Is Immigration Good or Bad

Immigration is what the “New World” was.  Immigration allowed people from all walks of life to enter into a new territory to try something new.  At what point should the United States just say that is enough foreigners, we are full?  If this has become such a large and very important matter, then why are deportation raids trying to be suspended until after the 2010 census?  “The Census Bureau wants immigration agents to suspend enforcement raids during the 2010 census so the government can better count illegal immigrants” (Census Bureau).  Legal or not this nation owes a great debt to immigrants.  Even though a percentage of immigrants are legal, a large percent of the illiegals are in fact paying taxes on a state and national level.  During the “Industrial Revolution” immigrants fled countries to bring their new ideas to the United States in hopes of [producing a more satisfying life.  Not to favor illegal immigration by any means, but having to pay what most people would consider to be a lot would definitely detour some people from trying for legal status when they could enter into the country for free.  Keep in mind, what if you were on the other side of the fence?

            Many people throughout history have contributed to the technology that we use today.  Included in this people are even Immigrants that have travelled to America from across the world.  A major example of this is a gentleman by the name of Micheal Pupin.  During the “Industrial Revolution” there were thousands of inventors that were on the cutting edge of technology, but unfortunately the countries from which they resided had conflicts of interest for allowing the inventions to be made for industrial use.  From there these countries would revoke any possibility for these inventors to leave the country with their inventions.  During this time very few immigrants made it to America “The Land of the Free.”  America welcomed these immigrants with open arms.  Quickly America became a major front runner in the “The Industrial Revolution.”  Micheal Pupin was one these immigrants during this defining time of America.  “He was an active inventor and patented many of his ground-breaking inventions including a method of rapid x-ray photography, the discovery of secondary x-ray radiation, telecommunications technology, and sonar-related technology”(Michael P.). Pupin was the first person to conduct an X-Ray.  He also discovered the implemented Sonar during WWI. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for his autobiography.  “His autobiography, From Immigrant to Inventor, won a Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography in 1924. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1904 and was awarded five medals and 18 honorary degrees” (Michael P.). Just to be reminded he is only one of the countless immigrants that have projected America into a super power.  Doctor’s, scientist, alternative researchers, and so on are trying to make their way to the United States just so they can build a better future for their selves and their generations to come.  As a country, we are taking advantage of this by offering these freedoms to them.

            “Between 12and 20 million illegal aliens live in the United States” (Walter E.).  How does the federal government come up with these numbers?  Ideally if this was as large of a problem as the Bush campaign made it to be authorities should have just deported the illegal aliens as they were taking roll call.  Instead of a role being taken it was more looking at their “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” also known as an ITIN.  Federal Government could have just merely pulled those documents and compared those to the resister immigrants and came to a conclusion on who was not registered.  So this is sounding like illegal aliens too are paying into the federal and state tax system.  There are requirements of citizenship or registered immigrations papers needed to obtain an ITIN. Some of the forms of identification that are accepted for applying are “Foreign Drivers License, Foreign Military ID card, and Foreign Voters Registration Card” (Internal Revenue Service).  Honestly the government would never in their right mind deport every illegal immigrant out of this country.  With numbers being close to 5% of American workforce being illegal immigrants, the economy could not handle a mass deportation.  Immigrants have to eat, bath, and be entertained too, they are not just going to sneak back over the border to spend American currency in their homeland. “Texas State Comptroller estimated that the 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas alone added almost $18 billion to the state's economic output” (Walter E.).  Immigrants make money here, pay the taxes, and then spend their money here.  From illegal labor America receives nearly 90 billion dollars a year paid into the system.  On top of that, since the labor force is illegal they are unelgible for most state or federally funded programs. That would make a substantial dent if all were deported.  Not to mention if there were no illegal aliens worker for lower wages, everyday product prices would skyrocket further pushing our economy into a recession.  For instance a head of lettuce cost about 2 bucks (depending on where it came from) without the cheap labor to harvest, that same head of lettuce could very easily double or even triple in price.  Needless to say Americans would not be happy with that, heck $3.00 for a gallon of gas was making Americans upset.

            This all leads to why America has so much illegal immigration in the first place.  Fernando Guarez a United States Citizen from Mexico explained that it would have been probably a lot easier to just jump the boarder like everyone else does.  Only a few of the people ever get caught if it is done right.  Most cases the people that do get caught; nothing ends up happening to them.  Fernando further explained “My mother spent 4 years and $15,000 just to obtain temporary citizenship for the both of us.  Most of us down in Mexico are not lucky enough to have that type of money, and the people that do have the money do not want to leave Mexico.”  He explained that the risk of getting caught a couple of times is well worth the chance of not getting caught and being able to start over in America, “The Land of opportunities.”  Fernanado also informed me that most of the conditions in which the immigrants flee from are completely unsanitary.  “The stereotype of 15 Mexicans living in one apartment is true, a lot of them pull their money together and some try for citizenship...  Since they are already illegal they need to find someone that can pay them so they take what they can get.  It feels like the American employers are exploiting them…” Fernando Guarez.

            Although illegal immigrants are portrayed as leeches by most, there is no possible way that deporting all illegal immigrants could even possibly remotely help the economic situation that our country is currently in.  In the state of Texas, the illegal workforce has generated 18 billion dollars to the state’s economic output in a single year.  How about instead of spending the “illegal’s” tax money on more reasons on why we should deport,  why do we not start paying down the national debt that clearly needs to be addressed before illegal tax payers.  How many times have you gone to the doctor to get an x-ray of a bone?  That x-ray may never have happened if it were not for an immigrant bringing his knowledge and tenacity to the United States.  If you had three children how far would you go to try to provide them with a life that so many others enjoy mere miles away?  You already know it can be done, and the living conditions alone would be worth the risk.  Better yet, you child broke their arm and you are speeding to the hospital.  A law is still being broken either way you look at it.  Just how beneficial is breaking that law to the individual’s right to live?

Works Cited

"Census Bureau Asks That Immigration Raids Halt for 2010 Count." ALIPAC Fighting Against Illegal Immigration. 17 Aug. 2007. Americans for Legal Immigration. 09 Apr. 2009          <http://www.alipac.us/article-print-2474.html>.

"The Economic Contribution of Illegal Immigration ." A Free Voice. 9 June 2008. 09 Apr.            2009 <http://freevoiceonline.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/the-economic-contribution-of-  illegal-immigration/>.

Guarez, Fernando. "Immigration." Telephone interview. 29 Mar. 2009.

Internal Revenue Service. 03 Apr. 2009 <http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1915.pdf>.

"Michael Pupin." Columbia University in the City of New York. Columbia University. 03 Apr.     2009 <http://www.columbia.edu/cu/physics/about/main/one/michaelpupin.html>.

Walter Ewing,  Mark Krikorian. (2008, September). ARE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GOOD      FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY? New York Times Upfront, 141(1), 28.  Retrieved April 9,     2009, from Children's Module database. (Document ID: 1553569161).


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Comments 8 comments

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Too many people are confusing immigration and illegal immigration as one in the same. They are not.


misterwriter123 profile image

misterwriter123 6 years ago

honestly i think more and more (illegal) immigration will bring a very poor economy and more on the streets with unemployment and with this oil spill rates of fuel will go up and more people in this counrty the prices will keep going up!


NoAmnesty 6 years ago

The fact of the matter is that here in the US we no longer have the wherewithal to accept everyone who wants to come here. Immigration is only good so long as we can support the numbers who are coming here without lowering the quality of life for those who are already here. Illegal immigration is never good and should be stopped now.


Mexicano619 5 years ago

I thought that Americans were nice and cool. But what happen to the word peace in this world? We Mexicans don't make a lot of money in Mexico like you cool people. Some Americans are nice to the Mexicans. But some Americans are not nice to us.If you guys are nice to us we will be nice to you guys.

Can we be friends in this world.


francisid 5 years ago

people leave their country of origin with a purpose,and they always believe it's for the better.if immigration (legal,that is) is controlled,then it could bring good results to the host country.But if the immigrants population swells,the host country might indeed burst.


Jessicapotter24 profile image

Jessicapotter24 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Great Writing!! Every one of your point was valid and effective. Particularly "Legal or not this nation owes a great debt to immigrants" is very very true. America is a country that has been shaped by the immigrants. They are one of the main reasons for the country's massive strides in every sphere.

However, illegal immigration is sure a headache for the country. A comprehensive immigration reform is one effective approach to this problem. Also if the Americans were willing to take up even the low paid jobs, then the number of illegal immigrants may decline.


3 years ago

let them be free


Nadia Ribadu profile image

Nadia Ribadu 22 months ago

The "New World" and its founding was NOT about immigration. It was about the wholesale slaughter of the indigenous peoples to TAKE the land from its inhabitants. Aside from the wresting of this vast land, it was about Europeans fleeing persecution and lack of religious freedom, only to establish slavery. Because of struggle which brought on change, America and the way it wished to be viewed around the world, as "exceptional," has changed and become a "beacon of hope" for people around the world who wish to partake of freedom of speech and laissez faire-style capitalism. Immigration writ large has happened since time immemorial. It happens because people want better lives and opportunities, and people will never stop attempting to emigrate, borders notwithstanding.

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