in debate whether the government should enact stringent measure or whether it should approach the immigration issue with lenient policies. To help sum up these arguments, this essay will conclude by looking at both sides of the debate and then give a final verdict on the issue.
To begin with, tougher immigration laws and regulation would deny the United States an opportunity to tap in the talents, skills and knowledge that these immigrants have and therefore fail to explore new ways of economic, social and political development that these immigrants could inject into these structures. This would imply that the economy, the social and political perceptions of the US would be redundant without any hope of exploring new ways of operation. Similarly, lack of challenge to the workforce would result in an inability of the US to enhance the quality and standards of goods and services that are produced within its boundaries.
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The immigrants too have been able to hold key positions in the US that would have otherwise faced challenges and crumpled had it not been for immigrants. In line with this, the US would struggle with some sector if immigrants are to be locked out of the US boundaries. Some of these areas include the military and areas that require casual manpower. Therefore, immigrants benefit the US in the sense that they are able to step in key areas that need support in terms of manpower to succeed.
The transfer of knowledge and skills remain as one of the most appropriate step that any nation can take with an aim of developing economically, socially and politically. Following this point, the immigrants have in the past acted as agents of transfer of these skills and knowledge into the American society. Similarly, immigrants have acted as part of the greatest investors in the US economy. This has boosted the economy of the US, thus enabling it to continue competing against its rivals such as China, Japan, India, Russia and South Korea. Thus, there is need to consider immigrants as an important section of the US economy.
However, irrespective of the fact that immigrants have been of benefit to the US; economically, politically and socially, there is need to implement tougher immigration rules and regulation to control their flow into the US. To begin with, immigrants have in most cases taken up jobs that could have been done by US citizens thus denying them a chance to prosper and enjoy the investments of their country. Apart from posing a threat to the employment opportunities in the US, immigrants also pose a serious security threat to the US and its citizens. Therefore, to reduce these risks, these immigrants must be controlled.
Similarly, immigrants pose a threat to the US economy since most of them have emerged to be a burden to the government of the United States. Most of them immigrate to the US but lack enough funds that could help them settle in the US. As a result, they have to be supported by the US government. In line with this, the government has to tax people more so that they can support these immigrants. This is unacceptable. Therefore, there must be strict laws and regulations that should be implemented to deal with immigration challenges. Following these points, tougher immigration rules and regulation are necessary if the United States is to protect itself against challenges that emerge as a result of immigrants, both legal and illegal.