Immigration has been a highly debated topic throughout past centuries. Many, especially those with a political background, debate on whether or not immigration should be allowed in the United States. It is undecided whether or not illegal immigrants should be taken back to their homelands, or be allowed to remain in the country. Many policies and departments exist regarding immigration, whether they are beneficial to immigration or against it, they’re all highly controversial.
Programs and Departments
There are groups like the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who find and take away illegal immigrants. As well as some policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a policy that gives immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 temporary protection from deportation, it gives them the capability of working, and the ability to get a social security number (DACA). The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans serves a similar purpose. This policy grants illegal immigrants deferred action, a renewable three-year work permit, and exemption from deportation. DACA and DAPA were introduced by former President Obama. These policies were almost ended several times but many immigrants emerged and formed a movement in order to defend these policies. Donald Trump, in 2018, was one of the people who intended to end these policies. According to CNN News, Trump was both “praising its recipients and the program, and rejecting several offers to replace it as not aggressive enough in expanding immigration enforcement powers and cutting legal immigration,” (Tal). He claims to like the program yet he continues to delay its renewal and try to end the program.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is made up of three offices but is mainly known for “Enforcement and Removal Operations”. This office finds, arrests, detains and deports illegal immigrants (Nixon and Qiu). Originally, under President Obama, the team was supposed to deport those immigrants who had committed serious crimes. However, under President Trump and the Zero Tolerance Policy, ICE was ordered to target anyone who entered the nation illegally. Trump and his administration had implemented the Zero Tolerance Policy which stated that any adult alien who had crossed the border illegally would be prosecuted (“Zero Tolerance” Immigration Enforcement). There are large amounts of people who oppose this organization and want to abolish it. The main reason for the desire to abolish ICE is that it breaks up families. After being detained by ICE, victims are kept in cages with many others who have been captured. By deporting and detaining adults, their kids are left alone and are forced to grow up without their parents. Many protests and riots have erupted in opposition to this organization.
Reasons for Entering the United States
There are many reasons why immigrants might want to enter the United States. It has been said that the environment in South America is very poor and dangerous. Many kids suffer from gang violence and poverty (Padilla-Rodriguez). As a result, many wish to enter America in order to escape these dangerous conditions. As well, it is quite known that areas like Mexico have corrupt governments and leaders. Immigrants do not come to the United States just to do wrong, they come to begin new lives after escaping a terrible past.
Unfortunately, entering the United States is not the easiest task. To become a U.S. citizen, you must apply for a visa, meet many requirements, such as being a legal resident and filling out a lot of paperwork. The process is also very slow and could take years to complete. For this reason, many immigrants enter the country illegally. Many do apply to programs like DACA and DAPA, but these only provide temporary protection and it does not create a state of legality. Immigrants mainly just try to get a work visa and try to stay under the radar in order to avoid deportation and try to eventually become legal.
There are several issues that come along with immigration. According to George J. Borjas in his book “Lessons from Immigration Economics,” he claims that “immigration indeed generates a short-run fiscal burden,” (339). By saying this, Borjas shares that immigration also comes with some financial problems, such as how immigrants generally pay fewer taxes. As stated by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton, immigrants usually enter the nation with less education and have less income, as a result, they pay fewer taxes (Effects of Immigration). Despite these burdens, studies show that immigration is also followed up with a large economic profit. There are many positive things resulting from immigration. Immigrants generally work for cheaper and they take up jobs that others usually wouldn’t want to do. As a result of the immigration surplus, employers also make more profit, contributing to the growth of the nation’s economy.
Pros and Cons
Immigration overall seems to impact the economy in a positive way, however, immigration also follows with other pros and cons. Some cons are that with a large number of immigrants entering the United States, the nation begins to get overcrowded. This makes it harder for local services to provide support for everyone and try to meet everybody’s needs. Along with overpopulation and extra stress for locals, immigration could increase the spread of disease (Lombardo). Diseases found in one country could be transferred to the United States, creating a more dangerous environment in America.
Despite immigration resulting in several problems, it can also result in many positive outcomes. Some pros are that it creates a more diverse population and like previously said, it fills up unwanted jobs. With a more diverse population, more ideas and activities are spread. With cultures and ideas being spread, it can develop a more comfortable surrounding for others. As unwanted jobs are filled, the nation can progress further and develop a safer environment.
President Trump’s Perspective
The newly elected president, Donald Trump, also has an opinion on immigration. He has recently imposed many restrictions and limitations on immigration. He also has many upcoming plans, such as constructing a large wall at the Mexican border to try and prevent further immigrants. The wall is currently one of his main priorities and he is demanding that Mexico pay for the construction of the wall. As well, the president has also requested for some funds from the federal government, this, however, was denied and he then conducted a government shutdown.
President Trump has his reasons for initiating restrictions on limitations. The one that he expresses the most is the overpopulation of foreign-born Americans. According to Perry Bacon Jr., foreign-born Americans make up almost 15% of America. Trump and his administration wanted to lower this amount so they enacted some new policies and took some down. Bacon, in his article, also states that Republican voters want less immigration while Democratic voters support it as they feel that it strengthens the country (Bacon). The Trump administration claims to want “fewer foreign-born Americans.” Trump, however, had also suggested that he wants more immigrants from Norway, a dominantly white nation.
Despite having several negative outcomes, immigration should be allowed as studies have shown that immigration comes with many benefits. Immigration results in profit for the United States and can help the nation progress by completing unwanted jobs and spreading new ideas. Although many Republicans are opposed to the idea of aliens residing in the U.S., many Democrats embrace the idea claiming that it will strengthen the nation. Allowing immigration would help those trying to escape the dangers of their homelands while helping America grow simultaneously. Based off of this research, it seems that immigration should be allowed. As long as the borders are regulated, immigration should be beneficial for both America and those trying to enter the nation. If immigration is regulated and not too many people enter at once, the U.S. should begin to grow rapidly. As well, to avoid problems, the procedure to become a U.S. citizen should be sped up so immigrants would not need to try and enter illegally. Immigration should be allowed as it comes with many positive outcomes, the nation will continue to grow, and the needs of others can be met.