The Overwhelming U.S. Immigration Problem

The number of illegal immigrants into the United States has significantly increased during the last few decades. Illegal immigrants have not only threatened our nation’s security but, have also put a strain on the economy. The United States has been burdened with excessive medical bills, gang violence, and an abundance of drugs and weapons that could contribute to terrorism. If the United States government does not take control of the situation and come up with a new system to protect the nation from illegal immigrants, national security will be extremely vulnerable. Illegal entry of immigrants into the United States will bring gangs, drug lords, and human trafficking which will jeopardize national security and freedom. Thus, a solution for this problem needs to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. In the following paper, three possible solutions to the illegal immigration problem including conservative, moderate, and liberal ones will be evaluated. Overall, it seems that the moderate solution developed and implemented during the current period of time by the government of the United States is the most successful method among the three discussed strategies.

The main Concerns behind the Problem of Illegal Immigration into the United States

According to Dwyer (34), “the total number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is probably between five and eight million”. This number may be even much bigger as it is very difficult to disclose all the cases of illegal residence in the United States. More upsetting is the fact that the waves of immigration never stop causing more and more problems to the country from day today. Such a situation with immigration leaves bad traces on the face of the country.

The effects of illegal immigration for the United States may be already compared to the effects of a serious disaster. The situation in the country is much worsened in all the important areas such as social sphere and economic one. The area that is affected more than all the other areas is the social area. This area suffers greatly on the reason of the raise of the level of crime committed by immigrants such as illegal weapons, drugs distribution, and human trafficking. Immigrants often engage in forming illegal gangs which commit the above-mentioned crimes. This fact is supported by statistics that shows a rise in gangs when there are illegal immigrants. According to Newton (125, 126), the new wave of immigration which began in the 1990s caused an increase of 35% in the number of illegal gangs in the end of 1990s and the beginning of 2000s. In Mexican and Russian communities new waves of immigration caused 37% growth in the number of gangs in the beginning of 2000s (Newton 126). In the southern states, the level of increase in the amount of gangs has been connected to the level of illegal immigration for decades (Valdez 847; Tolentino 7). In the northern states, similar tendency is seen in the communities of illegal immigrants from Canada (Newton 102). These gang formations commit thousands of serious crimes from day to day. Their crimes range from organizing ways to continue illegal immigration to severe cases of robbery and murdering. For example, gangs engage in digging tunnels used as a means of penetration into the territory of the country. This practice is especially common in the southern states of Arizona and Texas. Organizing illegal immigrating schemes is by far the most harmless of the practices by these gangs. Each day numerous robberies and armed attacks occur. In the southern states, local and national authorities appear to fail to stop armed conflicts for controlling the area between the members of drug gangs. Someone is being killed every 60 hours by the members of gangs (Kirkwood 26). “The crime along the border is so ferocious, coordinated, and wide-ranging that it is inconceivable. Over the last few decades or so, for instance, more than 400 women have been brutally murdered in Ciudad Juarez” (Kirkwood 28). The activity of drug gangs is a reason of death of numerous people not only among the immigrants themselves who appear to be the major clients of their fellowmen, but among the citizens of the country as well. The category which is especially affected is young people. They become addicted to drugs, ruin their lives and, finally, die. Death as a result of being a drug addict is one of the most frequent reasons of dying among the young people in the United States. This causes further demographic, social and economical problems as a result as the people of the United States become a elderly nation.

The other serious problem in the social sphere is human trafficking which is also associated with illegal immigration. Statistics shows that the levels of human trafficking increase with the inflow of illegal immigrants. Examples show an association between illegal immigration and human trafficking:

The Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force has focused its law enforcement and victim rescue efforts on the Interstate 10 corridor from the Texas border on the west to the Mississippi border on the east. This corridor, the basic northern border of the hurricane-ravaged areas of Louisiana, long has served as a major avenue of illegal immigration efforts. The I-10 corridor also is the main avenue for individuals participating in human trafficking to supply the labor needs in the hurricane-damaged areas of the state (Walker-Rodriguez, Amanda, and Rodney Hill 1).

Illegal immigrants are not protected by the government, and, as a result, they often become victims of criminals kidnapping them and exploiting them as sex slaves and “material” for medical operations. In addition, illegal immigrants often become “slaves” to supply the labor needs in harmful industries and spheres where free people reject to work even being paid a lot of money.

Besides, illegal immigration causes even more serious problems in the social sphere. Among such problems are nationalism, racism and discrimination. This leads to constant conflicts between the citizens of the country and illegal aliens. Very often such conflicts are armed which causes many lethal cases both among the immigrant population and the local citizens. As a result, those who suffer are illegal immigrants themselves. Definitely, the citizens of the country suffer a lot as well especially in cases when cruel conflicts happen. National hatred was always a plague in people’s relations, and a constant inflow of illegal immigrants makes this plague a daily reality for our country. Statistics shows that every fifty hour a human being dies in the United States on the reason of conflicts that occur because of national hatred (Newton 148). Many people are severely injured in these conflicts which is also connected to a number of the other problems such as financing their treatment and legalizing their stay in hospitals.

Furthermore, illegal immigration is a serious threat to the economical well-being of the country. Statistics show that federal treasury suffers significant levels of losses caused by immigration. This is explained by the fact that immigrants occupy work positions created in the country and assumed to be a part of the country’s economy. However, very often immigrants send the money they receive to their families in their home countries and cause dissipation of American financial funds, as a result. In addition, the very fact that immigrants occupy working positions created for the citizens of the United States is also a serious economic problem. Unemployment among the native population of the country increased for 7% as a result of illegal immigration in accordance to the data of statistics (Newton 152). In addition, illegal immigrants do not pay the due taxes, and this is another harm that it causes to the economy of the country (Summers 1). Moreover, as it is seen form the following comment, important federal funds suffer because of illegal immigration:

About 55 percent of illegal aliens are paying into Social Security and Medicare by using fake Social Security numbers. The remaining 45 percent are not paying those taxes because their employers, who are not filing income taxes, are paying the illegals under the table (Summers 2).

As a result, money from these important treasuries comes only in one direction causing their squandering. These numbers are very upsetting as they show how badly the country’s economy is affected by illegal immigration. In such a state of affairs, the very upsetting thing is the fact that the economy of the country is still in a poor condition after the global financial crisis in the end of 2000s, and it is still too weak to be challenged in such a way.

Potential Policy Solutions for the Problem

There are a few options for solving the problem of illegal immigration into the United States: liberal (to offer immigrants a citizenship), moderate (to provide them with documents legalizing their temporary stay), and conservative (to deport them). The liberal solution which is to offer illegal immigrants a citizenship means that all the immigrants that are already in the country would receive a legalized status. There exists no doubt that such solution is humane and it is a dream of people who escaped to the United Sates to solve their problem. During decades, numerous politicians wanted to play with the feelings of their potential voters promising such liberal solution for the problem, but it seems to be an illusion rather than a realistic way out.

Evaluating the current state of affairs within the United States along with its high levels of unemployment, economical problems which developed because of the crisis in the end of the 2000s, and unsuccessful economical politics by the Bush and Obama administrations, the answer is clear that offering citizenship for those immigrants who are already in the country is impossible. Besides, even if such program will be developed and implemented, many illegal immigrants will not trust it because they are afraid of being identified by the authorities and deported as a result; thus, the program will suffer defeat even from illegal immigrants themselves. In addition, if all the illegal immigrants existing in the country for now will acquire an officially authorized status, the new problem with tax payment will occur. It is well known that the popularity of workers without documents among employers is explained by the absence of the necessity to pay taxes for them, but legal status for such employers will make them unwanted. As a result, the country will have more unemployed citizens who will need subsidy assistance and social payments which is a great problem because the economy is too weak to provide them.

Another possible solution for the immigration problem is being launched by the U. S. government during the current period of time. According to “US government launches new immigration program” (par. 1), ‘young illegal immigrants are scrambling to get passports and other records in order as the Homeland Security Department starts accepting applications to allow them to avoid deportation and get work permits’. The program was announced in June 2012 by the President Barack Obama. Its purpose is to offer a chance to acquire a legal status in the United States for young people who appeared to be immigrants. The following comment offers more details concerning the benefits of this program:

The policy change could stop deportations for more than 1 million young illegal immigrants who would have qualified for the failed DREAM Act, formally the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, which Obama has supported in the past (US government launches new immigration program” par. 8).

Thus, more than a million of young people who are considered to be a potential work force which is so needed for the country receive a legal chance to stay in the United States, and make a living.

Not all politicians support this initiative by the President claiming that he is using the new immigration program as a means to support his authority before the new elections, and call his actions populist. “Some, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, have called the policy backdoor amnesty and said they worry about fraud” (US government launches new immigration program” par. 11). The concerns by such politicians are grounded as work positions in the United State are scarce even now, and the citizens of the country have to suffer from the unemployment problem even more than before; besides, this policy’s implementation success is threatened on the reason of possible fraudulent applications.

The main motive behind this new immigration police is to stop deporting those people who came to the country in childhood. Many of these young people came to the country to receive education or acquire a working experience to share with their future colleagues in their homelands. For example, Evelyn Medina, aged 23, came to the United States when she was fourteen to enter one of the educational establishments in the country. During the current period of time the girl is doing her master degree, but her professional future is in danger because she does not have a document confirming her status in the country, and thus, she is in danger to be deported. The new policy aims to help such young people as Evelyn. It will offer a young person who arrived to the country before 16, and now are not more than 30 and have been living in it for the last five years at least, a chance to receive a legal status. Among the additional requirements for such candidates are being at school or on military service in the United States and having no convictions in certain crimes. Within the frameworks of a new program, such candidates may receive a birth certificate/passport, school transcripts, military service records, and medical and financial records. The program has protector strategies to prevent receiving legal documents by those candidates who are not eligible. In particular, any person whose fraud is proved by the coworkers of the Immigration Service will be referred to the database of potential candidates for deportation. In addition, the concerns of those politicians who want to protect American citizens from the threat of unemployment by new immigrants are addressed in the following comment by Alejandro Mayorkas who is a director of Citizenship and Immigration Services: “avoiding deportation does not provide lawful status or a path to citizenship” (US government launches new immigration program” par. 16). Therefore, the new policy is a solution for a number of problems with illegal deportation.

Evaluating this policy, I should say that I support it and find it reasonable because there are too many sad cases when young people who do not present a danger for the United States safety and well-being are considered to be a threat and fall into the category of illegal immigrants. Acquiring a legal status by such candidates supports liberal values which are so valued in the country since its foundation. This solution is a moderate solution because the illegal immigrants receive a temporary opportunity to stay at the territory of the United States. As a result, such people are no longer pushed by their circumstance into a situation when they appear to be criminals on the reason of their illegal status, and thus, many problems for the U.S. government are avoided.

Yet another possible solution for the problem of illegal immigration is conservative. It is in deporting all the identified illegal immigrants, and in enforcing laws for those who stay in the country. In the new law enforcement strategies, an effective method is to prohibit all the financial operations with illegal immigrants. That would make it very difficult for those people to stay in the country, and they will start leaving it having no other choice. The planning and implementation of these new law enforcement policies could not be done alone and should not just rely on the United States but also on Canada and Mexico (Todaro and Maruszko 112). Their support is very important to help secure illegal entry or exit within those countries. Acting together with Mexican and Canadian governments, the U.S. government will develop successful strategies helping avoid a constant threat to the national security which promotes terrorism, and lawlessness. International cooperation with the other countries to improve the immigration system and insure the security of our borders will become apparent when drug, weapons and human trafficking will be significantly decreased (Wright 72).

However, this solution has a number of negative consequences because if illegal immigrants will return to their homelands in a short period of time, American economy will fall into recession as many of its fields are served by illegal working force. In addition, such conservative law enforcement will lead to creating the atmosphere of fear, distrust, and xenophobia which will threaten with unprecedented waves of violence, hatred, discrimination, and prejudice.

Conclusion

As a final point, it should be stated that much needed improvement towards border security and homeland defense should always be at the top of the governments to do list. Even though the United States have spent over billions of dollars over the past couple of decades it is not well spent if it doesn’t deter illegal entry of immigrants into the United States or another terrorist attacks against our nation. All policies for illegal entry of immigrants and border security should be reformed with a new line of attack on how to keep gangs, drug lords and human trafficking from entering the United States. The planning and implementation of these new policies could not be done alone and should not just rely on the United States but also on Canada and Mexico that are at the northern and southern borders. Without their support, to help secure illegal entry or exit within those countries will put a constant threat to the national security which will promote terrorism. Working together to improve the immigration system and insure the security of our borders will become apparent when drug, weapons and human trafficking has decreased significant. In addition, a new policy developed during the current period of time by the administration of the President Obama seems to be of great value to improve the situation with the immigration problem because it will help young immigrants receive a legal status which will protect them from becoming a part of criminal structures developed to exploit illegal immigrants.

Works Cited

Dwyer, James. “Illegal Immigrants, Health Care and Social Responsibility.” The Hastings Center Report 34.1 (2004): 25-39. Print.

Kirkwood, Cort. “Border Town Violence: As Illegal Immigrants Flood the United States, a Wave of Crimes Committed by Illegals Is Crashing into Border Towns and Threatening to Engulf Our Entire Nation.” The New American (2006): 25-63. Print.

Newton, Lina. Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant: The Politics of Immigration Reform. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

Summers, Keyonna. “Illegal Aliens Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes, Study Says.” The Washington Times (2006): 1-5. Print.

Todaro, Michael P., and Lydia Maruszko. “Illegal Migration And US Immigration Reform: A Conceptual Framework.” Population & Development Review 13.1 (1987): 101-114. Print.

Tolentino, Francis. “The Great Wall of Arizona.” Manila Bulletin (11 Oct. 2006): 4-8. Print.

US government launches new immigration program 2012. Web.

Valdez, Avelardo. “Mexican American Youth and Adult Prison Gangs in a Changing Heroin Market.” Journal of Drug Issues 35.4 (2005): 843-859. Print.

Walker-Rodriguez, Amanda, and Rodney Hill. “Human Sex Trafficking.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Mar. 2011): 1-56. Print.

Wright, Scott W. “Worksite Enforcement Of US Immigration Law.” Employee Relations Law Journal 34.2 (2008): 66-102. Print.