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Immigration Information Essays

Essay/Term paper: Immigration reform

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Immigration

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Immigration Reform


At this time, the United States has allowed more immigrants to enter the
country than at any time in its history. Over a million legal and illegal
immigrants take up residence in the United States each year. Immigration at its
current magnitude is not fulfilling the interests or demands of this country.
With the country struggling to support the huge intake of new comers, life in
America has been suffering tremendously. The excessive stress put upon the
welfare system, overuse of the family reunification laws, and the exploitation
of employment based immigration in the computer industry are reasons for
immigration reform.

The United States welfare system has difficulties supporting the huge
numbers of immigrants coming into the country each year. A majority of the
immigrants are from poor countries and come to the U.S. looking for work. A
research organization called Urban Institute revealed that immigrants use more
welfare and earn lower incomes than natives, which results in immigrants paying
less taxes. The Urban Institute is a non-profit organization that investigates
the social and economic problems of this country. Statistics from a Federation
for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) newsletter shows, ". . . the share of
immigrant households below the poverty line (29 percent) is much higher than the
share of native households that are poor (14 percent)--more than twice as high."
Due to the large numbers of poverty stricken immigrants, they are more likely to
take part in means-tested programs such as AFDC.

Family reunification laws generally do not serve the purpose implied by
their name. These laws create a problem that researchers call chain migration.
According to the FAIR organization, "because of chain migration--one immigrant
sponsors several family members as immigrants, who then sponsor several others
themselves, and so on. Since chain migration began in the mid 1960s, annual
immigration has tripled." Many sponsors have not met those they have helped, or
much less have the desire to be reunited with them. The laws are often used to
further economic goals rather than joining families. People migrate to the
United States with pipe dreams of financial securities. The high rates of
family sponsored immigration from poor countries such as China and the
Philippines rival those of richer countries such as Japan.

Immigration reform not only has a strong following but an equally large
opposition as well. The opposition argues that immigrants create job and do not
take jobs from U.S. citizens. Several studies demonstrate that there is a
positive relationship between states who admit immigrants and employment. One
study found between 1970-1980 Mexican immigration to Los Angeles County was
responsible for 78,000 new jobs. They claim that the U.S. work force,
especially the computer industry, will suffer from the withdrawl of highly
skilled workers. The current unemployment rates are blamed on the relocation of
multinational companies overseas to countries like Ireland and India.

Many big computer companies claim that employment based immigration is
vital for the survival of our economy. They feed upon the myth that the U.S.
computer industry depends on immigrants for its technological edge. In reality,
a majority of advances in the computer field have been made by the U.S. For
example:

...of the 56 awards given for American industrial advances
in software and hardware by the Association for Computing
Machinery, only one recipient has been an immigrant. Similarly,
of 115 computer-related awards given to U.S. engineers by the
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, only
nine recipents have been immmigrants.

Employers state that they need to go search other countries to find new talent
but the statistics show that their interest lies in finding bargain priced labor.
UCLA professor Paul Ong performed a statistical analysis in 1990 which
determined that the average salaries for foreign born computer professionals
were almost $7,000 lower than American born workers of the level of education.

Immigration is not to blame for the all the country's problems but they
are increasing the effects and making them harder to solve. At the present time
the numbers are too high, creating difficulties for natives and immigrants a
like. With logical policies and better planned numbers, immigration is a good
thing. Policy improvements will help this country regain control of its borders
and better provide for the people. Modest reductions in our immigration
policies are both are fair and ethical. Too much of a good thing does more harm
than good.

 

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Immigration continues to be the subject of intense national debate. The more than one million immigrants arriving each year have a very significant effect on many areas of American life. The latest data collected by the Census Bureau show that the last decade was the highest in terms of immigrant arrivals in American history. New immigration plus births to immigrants added more than 22 million people to the U.S. population in the last decade, equal to 80 percent of total population growth. Immigrants and their young children (under 18) now account for more than one in five public school students, one-fourth of those in poverty, and nearly one-third of those without health insurance, creating enormous challenges for the nation’s schools, health care system, and physical infrastructure. The large share of immigrants who arrive as adults with relatively few years of schooling is the primary reason so many live in poverty, use welfare programs, or lack health insurance, not their legal status or an unwillingness to work.

Despite the fact that a large share of immigrants have few years of schooling and low incomes, most immigrants do work. In fact, the share of immigrant men holding a job is higher than that of native-born men. Moreover, the evidence examined in this report and other research makes clear that immigrants make significant progress the longer they reside in the United States. This is even true for the least educated. Unfortunately, this progress still leaves them well behind natives in most measures of socio-economic status even after they have been in the United States for decades. The share of adult immigrants who have lived in the United States for 20 years who are still in poverty or lacking health insurance is at least 50 percent higher than for adult natives. And the share of these long-time resident immigrant households using at least one welfare program is nearly twice that of native households.

At the same time that immigration policy has significantly increased the number of less-educated immigrants, there has been a dramatic deterioration in the labor market position of less-educated natives. Comparing data from the beginning of this decade shows a huge decline in the share of young and less-educated natives holding a job — from two-thirds to just under half. The decline in work among young and less-educated natives began well before the Great Recession. It is very difficult to find any evidence of a shortage of less-educated workers in the United States. Some may argue that immigrants only do jobs that Americans do not want, but an analysis by occupations shows that the vast majority of workers in almost every job are U.S.-born, including three-fourths of janitors and two-thirds of construction laborers and meat processors.

A central question for immigration policy is: Should we continue to allow in so many people with little education — increasing potential job competition for the poorest American workers and the population in need of government assistance? Setting aside the lower socio‑economic status of immigrants, no nation has ever attempted to incorporate 40 million newcomers into its society. Those concerned about population growth point to added sprawl, traffic, pollution, and overall impact on the quality of life that may come from causing so much population growth from one government policy — immigration. Supporters of population growth point to the greater opportunities for businesses, workers, and consumers that it may create. However one approaches population increase, it is clear that immigration has become the determinant factor in U.S. population growth. It is equally clear that while immigration makes the U.S. population much larger, it does not make the population significantly younger.

Whatever one’s view of immigration, it is critically important to understand that its effect on America represents a choice. Selection criteria can be altered, as can the total number of people allowed into the country legally. Moreover, the level of resources devoted to reducing illegal immigration can also be reduced or increased.

The goal of this paper has been to provide information about the impact of immigration on American society to better inform the policy discussion about what kind of immigration policy should be adopted in the future. Absent a change in policy, 12 to 15 million additional legal and illegal immigrants will likely settle in the United States in just the next 10 years. Thus, immigration’s impact will continue to grow if current trends continue.

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