The Effects Of Immigration On The United States Of America 

Debate over immigration and immigration policy is not new to the nation's history. There are many examples in the history of United States of America of heated controversies over the nation's immigration policy. Sparked by many events from overflow of immigrants from Germany and Ireland to illegal immigration from Mexico. How has immigration impacted immigration policies in the United States of America? What are the causes, consequences and legal context of immigration? It is evident that immigration has caused a lot of tention in America which resulted in nations immigration policy to evolve over time.

During the 1990s immigration into the United States has been increasing rapidly, which created a heated controversy over the nation’s immigration policy. Critics stated that the immigrations policy is in need of radical and immediate overhaul. Illegal immigration specifically has angered many groups. Conservatives demanded that the border between Mexico and the U.S. be sealed. It is difficult to state the exact number of illegal immigrants in this country, but it is estimated to be as high as twelve million. All the illegal immigrants are eligible for educational, medical, and welfare benefits. The issue of illegal immigrants has already entered American politics. It was a factor in Pere Wilsons reelection as governor of California, and it seems bound to be an issue in the many informative and provocative articles that make the immigration issue clearer in its many aspects.

The biggest most obvious difficulty is the impossibility of border control. The Coast Guard can't effectively police every mile of our coastline. The United states now has over three thousand federal borders. In one year, the border patrol intercepted 1.2 million would-be immigrants from Mexico. None of the caught illegal immigrants from Mexico are incarcerated but instead are all sent back with the option to try to cross the border again. 100,000 to 600,000 illegal immigrants a year evade capture. If the intercepted immigrants keep trying, the odds are increasingly in their favor. Although border control is not a complete solution to immigration problems, giving up on border control is not a good option. All industrialized nations have an “immigration problem” for similar reasons. United States of America welcomes immigrants when labor markets are tight or when service work needs to be performed cheaply. The country welcomes immigrants sometimes without restriction through an official guest worker program. In the past it was easy to send immigrants back when they finished their work because their wives would always be waiting for them at home. However, now women don’t want to stay at home anymore and instead want to come north to work with their husbands. Since 1987 alone, the number of Mexican women attempting to cross the border illegally has doubled, while the number of men has not changed. A consequence is declining return migration for men. It becomes hard to break networks linking immigrants with their home country when an immigrant group establishes a presence. United States of America prioritizes legal immigration to “family reunification”, which means that immigrants can bring their relatives to America at the head of the line. Workers amnestied under the 1986 law became eligible to bring in family members which totaled to several million additional legal residents. Immigration flows are even more immune to policy influences because the relationship between economic status at home and the tendency to migrate varies from society to society and from time to time.

By 1980, one-third of working-age persons born in Puerto Rico had migrated to the mainland. The migrants were Puerto Ricans who had below-average education levels, and they were more likely to be unemployed before leaving the island. Economists Alida Castillo-Freeman and Richard Freeman stated that it's because Congress raised Puerto Ricos minimum wage so high that island unemployment increased. All of the jobs that remained only employed the most qualified workers. People who were able to get a job chose not to migrate and accepted a relatively good pay at home. Everyone else was left on the streets and consequently migrated to America. Congress established a high minimum wage for Puerto Rico and basically determined that it was a better idea to bring unskilled Puerto Rican migrants to New York than to create and send New York jobs to Puerto Rico.

There are two big topics that fuel the debate over immigration policies. One is that immigrants draw more on public services than they contribute in taxes. The second is that immigrants take jobs from the rest Americans. It is impossible to precisely calculate immigration flows to match domestic employment needs. Local government is burdened by immigrant services. Over 10 percent of California's immigrants are on welfare, and over 25 percent of southern California's jail population are immigrants. However, at the same time United States national budged is becoming more dependent on immigrant taxes. Total border control is unreasonable, and wont completely solve immigration problems. As candidate Clinton realized, we can't hope to design a coherent immigration policy.

Occasionally, Congress pushed the legislation to control the flow of immigration. An 1882 law excluded Chinese from entry. In 1924, the Johnson-Reed Act set national quotas that were followed for many years, that gave half of all places to British residents, and excluded Asians altogether. The Immigration Act of 1965 reduced the proportion of Immigrants from Europe to 10 percent and allowed the bulk of new immigrants to come from Asia and the Western Hemisphere. Then came the Vietnam influx, and the Refugee Act of 1980, which brought the Cuban refugees. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 provided amnesty for pre-1982 illegal immigrants. In any event immigrants will continue to arrive and United States will need to adjust immigration policies to accommodate.

There are several piecemeal policies United States can execute that address some of the problems with immigration. These reforms might combine with other political and economic developments to slow the “push” of immigrants from sending countries, provide some additional protection for native workers in those few industries where competition with immigrants is a reality, and encourage more honorable and responsible treatment of immigrants, who, in any event, will continue to arrive.

07 September 2020
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