A Controversy Over Whether Immigration Is Good Or Bad For America

Immigration has become a more controversial topic of interest as it is increasingly seen on the news and social media. As the immigration laws increase, and more immigrants are being deported, many people have become further conflicted on whether immigration is a boon or a bane. Leaning more to the right, people believe immigration is hurting America by immigrants taking away jobs, killing the American culture and in general hurting the American society. While the left believes immigrants do unwanted jobs, expand the culture, and overall help the society.

First, most of the articles give examples of how the workforce is highly affected by immigration. The right side tends to be the people that say immigrants are stealing jobs from Americans that are born in America. For instance, there is a type of immigrant called a skilled immigrant. According to the article, “Immigration, America’s Advantage,” by Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven, they are the ones that work “mostly in the technology, science and engineering fields.” Republicans tend not to favor skilled immigrants, since those particular fields are the fields Americans frequently want to pursue. On the flip side of that argument, the left side believes that it is beneficial for immigrants to proceed work in America. The article also says, “immigrants come at the beginning of their working years, and a few come with elderly parents, which immensely helps our worker-to-retiree ratio”. Right now, the ratio is declining and will only become worse if there is not any immigration. The worker- to- retiree ratio is building because of immigration. Thus, causing an argument that those same workers will do the jobs most Americans do not desire to do. In addition, it is said in a different article, “If Liberals Won’t Enforce Borders, Fascists Will,” by David Frum, that “immigrants supply almost half the workers in the most dangerous fields.” Furthermore, it is also argued in the article, “The Forgotten Conditions of Citizenship,” by James V. Schall, that “at many levels of the American workforce, the ones who do the physical labor, is Latino.” The left side believes that Americans who are born in America do not like to dirty their hands. So, they appreciate immigrants that are willing to do those jobs so they should be allowed to stay in America. The last argument made about the work force considering immigrants is the pay. The left side sees immigrants as a great way to save money when paying certain workers. Most of them agree that “lower- earning immigrants displace the Americans who used to do the work at higher costs”. They think that immigrants do not really care about how much they would be paid since it will most likely be better than where they came from. But, to oppose the left point of view, the right side points out that immigrants can sometimes get paid extra just because they are not from America. The Alantic gives an example of, “a laid- off Ohio manufacturing worker contemplating relocating to Colorado to seek a job offer… is likely to discover that the move offers no higher pay, but much higher rent. An immigrant from Mexico or the Philippines… wage gains would be significant”. The right side sticks to the point of view that the people who are not white Americans receive special benefits for being an immigrant; causing them to go against immigrants working certain jobs. So, the right side normally disagrees and does not want immigrants working in America. All in all, the right and left sides both have opposing views about how immigration affects the job force.

The next topic that gets brought up with immigration throughout the articles, is how it is changing the American culture. Most conservative supporters have determined that immigrants are changing the culture for the worse, while liberal supporters believe that it actually helps the diverse culture in America. A strong opinion that is commonly heard by the right side is found in an article called, “Trump has Spread more Hatred of Immigrants than any American in History,” by Tyler Anbinder, saying, “America must be kept America.” The more right side have the idea that immigrants are making America less American and forcing it to become too diverse. Another quote that stood out to support this idea is, “state boundaries are not just lines in the sand. They define different ways of life. They allow diverse manners of living, either good or bad, to exist and to flourish”. Americans further on the right trust that there are boundaries for a reason, and the separate cultures staying separate is a benefit. In comparison, the left side have confidence in immigrants being the ones who shape our country's culture. One article says, “it takes courage to leave your country and cross an ocean. Most immigrants do it not for themselves but for their families. That kind of selflessness and risk- taking is a perfect American skill set, perfectly reflecting our national character”. This is exactly what most left side citizens believe America to be, so it would not be uncommon for them to think immigrants can be the ones who help with the diverse culture. They also support the idea that America’s culture is distinct because of all the people who come from other places and bring their own ideas.The next argument that gets brought up about culture is how much it is seen throughout the states. In the Atlantic article, Frum provides an example from former president, Barack Obama said. He said, “when I see Mexican flags waved at pro- immigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flash of patriotic resentment”. Republicans see this quote and use it as evidence that immigrants will not always support the American culture and form to the patriotic values. They oppose immigrants because they believe that if they come to the country they should not still support the country they came from. On the contrary, the left side sees that this is a way of the freedom the immigrants have wanted, and a right that they earn when they come into America. They feel that immigrants should have the freedom to express themselves the way they would like to and are making it more distinct. Nevertheless, the right and left sides both have contrasting views on whether or not the culture is changing for the good or bad based on immigration.

Lastly, both sides commonly disagree on how immigration is changing society. The first point that is brought up is, “a lack of a common spirit combined with rapidly changing numbers of civil groups that do not assimilate into the established way of life will radically change any society” (Schall). This point of view is seen more by the right side than the left. The right acknowledges that all the different immigrants that come into America may not always have the best intentions when it comes to the society. Some of the right believes immigrants do not follow the social customs, or even a hundred percent support America, making them lean to the idea that immigrants are actually killing the society. Supporting this statement, an article says, “they bring crime; they import poverty; they spread disease…”. They are convinced that people who come from different parts of the world bring unwanted substances from the country they originated from. It is seen that some Americans are hesitant on what is in other countries, and they do not know the character of some of the immigrants who come to America, making it hard for the right side to accept them. In contrast, the left side sees the immigrants more as people just like them and do not go straight to defining them as harmful. A questionnaire that was done in the article “Americans Are Not as Divided or Conservative on Immigration as You Might Think” by Erik McGregor, resulted in, “liberal and moderate whites, in response to the welcoming treatment, felt more at home and less likely to want to move.” The left side is more trusting and do not view immigrants as invaders, making them more apt to feel safe and not stereotype immigrants. The article, “If Liberals Won’t Enforce Borders, Fascists Will” gives the detail, “in all the countries, it is the best- educated who yearn to leave”. It is seen that if it is the intelligent people coming to America, they can actually benefit the society and would not harm it. Another point of view that is brought up concerning the society is the cost of immigrants living in the United States. The left side sees it as a positive by saying, “immigrants have more children than do native- born Americans, and their children, too, will pay into our social security system”. They view it as the more people who come into America, the increased amount of people there are to pay for items and taxes, giving America the opportunity to gain more money. On the flip side, the right side brings up the point that they can cost more than they can give. The Atlantic says, “each immigrant costs his or her state and local governments $1,600 more a year… than he or she contributes in revenues”. So, the right side sees that immigrants cost more to live in America than what they actually contribute to society. Furthermore, it is brought up that “under present immigration policies, the U.S. population will exceed 400 million by 2050. Nobody is seriously planning for such population growth -- building the schools and hospitals these people will need, planning for traffic they will generate… environmental consequences either”. With more people moving into the United States, there needs to be more resources for them. These resources cost a lot of money to build, making the right side lean more towards immigrants being a bane to the society. So, both sides of the argument have different views on how immigrants contribute to society and if they are actually helping it or not.

In conclusion, there are many different viewpoints on whether or not immigration is helping America or actually destroying it. The two main sides of the topic are mostly skewed left or mostly skewed right. The right tend to lean more towards the views that immigrants take away jobs from Americans born in America, they change the culture in America, and that they are actually harming the society. The left tends to see that immigrants take the jobs that Americans do not want to do, they help make the culture more distinct, and they provide more people to help raise the economy. In other words, it is a very controversial topic for many people on whether or not immigration is a boon or a bane.

16 December 2021
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