The immigrant status in the 21st century faces a lot of issues on the views that people hold regarding their presence. The same case applies to the refugees who have faced tremendous turmoil due to war. Some of the factors that have influenced people to seek for better living conditions include poverty, dictatorship, lack of human rights, and poor leadership. The rise in the number of immigrants in the U.S. has resulted in plenty of debate on the impact of immigration on the nation and its citizens. Nonetheless, several attempts have been made by the U.S. government to handle immigration. Immigrants are beneficial in the sense that they provide labor in the public sector and agriculture. However, the resources are strained when it comes to the annual budget. Also, some analysts associate immigration with an increase in crime rates and terrorist attacks. With the annual increase in immigrant population, the view is that the U.S. will suffer immensely from food shortage and inadequate resources. The fact that the U.S. is a global leader does not give it the obligation of answering to the needs of all countries. There is the need for countries to stabilize their systems such that their people live in good environments that promote progress. The focus of the analysis is on the pros and cons of immigration policies in the U.S.
It is important to note that on an annual basis, the U.S. receives a large number of illegal immigrants who mostly use the Mexican border. In the article How Immigrants become other, Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco, highlight the issue of illegal immigration concerning aspects such as poverty and conflicts in the areas that the immigrants emanate from. The illegal immigrants give birth in the U.S., and hence the children become U.S. citizens by birth. It becomes difficult to consider deportation since children are involved. The scholars include the methods that the immigrants reach the U.S. soils. They state, Immigrant optimism springs eternal. While some fly in with documents and visas and simply overstay, more immigrants come undetected through the southern border (Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco 670). In other words, the main methods are the refusal to return to their respective countries and sneaking through the Mexican border. Some of them obtain help from traffickers or third parties by which they pay large amounts of money to get through undetected. The scholars state, Whether the journey begins in Fujian, China, or on average more than a person a day dies at the southern border attempting to cross (Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco 670). The view is that immigrants risk a lot including their lives to ensure that they reach the U.S. soils and look for ways for improving their lives.
Immigration exhibits several implications, especially among the immigrant families. One of the effects is the labor conditions that the illegal immigrants are subjected to. Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco state, Unauthorized immigrants have always been called upon to do the jobs on the dark side of the American economy (Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco 668). In other words, they get to do the dirty jobs possibly with the fear of being deported. The scholar highlight the cleaning of the damages made by Hurricane Katrina as an example of the jobs that are given to immigrants. The immigrants suffer from the stigma associated with such work in the sense that any work that is unfit for the American citizens is accorded to them (Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco 668). The children also suffer immensely especially when waiting for their parents to receive approval of being the U.S. citizens. It is perceived that about 79% of immigrant children are born in the U.S. Also, the number of children born from mixed status has increased over the past few years. Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco explain that the number increased from 2.7 million to 4 million from 2003 to 2007 (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco 671). Children whose parents are immigrants live with the fear of their parents being deported and hence separation from their families. Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco include the examples of an eleven-year-old boy, Mathew Parea, and Heidi, a twelve-year-old girl who narrate their fears and psychological turmoil of being separated from their parents due to the immigration status (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco 671). The scholars explain that the children are among a hundred thousand children separated from their parents through deportation. The scholars state They face an impossible choice no child should have to make-staying in the United States with the relatives or to go with their parents to a country they do not know, (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco 671). It is perceived that children who have witnessed the deportation and detention of their parents undergo behavioral issues such as anxiety, poor eating and sleeping patterns, anger, and frequent crying. The also experience poor living conditions and insecurities. Also, children whose parents are illegal immigrants are unable to access some of the educational benefits due to the status of their parents while the parents always receive huge penalties (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco 672). It can be perceived that immigrants face plenty of challenges in trying to make ends meet in the U.S.
Immigration is viewed to present plenty of benefits to the U.S. despite the views of most people that it negatively impacts the American citizens regarding resources. Immigrants bring the country brain gain through their creativity and innovation capabilities that overwhelm the associated costs. According to the article, The cost and benefits of immigration, for a long time, immigrants have played a significant part in enriching the economic, cultural, social and economic life through various aspects in the United States (The cost and benefits of immigration 2). The presented recommendation is for the U.S. to put up policies in favor of the benefits associated with immigration such that the nation benefits from immigration instead of developing negative attitudes towards the immigrants. Education, sports, and philanthropy are among the factors that have benefited from immigration. The associated immigration costs include competition in the job market and other resources in addition to the negative attitudes that critics have on it (The cost and benefits of immigration 18). Nonetheless, the benefits outweigh the costs.
There is the need for managing migration on the economy and any potential conflict. Martin and Taylor, in the article Managing Migration: The Role of Economic Policies, explain that there are ways of managing illegal immigration, but they require time. The scholars present the view that increase in employment opportunities and economic growth may decrease the pressures associated with immigration but plenty of time is required to reduce the costs associated with migration. They state, The key conclusion is that the trade and investment policies that hasten economic and job growth must be maintained even in the face of the sometimes perverse short-term effect of having emigration increase temporarily when a country puts itself to on the road to long-term growth, (Martin & Taylor 95). In other words, policies that focus on economic and employment growth have to be set up to reduce the pressures felt regarding immigration.
From a personal viewpoint, life as an immigrant has been different when compared to my peers who are U.S. citizens. I have had to put more effort when it comes to acquiring education benefits, fitting in social groups and proving that I am indeed an illegal immigrant. I moved to the U.S. through an invite by my grandmother after the Vietnamese war. Moving into the U.S. implied adapting to the new environment and trying to lead a life without causing any problems. The stay in the U.S. has made me make some adjustments and improvements in my life; especially when it comes to receiving education.
As stated earlier, the focus of the analysis is on the pros and cons of immigration in the U.S. Immigration is an issue that still presents debates in the political forum. People in favor of immigration view it as beneficial when it comes economic, cultural and intellectual growth. Furthermore, immigrants have been part of the U.S. for quite some time and have contributed largely to its progress. However, some people view immigration, both legal and illegal, as a threat to the American citizens especially when it comes to accessing basic resources and employment opportunities. From a personal perspective, the idea of the government formulating policies that favor the benefits associated with immigration makes logical sense especially with the brain gain obtained from them. Nonetheless, strict measures have to be employed on illegal immigration to prevent people such as terrorists from accessing the American soils.
Martin, Phillip L. & Taylor, J. Edwards. Managing Migration: The Role of Economic Policies, pp. 95-115
Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo M. & Carola Suarez-Orozco. Rereading America Cultural contexts for critical thinking and writing-How Immigrants become other, pp. 667-672.
The Costs and Benefits of Immigration, pg. 1-20
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