Immigration needs to be looked at and changed. Turn on the television, or come out of your hole and you will realize this. America lets in the most legal immigrants of any country. This has been and will continue to be one of the most rewarding contributors to our nation.
Illegal immigration however has become a great burden and has spun wildly out of control. The costs aren't hard to recognize. Illegal immigrants in accordance with the law cannot be legally employed, meaning that they get paid in cash under the table and taxfree. The deductions you see on your paystub do not apply to them. Ten dollars an hour under the table is equivalent to about thirteen dollars at an honest job. The costs of educating illegal immigrants is another burden. No person should be denied education, but the fact that it costs anywhere from five to twelve thousand dollars per student per year depending on the state (1
), you can see how the costs start adding up. The fact that there are ten million plus people in America that aren't subject to the laws that I am required to abide by is what really gets me. As far as legislation reform goes, the two words that I absolutely can't stand in the immigration debate are amnesty and racism.
The 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act (2
) was an attempt at quelling the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico to America by granting amnesty to those who had been living in America since January 1982. It also made it illegal to employ an illegal immigrant and intensified enforcement on the Mexican-American border. This obviously didn't work. This legislation basically became the welcome mat on the doorstep of America for illegal immigrants. Any legislation reform put forth need not address amnesty. Illegal immigrants should be urged to return to Mexico and apply for legal status within the generous legal immigrant admission quota.
The numbers of deportable illegal immigrants located by border security from the years 1995-2004 have averaged more than 1.2 million people per year. (3
)This is a problem and with enforcement of illegal immigration laws, deportation of illegal immigrants, and a more efficient legal application process this will not continue to be a problem.
As far as the labor demand goes, the government understands that immigration and especially the immigration from Mexico plays a massive role in our economy. The government should see to it that the benefit of the massive cheap mobile labor force of Mexican American immigrants continues to fill the demands of our economy, but that illegal immigrants dodging taxes and using public services provided for by taxpayers should no longer be relied on to fill that void.
That American citizens are agitated by the fact that illegal immigrants are not paying taxes, not subject to the same American laws, and generally seem proud to do so through massive protests and the waving of Mexican flags is not the slightest bit racist. It is an expression of the founding ideal of our country that all people are subject to the same law in the same way, see: Magna Carta. One is not a racist because they believe that everybody should be subject to the same laws and pay their dues to society even if this is expected of a group who is a racial minority. This is not about civil rights because civil rights implies citizenship and equal treatment by the law. The fact that a person is inside our country illegally by choice does not mean that they should be held above any law and especially the laws regarding immigration. If and when the Mexican contingent in America is subject to inappropriate treatment by the law, I will be the first in line to defend their rights. This does not mean that I will do the same for a group that disregarded the laws of our country immediately upon entering.
My suggestion would be to first and foremost enforce the laws regarding immigration and the deportation of illegal immigrants. This is not to become a witch hunt, but when an illegal immigrant is located, they should be deported but allowed application via legal means. Illegal immigrants deported as criminals need not apply for legal admission. The labor demand does need to be met as this is a vital strength of America's economy and will be done through legal immigration. There needs to be much tougher enforcement and repercussions on employers of illegal immigrants as this will lessen the demand and motivation for illegal immigration.
) National Conference of State Legislators, http://www.ncsl.org/programs/educ/PupilExpenditures.htm
) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2004 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, table 37 pg. 162. http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/statistics/yearbook/Yearbook2004.pdf, CNN article
. My motivation for writing this. The Universe of the Illegal Alien
. A good account of the life of the illegal immigrant.
I think I just wrote the conclusion portion of my research paper on Mexican immigration to America.