So, what does illegal immigration basically mean? Well, it is the migration of people to a foreign country, where they are not legally eligible to do so or extend their stay (refusing to leave) for more than the period that is given to them. According to the US Department of Home Security, those who are involved in illegal immigration are non-US residents who either crossed the borders without inspection or are those who were given visas to stay for awhile, but overstayed instead of leaving.
The US has been facing the issue on illegal immigration for so many years, and as of the latest reports, there are already about more than 12 million illegal aliens in the country, with a million migrating illegally on a yearly basis. Among these numbers, more than half of them are those who have entered on legal means, but then extended their stay without applying for an extension.
As for the rest, they have made their way into the country through borders, risking their lives cramped up in trucks or literally crossing the borders. In spite of all these things, the government still tries to make it better for illegal immigrants and, of course, the country. Regulations and policies have been changed over the years, with President Barack Obama giving decrees of amnesty that grant illegal immigration law exemptions to a particular percentage of undocumented aliens.
This issue has been a topic of hot debates for quite some time now, where proponents and opponents are pushing their sides to prove whether it is good or bad for the country as a whole. Here are the pros and cons said by these individuals:
List of Pros of Illegal Immigration
1. It brings in undocumented aliens who are willing to take all types of work.
With the goal of making the US the “land of milk and honey”, undocumented aliens would work on jobs that the average American would not want to take, which means that there would be fewer delays in delivering goods and services. When it comes to performing cleaning tasks, household chores, feeding pets and taking care of the older people, these individuals would take on these types of work willingly. And knowing how hectic the schedules of most working Americans are, it helps to get support from these people.
2. It contributes to a richer biodiversity and culture.
For some people, having a mixed culture in a country is a great thing, which is why they are mostly in favor of illegal immigration. As you can see, these immigrants would bring in their culture and unique skills to the US.
3. It means more taxes from illegal immigrants who work.
Those illegal entrants who can find work in the restaurant business, home care, automobile shops and other fields will have to pay taxes to the bureau. Having them stay illegally definitely allows them to compensate the government in some way. Apart from this, they would also have to open bank accounts and purchase what they need, such as a vehicle, on which money and taxes can greatly help the country’s economy.
4. It helps the country’s economy.
As stated by proponents, illegal immigrants would work for cheaper labor, not to mention that they are also often the hardworking bunch as they are likely saving money for their families back home. Now, with a labor force that will more than suffice the employment needs of the country, companies will be able to increase production and reach targeted sales, booming which is good for the economy.
5. It would entail additional costs when these illegal immigrants are deported.
Some supporters claim that if all people who are overstaying in the US are deported, then it will cause a lot for the country, not to mention that the process is going to be not that simple. It would be difficult for the country to afford such expenses, knowing that there are other important issues it has to focus on.
List of Cons of Illegal Immigration
1. It allows undocumented aliens adding to the population.
Opponents of illegal immigration argue that the increasing number of illegal immigrants, with some having children, will add to the overcrowding means of transportation. Also, students who illegally enter the US would be granted with scholarships, which legal immigrants better deserve, making situations more unfavorable to many people.
2. It heightens the threat of crime and terrorism.
It has been argued that the US is already faced with national issues, such as terrorism threats. Though not all illegal aliens are bad people or terrorists, there are certainly some who would come to the country to try to instill fear among other citizens and commit crimes. In fact, there have been reports of hundreds of crimes involving illegal immigrants.
3. It is a violation of the law.
Critics are fueled with the decrees of amnesty to be granted to illegal aliens, stating that it is an intolerable act. They base their opinion solidly on the fact these people entered illegally, thus violating the law, and should therefore be not allowed to stay longer.
4. It can cost money.
Those who oppose illegal immigration contend that taxpayers’ money is spent on paying for deportation and border patrol. Also, they say that the medical expenses of poor illegal immigrants are paid for by the government, on which money used also comes from taxpayers. Other negative financial aspects of illegal immigration they add include medical attention given to these immigrants without insurance and the care needed by children of these people who are going to be deported.
5. It encourages illegal immigrants to take jobs away from Americans.
Critics of illegal immigration say that because of the influx of illegal workers, the number of unemployed Americans has been increasing. As you can see, employers tend to favor illegal immigrants over legal residents because of longer work hours and cheap labor.
The highly debated issue on illegal immigration is far from ending, with developments related to it occurring from time to time. Arguments from opposing groups would still be existing, as policies keep on changing and immigrants keep entering the country from different parts of the world. To be able to come up with clear solutions to this issue, leaders and designated government sectors should take the ups and downs of illegal immigration.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.