Argumentative Essay About Immigration

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Table of contents

  1. Historical Context of Immigration in America
  2. Economic Contributions of Immigrants
  3. Cultural Diversity and Immigration
  4. Seeking a Better Life: The Immigrant's Journey
  5. America as the Only True Home for Many Immigrants
  6. Work Cited

Historical Context of Immigration in America

Imagine being a guest at someone’s house. How would you feel if you were asked to leave by another guest? Chances are you would probably think the other guest had no authority to ask you to leave, especially considering they are only guests themselves. The country now referred to as the United States of America is a place where people have migrated for over 400 centuries. Let’s go back to the 1600s when the first immigrants arrived in what is now the United States. Prior to the 1600s, there was already a large group of people living in America; most people referred to them as Indigenous People or Native Americans. The Native Americans had been living in America for centuries before the British arrived. The Native people had a very good sense of community. They lived in tribes and were able to sustain their communities by growing their own food and hunting. They also built teepees for shelter, which is a tent-like structures usually made with poles and cloth. It is safe to say that the native people had a rather functional society even before the arrival of the first immigrants. The relationship between the British migrants and the native people did not start off the best, but eventually, things got better, and migration became normal in America. Many different groups of people have come to America for a better life, including the British, German, Irish  to name a few. Today it seems as though Europeans have forgotten that they too were once immigrants and now for some reason they have decided that they want to prohibit other migrants from coming to America. There has even been a title placed on people who choose to freely migrate to America; they are being called illegal or undocumented immigrants. It is important for everyone to remember that the average American was once an illegal immigrant of this country, and since that is true, we must be willing to welcome with open arms anyone who chooses to come to America. Undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States because immigrants make the economy better, help diversify America, deserve to live in a prosperous and safe society, and have come to know America as their only real home.

Economic Contributions of Immigrants

The first reason immigrants should stay in America is because immigrants play a substantial role in bettering the American economy. According to Edward Schumacher-Matos, writer of the article, How Illegal Immigrants Are Helping Social Security, America’s Social Security system received $240 billion in taxes paid by undocumented immigrants. These figures represented 10 percent of America’s total trust assets. According to the article, “The social security actuaries estimate that two-thirds of unauthorized immigrant workers, or 5.6 million people, were paid into the system in 2007” (Schumacher-Matos). The article also stated that if it had not been for the surplus of money paid to the Internal Revenue Service by undocumented immigrants, then America would have experienced a shortage of funding and would not have been able to make tax payouts in 2009. This article is proof that undocumented immigrants do not hurt the American economy, but instead help it. In actuality, Americans would have been at a disadvantage had it not been for immigrant workers. In 2009 the American tax system would have experienced a massive deficit if it had not been for the additional $240 billion in taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service by undocumented immigrants. The American economy benefits greatly from the contributions of immigrant workers and should consider immigrants to be an asset here in America.

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Cultural Diversity and Immigration

Secondly, migrants should be welcomed in the United States because they help promote diversity. Cultural diversity is a very important part of what makes America great. According to Joe McCarthy, writer of the Global Citizen article Five Ways Immigration Actually Enhances a Countries Culture, “Immigrants expand culture by introducing new ideas and customs. Nowhere is this clearer than in the United States, where hundreds of different ethnic groups live in harmony under the banner of the American flag building a collective culture” (McCarthy). The article also mentions how immigration makes the world more connected. According to the article, “The world becomes more interconnected each year as people share cultures, engage global commerce, and develop friendships with people from different backgrounds. As people move across borders and participate in new countries, progress is spread, and the world becomes more open” (McCarthy). America is a mixing pot of different cultures. People that live in America have the ability to collaborate with people from all over the world, sharing ideas, recipes, and customs. The collaboration helps to give insight into the culture of others and helps to bring people from different walks of life closer together. Immigration is responsible for introducing cultural diversity, which plays a major role in unifying people all over the world.

Seeking a Better Life: The Immigrant's Journey

Another reason immigrants should be able to maintain residence in the States is that they are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families. Many countries are experiencing poverty and gang violence at an astonishing rate which makes citizens feel as though they cannot bear to stay in their countries any longer. According to the article, Desperate Journeys by Scholastic Incorporated, many people from Central America are risking their lives to flee the poverty in their countries. The article gives a detailed account of a man from Guatemala named Juarez, who is a father of three young children. Juarez was a businessman but the poverty levels in his country made it impossible for him to make a profit. Juarez looked for work outside his business, but when he realized there were absolutely no jobs available, he decided to travel to America in hopes of finding work and making money to send back to his wife and children. Many people like Juarez decide to travel over 1,200 miles through the desert in hopes of making a better life for themselves. (Scholastic Incorporated) The article Desperate Journey gives readers insight into just how serious poverty is: “Indeed, extreme hardship is all most people in the area have ever known. More than 75% of the region’s population is poor. Many earn little to nothing for the coffee, corn, beans, and other agricultural products they grow, and small farmers are unable to pay their bills. Nearly 70% of the children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition” (Scholastic Incorporated). This article gives insight into the risk immigrants are willing to take simply so they can earn an honest living and provide for their families. Immigrants are so selfless that they are willing to risk their own lives and freedom in an effort to feed their children. Not only do immigrants migrate to the United States to find work and flee poverty, but they also come to escape violence. The article Fleeing for Our Lives, published by Amnesty International talks about the dangers that citizens of many different Central American countries face. According to the article, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which make up what is called the Triangle of Central America, are considered to be the most dangerous places to live in the entire world. Women and children from Central America are susceptible to becoming victims of rape, kidnapping, torture, or even murder. Children in Central American countries are running from things that no child should ever have to worry about. On a daily basis, young children are constantly trying to avoid gang recruitment, and escape exploitation from prostitution and human trafficking. The United States government is completely aware of the crisis happening in central America, and although asylum programs are available, only 3.7% of asylum cases are approved (Amnesty International). With such low approval rates for asylum of individuals trying to flee the violence in their countries, one should understand why victims might be willing to flee to America even if they must do so illegally. Poverty and Violence are devastating factors that immigrants are facing in their home country. Circumstances such as these are very important to consider and should without a doubt be a reason to welcome migrants. All people deserve to be able to live knowing that they will have their basic needs, such as food and safety met no matter where they are from.

America as the Only True Home for Many Immigrants

The final reason immigrants should not be forced out of the US is because many immigrants see America as their only true home. The Washington Post published an article written by a Mexican news anchor named Leon Krauze called, For these immigrants, there's no other 'home' to go back to, The article was written in an effort to help people understand the challenges immigrants face when they are forced to return to countries they can barely call home. The article talks about a woman named Mayra who came to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life for herself. Mayra had been living in the States for over a decade, and during her time in America had given birth to two little girls. Mayra had been pulled over in Utah during a traffic stop for driving with broken headlights while running an errand with her sickly daughter. During the traffic stop, it was discovered that Mayra was an undocumented immigrant, and she was immediately detained and scheduled for deportation. Mayra begged for mercy in hopes that she would be given some type of compassion as she was a single mother of two American-born children, but Mayra received no sympathy and was deported without her two children. Mayra was sent back to Mexico where she was unwelcomed by her family. To make matters worse Mayra found out her children had been put up for adoption in America. Mayra attempted to re-enter the United States and regain custody of her children on several occasions but failed at each attempt (Krauze).

Cases such as Mayra’s are truly heartbreaking but the devastation does not end there. The article also talks about children who are brought to America as small children, often time with no knowledge of their home countries whatsoever; these children are called “Dreamers”. According to the article, “The place of their birth is not even a memory, all trace of it lost to the hazy wirings of early childhood. Most dreamers have never gone back to the countries they left as small children because returning to the United States afterward without proper papers would have been impossible. Most of what they know comes from their parents' recollections” (Krauze). Many immigrants face a heartbreaking reality on a daily basis. They face the risk of being deported to a country that they cannot truly consider to be their home. Some immigrants are even forced to leave the country they call home without their children and loved ones. Imagine someone living somewhere for most of their life, building a family, making friends, starting a career, and all of a sudden, they are forced to leave the life they built behind to go live in a country they know nothing about. Many immigrants are forced to live in fear that on any given day for any given reason they could be detained and sent away from the only home they know.

There are some people who believe that immigrants who come to America without official documentation should not be allowed to stay here and should be subject to deportation. These individuals might even believe that immigrants pose a threat to the economy, disrupt American culture, or cause violence, which are completely understandable points of view. However, evidence shows that immigration not only improves the economy significantly since immigrants also pay into the American tax system but there is also evidence that shows how immigrants have actually saved the economy from a major deficit. Also, there is no need for individuals who oppose immigration to worry about immigrants disrupting American culture because immigrants absolutely love America and what it stands for, which is why they put in so much effort to relocate here. Immigrants even go out of their way to learn English, which is easily one of the hardest languages to learn. Lastly, immigrants often come to America to flee the violence in their home countries, so the chances of them playing a role in any violent acts here in America are slim to none since violence is what they worked so hard to get away from.

There are several reasons why people decide to migrate to America and should be able to stay. Immigrants are great assets in America and have a large impact on growing the economy. Immigrants are also very beneficial because they help make America one of the most diverse countries in the world, which has so many cultural advantages. Furthermore, Immigrants should also be allowed to stay in the United States because oftentimes they are fleeing impoverished nations and looking for a place where they can raise their families in a safe environment. The final reason immigrants should be allowed to remain in America is because most immigrants have come to know America as their only real home.

It is important that all Americans remember that at one point or another we too were illegal immigrants. I also believe that as members of the human race it is our sole responsibility to take care of one another regardless of our race or origin. As humans we must all stick together and remember if our brothers and sisters need us, we must be there to help them because when they hurt, we should be able to feel their pain and put in our best effort to come to their rescue whenever we can. It is important to remember that although America is flourishing today, that might not be true tomorrow. Thus if we are in a position to lend a helping hand, we must do so, because we never know when we might need someone else to return the favor.

Work Cited

  1. 'DESPERATE JOURNEYS: Fleeing poverty and violence, Central Americans are risking everything to get to the U.S. Now American officials are increasing efforts to warn them not to come.' Junior Scholastic/Current Events, 10 Dec. 2018, p. 8+. Gale General OneFile, Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.
  2. “Fleeing for Our Lives: Central American Migrant Crisis.” Amnesty International USA, 29 July 2019,
  3. Krauze, León. For these Immigrants, there's no Other 'Home' to Go Back to What Happens when Kids Who are all but American have to Leave? WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post, Washington, 2016. ProQuest,
  4. McCarthy, Joe. “5 Ways Immigration Actually Enhances a Country's Culture.” Global Citizen, 2018,
  5. Schumacher-Matos, Edward. 'Taxes Paid by Illegal Immigrants Help Social Security.' Illegal Immigration, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 17 Nov. 2019. Originally published as 'How Illegal Immigrants Are Helping Social Security,' Washington Post, 3 Sept. 2010.
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