The Influence Of Immigration On The United States

In today’s modern era, immigration has become one the most important aspects of any great nation in the world and without immigrants, no nation in the world has survived on its own. Through immigration many nations in the past have achieved enormous economic growth and experienced the diversity of different languages, cultures, races and religion, which as a result, has shaped their overall structure. However, in many countries, the rise of immigration has also become the cause of many national problems, such as crimes, terrorism, low employment, and overpopulation.

The United States of America is known in the world as the land of immigrants. It has been built from the bottom up by the Immigrants who founded the land of America and shaped the culture, the economy and the whole infrastructure of our nation as we know it today. Because of this great image, the world has recognized the United States as a great nation and people around the globe have known it as the land of opportunities for a better life.

“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.” Mitt Romney

Millions of people from all over the world have emigrated to the United states in the past century with the dream of building an overall better life for themselves and for their families or to have religious freedom. Immigrants with formal education, talents and skills have greatly impacted America in lifting its economy and broadening its job market. Whether it was Albert Einstein, who proposed new scientific laws or Sergey Brin, who founded Google, both had the opportunity, the resources and the freedom to learn and showcased their talents and skills in the United States of America. No other country around the world has provided this many opportunities to immigrants as the United States where they can learn any skill they desire, work any place they want, become a scientist or an artist, become an entrepreneur by starting their own businesses, or even get elected in the office. Last year, almost half of the startup companies and newly created businesses were founded by immigrants alone. “More than half of the high-skilled technology workers and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are foreign born.” (Daniel Griswold, 2018). One of the most famous immigrants the United States had in recent times was Elon Musk, who founded Tesla Motors which made world’s first all-electric car and shifted the whole automobile industry. The number of immigrants working on a low wage job are higher than American born citizens as the immigrants consider a low wage pay better than what they were making at their home country. Further immigrants have diversified our nation with different languages, races, cultures and religion and made our nation the most diversified in the world while making a global connection with the people of the world.

“People come here penniless but not cultureless. They bring us gifts. We can synthesize the best of our traditions with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce a better America…” Lyndon B. Johnson

On the other hand, immigration has become a huge problem for the United States in the past years. Our nation has been through many terrorist attacks one of which was the attacks of September 11 in which a lot of people died from different nationalities. It was a national tragedy and greatly affected the people of America. After those attacks the whole outlook on immigrants was changed and the immigration system for new immigrants were made stricter and more difficult. It also increased the number of deportations which has since continued to double every year.

Also, millions of illegal/undocumented immigrants have traveled and resided in the United States and have used its resources and benefits paid by legal immigrants, citizens and the government. They have worked under the table and have not paid their taxes or have lived solely on government welfare. With the rise of illegal immigrants, the nation has also seen rise in criminal activities. Illegal immigration has given rise to drug trafficking, crimes, terrorism and other illegal activities which has affected the whole nation. In the past, illegal immigrants have also relied on aids provided by the government such as medical aids and food stamps which are paid by the taxes of legal immigrants and citizens. In many cases, undocumented immigrants have taken away many low wage jobs from legal immigrants and citizens where the company they are working for doesn’t require any form of education or proof of residency from them. In order for citizens to have low pay jobs, the minimum wage has to be increased.

To battle with the immigration problem, president Trump has taken many strict actions against illegal aliens and has also put many restrictions on both legal and illegal/undocumented immigrants while making the immigration process more difficult and time consuming for new immigrants. In 2019 alone, the number of visas issued decreased by 50 percent as compared to 2018. In order to deal with undocumented immigrants from Mexico, president trump has issued an order to build a wall on the 1,954-mile-long us Mexico border to prevent illegal aliens from entering the United States. Trump has also issued an order prevented undocumented from receiving any welfare. Greened card holders might not receive their citizenship if they accumulate benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps. To stop terrorism in the united states, Trump has also issued the order for travel ban which banned immigration of several Arab countries from the middle east and Africa. President Donald Trump also proposed a merit-based immigration system such as Canada’s which might be a solution to the immigration problem, as each applicant would have to be judged with respect to their age, qualification and work experience, which might ensure that the united states would allow only skilled immigrants to the United States while contributing to the betterment of the nation.

However, this thought contrasts with the idea of freedom for those who are underprivileged in their own countries. Those who can’t live freely, who can’t practice their religion, who face oppression because of color or race, who don’t have any means of income, who can’t receive formal education or skill and who can’t raise their children and family. Those are the type of people who hope to move to the land of the United States with the dream of having a better life with better opportunities. 

As mentioned in the beginning of the paper, our nation’s growth has depended upon its immigration and its openness to welcome people of any language, color, religion or race from all over the world. Trump’s strategy to deal with the immigration problem might help a little but it has more cons than pros. Our immigration system needs proper modernization to welcome more people rather than restricting them and to legalize illegal aliens who have contributed to the betterment of the United States. With the help of proper training of new immigrants and immigration reforms, the immigration system can be made better and more secure for the United States.

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…” George Washington

The worthiness of an immigrant can never be determined by which country they are from, what education they have or what amount of wealth they own. A worthy immigrant must be one who abides by the law and the constitution of the United States, who works and pay his/her taxes and contributes in the prosperity and future of the United States. The progress of our nation depends on immigration.

“Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.” Robert F. Kennedy  

16 December 2021
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