Illegal immigrants in the U S

¶ … illegal immigrants in the U.S. And the possibility of legalizing their status. The article shows: how illegal immigration is currently being dealt with, the views of people on the issue and the flexibility being exhibited by the government. The author makes it clear that while illegal immigration has always been a problem for the country and most people feel country must be protected against such immigration, still illegal entrance into the U.S. should not be criminalized. Very few, if any, percentage of people interviewed supported felony status, the rest felt that while it was not correct to let illegal immigration prosper, there was also no particular need for categorized it as a crime or serious offence.

Illegal immigration is a problem, which the United States has been facing for a very long time. People from all over the world come to the United States and start living here illegally even after their visa expires. Many cross borders and enter into the United States using forged documents. It is thought that over eight million illegal immigrants are present in the United States but of course this is just a rough estimate and the actual figure could be much higher. It is important to note a difference here. Illegal immigrant is not the same as a refugee. A refugee is a person who is exiled or runs from his country and seeks asylum in another for safety purposes. An illegal immigrant is a person who enters a country illegally and stays there, works there without the permission of the government. Hence an illegal immigrant has no record nor is accountable by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as they do not have any record of such a person living or working in the United States. The main problem that the United States is facing is from Mexico due to a porous border. Each day hundreds and thousands of people enter the United States and start living there as illegal immigrants. This is a huge problem for any nation and should be solved as soon as possible. It is interesting that both Republicans and Democrats understand the need for controlling illegal immigration. (Michael T. Lempres, p.52).

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Illegal immigration may have been a more recent subject of debate but immigration in general has always been a pervasive political and social issue for the country. Immigration increased massively during the late Industrial revolution and has more or less continued to this day. There were many reasons, which prompted people to leave their country back at the turn of the century, but these factors are still valid to a large extent. Poverty, overpopulation and natural disasters are some of these reasons, which contributed to this exodus of people. The living conditions in immigrant’s home countries were terrible and a lot of people were living in poor economic situation. For example when Italians immigrants came to the U.S., it was primarily because of far of religious prosecution and extreme poverty. Most of these immigrants were from the southern region of Italy where crime and corruption were rampant. These factors prompted people to immigrate to America with a lot of gusto. About 70,000 Italians had arrived before the start of the twentieth century and they were followed by thousands of Italians in the next two decades. America was an attractive place for these people, as they knew that they would not be able to live under the war-stricken conditions. The Italian people came to America with the aspiration that their lives would be changed forever once they landed in America. A lot of them thought that the streets in America were paved with gold. They also assumed that there would be plenty of steady jobs and pay and an overabundance of food and proper housing. Then there was also the promise of freedom and ownership of land. They did not know what sort of situation they would be facing.

Immigrants have always been the lowest paid section of the workforce. This is because they are willing to do jobs, which others refuse and are also willing to work at the rate lower than the minimum wage. (Colleen, 1985) Therefore they have had to live in very crowded and unhygienic conditions. They had decided to embrace the culture of the place where they were staying without giving up the major elements of their own culture. It was their dream to be accepted amongst the American people. In America, these immigrants have always had to endure a lot of injustice meted out to them from the American people but this did not affect the rate of immigration to the U.S.

There were a lot of factors, which ruined the way an immigrant could adjust to the new world. Some of these were customs and traditions, religious beliefs, discrimination, labor abuses, and deplorable living conditions, which resulted in numerous health problems.

In short all immigrants faced problems when they tried to assimilate in the American culture. Most immigrants encountered significant problems such as prejudice and cultural clash and entering the American workforce was anything but easy for Immigrants and not to mention the language barrier, which turned every problem into a gigantic one. There are some who would describe their experience as wonderful but most of them would have some heart-wrenching stories to relate about their immigration. This doesn’t mean they are not satisfied with their life here but the older generation of immigrants had to face some serious problems. Millions of Mexicans who crossed borders and entered the U.S. are not exactly the most well settled people. They are consistently facing hardships and one of them is the problem of discrimination.

Racism has always been an issue in the U.S. This was the biggest problem followed by religious conflicts, which forced many immigrants in early decades to move back to their country. Since Americans have not been really open to the idea of foreigners entering their country and taking over their jobs, they openly resent the immigrants and immigrants have been blamed for many of the nation’s problems. This was not the case with one individual family, most of the immigrants encountered difficulties which some were able to surmount while others were so disappointed that they felt it was better to go back to their homeland where they would be able to live in peace.

The reason behind this sudden urge to stop the influx of illegal immigration is due to the sense of injustice that people in the U.S. feel. When immigrants enter the country, they cast a huge shadow on country’s resources, they also take up jobs that would have otherwise gone to Americans and most of the poor immigrants hardly pay any taxes. This affects the economy of the country to a great extent. Some also claim unemployment compensation. So with them a country has an outflow of money but little or no inflow. Many work and also claim unemployment compensation. “In the 1950s President Dwight D. Eisenhower, faced with large numbers of Mexicans crossing the Rio Grande illegally, sent troops to the Mexican border” (Ted Hayes, p.46). It took about six months and the problem was solved. However what needs to be done will be analyzed later on in the paper. Another major problem, which comes with illegal immigration, is the fact that due to porous borders, people associated or linked with terrorism also seep into the United States. In the September 11 attacks, the people involved were inside the United States. They did not hijack any international flight, but took control of the domestic ones. Thus if these borders are not controlled there are chances that people with a negative agenda might enter the United States and then can conduct operations from within the country.

To protect the country, we need to protect the borders. However protection the borders is not as easy as it sounds. The efforts made by Senator McCain to offer legalization facility to illegal immigrants is though important yet highly controversial. The process of legalization may actually mean offering amnesty to all and sundry and this can encourage some dangerous elements as well, which are already present in the country. Thus to safeguard the country is not as much as an easy job as it might look to some. When a suggestion is given that a fence should be built to keep the illegal immigrants out, the environmentalists have a problem with that. Businessmen want their cheap labor and that can only be achieved by the presence of illegal immigrants who are paid less and what is icing on the cake for them is that such a labor cannot be unionized. Therefore they are not very hyped up about ensuring the safety and betterment of the country. So it is seen that some of the people are not very sincere to this goal which the government is trying to achieve to ensure a better and safer tomorrow. (Michelle Malkin, p.46). The people should also be sincere to the goal which the government wants to achieve and should support the government in any positive steps which it takes to solve this crisis or matters will become worse with time.

So who is an American and what an America can or cannot do are questions which are critical to the issue of legalizing immigrants. Does being an American mean you cannot show allegiance to any other country? The images of people raising and waving Mexican flag had enraged many but it need not have. It should be accepted that people who come from different countries would forever hold in their hearts a deep respect and love for their homeland. However to put the interests of home country ahead of your adopted country or to work in a way that benefits the home country but not the new country would definitely cause serious concern. It would be definitely foolish to direct or guide the behavior of illegal immigrants regarding countries and allegiance, but they should be expected to not work against the interests of their adopted land. That is fair and should be seen as a trade-off when American citizenship is required.

President Bush took some steps to solve the problem of illegal immigrants. In 2004 he planned to allow about eight million illegal immigrants to achieve a temporary work permit that would make their stay in the United States as legal. This was a bold step and many illegal immigrants actually want to become legal in the United States. So they would get their legal status while the country would receive its taxes from them. Moreover this would bring a lot of illegal immigrant on record and would filter out any terrorists or people with other negative agendas. However this would only solve the problem of the illegal immigrants who are already within the borders of the United States. What about the ones that are continuously seeping in each day? For a sovereign nation it is important to have full control on the borders. Full control would prevent any person from seeping into the country. Some have also suggested the installation of landmines at the border to prevent any crossover. Many suggestions have been given which is a good sign but others who are lazy about fighting this should understand that protecting the borders is directly connected with a safe and sound society even for the immigrants or else we can face the similar problems we did when blacks landed here. (Woody West, p.56).

What needs to be done is that sufficient funding must be allocated for the border patrol force. The numbers should be increased and a strict eye should be kept on the borders. Another fundamental problem in the United States is its “birthright citizenship” which it offers to any child born in the United States. This is a law, which actually attracts many illegal aliens to the United States. They give birth to a child and their child becomes an American citizen. Like most of the other world, citizenship should be awarded to new born who has at least one parent who is a citizen of the United States.

Illegal immigration is a vast topic then and one that is definitely controversial at the moment. While we would never support criminalizing illegal immigrants, it would be safer to either deport the ones who appear to pose a threat to the country or simply allow them to work on temporary permits till they have gained some kind of status and can become a proper citizen. Demonstrations, protests and rallies are a way of expressing your viewpoint and that is exactly what illegal immigrants have been doing. But the country needs to understand what is really important and how much flexibility will be effective both for country’s security and to the cause of illegal immigrants.


Johnson, Leahy Colleen. Growing Up and Old In Italian-American Families, page 223, 1985

Michael T. Lempres. “Getting Serious about Illegal Immigration.” National Review 46.3 (1994): 52.

Ted Hayes. “Illegal Immigration Threatens U.S. Sovereignty, Economy and Culture.” Insight on the News 16.36 (2000): 46.

Michelle Malkin. “Dismissing the Dangers of Illegal Immigration.” Insight on the News 18.32 (2002): 46.

Woody West. “Illegal Immigration Threatens U.S. Future.” Insight on the News (2003): 56

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