American society holds countless different views about illegal immigration and the effects on the economy. However, many people do agree on one thing—that the American immigration system needs to be fixed and that illegal immigration needs to be reduced. There is are widespread interpretations and ideas of what to do to fix or reform the system, and most begin with the fact that to fix the illegal immigration problem in America, we should first address the problems with the overall immigration system.
Some Americans strongly believe that all illegal immigration should cease as soon as possible, as well as lobbying for legal immigrants to be more limited as well. One opinionated citizen, Ronald Mortensen, creates a general profile of the typical illegal immigrant on the Center for Immigration Studies website. He describes this typical illegal alien as a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, often involved in gang activities, creates fake identification documents, expects Americans to conform to his native language, and he retains his culture and his flag. He is poorly educated, works a low-paying job, lives with many other illegal immigrants in an overcrowded apartment, distrusts the police, and demands special privileges. Mortensen complains that the wages that illegal aliens do earn are sent back to their home countries, which is bad for the American economy. He also discusses how 11 million children’s identities were stolen in Arionza by illegal immigrants. Mortensen does not want any type of leniency when it comes to illegal immigrant children who were brought here by their parents, and that all illegal aliens should be removed from our country and in no way be granted citizenship. Similarly to Mortensen’s views, this article discusses the economic burdens on American due to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants cost American about $113 annually, and costs the native American household $1,117 a year in extra taxes to cover these costs. Education to illegal immigrant children costs about $52 billion a year alone. This article says that no illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in American or be granted amnesty, as they are an extreme burden to our economy. This video, “The High Cost of Illegal Immigration” also shows a visual analysis of these facts.
Another interesting reform idea is from the group FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform). FAIR’s mission is “to improve border security, stop illegal immigration, and maintain a regular immigration rate to America to keep needs for country up.” The group aims to educated Americans on the illegal immigration impacts and advocate for a change in immigration policies in the United States. FAIR proposes many reforms that will help with the illegal immigrant problem in America and cut American costs on illegal immigrants. The organization agruges that illegal immigration is hurting the economy by increasing job competition while plunging wages, especially since illegal immigrants are entering the country faster than jobs are being created. Some of the policy changes that FAIR advocates for are as follows:
- No amnesty or mass-guest programs—the amnesty program in 1986 was a failure in America and undoubtedly will be again
- American jobs should come first—Americans should have the opportunity to fill open jobs before illegal immigrants, especially since employers should not hire illegal immigrants in the first place. We should fully punish the employers that break this law through fines, loss of corporate charters and jail for repeat offenders. Therefore, wages will increase for American citizens
- America should not allow family chain based immigration or unskilled laborers to immigrate, legally or not
- Allow a maximum of 300,000 migrants per year in order to stabilize the American population
- 5-year renewable green card system that would require filing of income taxes to keep the card active. Money generated from the cards would go towards funding the process (background checks, management services)
- Immigrant tax should be instilled on working immigrants to reduce the tax burden on American citizens
Overall, I think these are very interesting and certainly strongly opinionated views. They are not very similar ideas of reform with Obama’s ideas and it will be interesting to compare the two in my white paper.