Dealing with our illegal alien problem has been a large problem for our country. Out of 307 million people in America 11.1 million are illegally in the country. Some people think that illegal immigrants should be granted full amnesty without conditions. Others believe that they should be given amnesty as long as they abide by our laws and try to get citizenship. Still others think that all the illegal aliens should be deported immediately. As citizens of America we need to be informed of the statistics and issues surrounding illegal immigrants.
Illegal aliens come into the United States from several different places for different reasons. Currently about 60% of the illegal immigrants come from Mexico (“Fox News”) The Latin American countries represent 23% of the total and 5% come from Canada and Europe. (Passel, Capps, and Fix) Most of these people come into America seeking economic opportunities or free health care. Some sneak into our country specifically to commit crimes.
Each year our boarder patrol agents apprehend over a million people trying to illegally cross our Mexico-Texas boarder. (“American Patrol Reference Archive”) Because our boarder patrols have gaps, human smuggling into the US has become a business. Some Mexican drug cartels sell passage into the US for $1200 to $2500 for Mexicans and $45,000 to $60,000 for non-Mexicans. Robert Muller, the director of the FBI, claims that known al Qa’ida associates pretend to be Mexican immigrants and pay to cross boarder into the nation. (Pope)
Our laws have exasperated this boarder patrol problem by practically encouraging Mexicans to commit a felony and cross our boarders. For example, The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act states that hospitals can’t turn away anyone requiring emergency medical care regardless of their citizenship, status, or ability to pay. Because of this act many Mexicans cross the border for free Health Care. Each year hospitals close to the boarder receive 7,000 new cases of leprosy and 16,000 of tuberculosis from illegal aliens while paying legal residents must wait behind them in line.
In Los Angels County new emergency room cases from illegal immigrants cost taxpayers more that $500 per tax payer in 2004. Fox News says that “In Los Angeles County, patients can wait four days for a hospital bed and up to two years for gallbladder surgery”.. Insured, law abiding citizens must wait behind illegal immigrants for up to two years with these symptoms because of laws we have in place. In addition, 71 hospitals have closed down in California because of uninsured people using emergency rooms. Over 50% of the uninsured are illegal immigrants. (LaJeunesse)
Another illegal immigration problem that our laws create involves ‘Anchor Babies’. An anchor baby is a baby born of illegal parents in America. The parents hope that due to the child’s citizenship that they will also be allowed to stay in the country. The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution states that “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.” Because of the 14th Amendment “Anchor babies” are legal. (Wooldridge) There are currently 3 million Anchor babies in America. (Passel, Capps, and Fix) These babies cost 2.45 billion dollars a year for education and 1.75 billion a year to be born. (Wooldridge)
In addition to the anchor baby problem, a weak boarder enables Drug trafficking. The ability for Drug cartels to move over the boarder with relative ease has resulted in over 100 billion dollars worth of drugs being brought over the boarder and sold through over 11,000 gang members every year. (Wooldridge) Annually, over 2.2 million Kilograms of cocaine is brought over the Mexico-Texas border. (Pope) Also, 80% of the daily supply of marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin come from over the Mexican border. (“US Illegal Aliens”) While only 5.4% of Americans are Hispanic they make up 46% of the drug-trafficking arrests in America. (Pope)
Another huge problem that illegal aliens create in America is a sharp increase in crime rates. An astounding 86% of illegal aliens in the workforce that are apprehended for immigration laws violations have stolen American identities. In addition, 240,000 illegal aliens are convicted sex offenders. (Pope) Our state and federal prisons have 618,000 illegal immigrants that have been convicted of committing a deadly crime on American citizens. This imprisonment costs the US tax payers 1.6 billion dollars a year. These imprisoned illegal aliens make up 29% of all inmates in state and federal prisons. (Wooldridge) In 2009 35% of the illegal aliens deported were convicted criminals totaling 136,126 criminals. In 2010 (from January to June of 2010) 113, 453 criminals were deported that represented 49.9% of the total illegal aliens deported for that time period. (Slevin)
Gangs are another large problem in the U.S. and again illegal aliens have made the situation worse. For example, in North Carolina’s Hispanics only make up 7% of the population but they make up more that 22% of North Carolina’s gang members. One of the most powerful gangs in North Carolina is the MS-13 and they are 90% illegal aliens. They depend on the border smuggling to support their crimes. Nationally 49% of gang members are Hispanics and 66% of the Hispanic/Latino gang members are illegal. (Pope)
Fixing the illegal alien problem would have a large impact on America. If there were some way to instantly rid America of illegal immigrants, 57,000 cars a year would remain in the possession of the rightful owner in Phoenix alone. Also Thirteen Americans a day wouldn’t be killed by uninsured drunken illegal aliens and twelve more citizens a day would not have to die a violent death by the hands of non-citizens. (Wooldridge) In addition to those crimes another 8 children a day under the age of 18 wouldn’t have the emotional/physical scaring of being victims of sex crimes. (“US Illegal Aliens”)
Many illegal immigration proponents think that the illegal aliens help sustain the U.S. economy. They claim that the illegal aliens don’t use many government programs yet pay taxes to the government. It is true that illegal immigrants can’t receive social security and they pay sales taxes. But it is also true that they get free health care and their children get free public schooling while they don’t pay their income tax. Plus as already described illegal aliens commit a higher percentage of crime and increase the burden on our criminal system.
Another issue commonly argued by illegal alien proponents is that illegal immigrants take low level work that other Americans wouldn’t. Yes, it is true that illegal men have a higher employment rate than legal citizens at 96%. However, 6 million illegal immigrants are in the labor force and fewer than 4.3 million are in low wage jobs. This leaves over 1.7 million skilled jobs being taken by people illegally in the country. (Passel, Capps, and Fix) According to the laws of supply and demand if the 4.3 million illegal aliens working in low wage workplaces were removed then many businesses would be forced to pay their employees more. This would enable Americans to work more unskilled labor jobs. If this employment change happened, the prices of certain goods would rise. However, if all prices rose simultaneously while pay also increased it would not be economically consequential in the long run. Also the unemployment rate would be reduced by 58.9% to a mere 5.5%. The unemployment rate is based on the number of people without jobs currently looking for work divided by the number of people considered in the labor force. (“Seeking Alpha”)
Data shows that about one and a half million American teenagers (ages 16-19) are currently seeking work and are unable to find it. Almost three million Americans between the ages of 16-24 are seeking work. Generally teenagers and adults not yet out of college, (most people graduate between the ages of 22 and 24) work in the low wage jobs that illegal immigrants take. This means that if the illegal immigrants were removed from the workforce then almost 3 million of the 4.3 million low wage jobs would be available to American workers. Wages wouldn’t have to increase because so many of the jobs would be easily filled. In today’s job market many teenagers can’t get jobs quickly or when they want them and they become discouraged. If they stop searching for a job then they are then removed from the unemployed statistic. It’s likely that many of the discouraged American workers would also seek these job openings. Therefore, it’s likely that a large percentage of these 4.3 million jobs would be filled by American workers.
While illegal immigrants do keep the prices of certain goods low they cause many other problems in society. They bring hundreds of billions of dollars worth of drugs over the boarder every year. They smuggle anyone into the nation who is willing to pay. They increase crime rates drastically. They raise unemployment rates while stealing money from tax payers by using Health care and only paying sales tax. As a nation we need to take steps to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.
“Illegal Immigration is a Crime.” American Patrol Reference Archive. N.p., 11 Jun. 2006. Web. 13 Oct 2010.
(“American Patrol Reference Archive”)
LaJeunesse, William. “L.A. Emergency Rooms Full of Illegal Immigrants.” Fox News. N.p., 18 Mar. 2005. Web. 21 Oct 2010.
Passel, Jeffrey, Randolph Capps, and Michael Fix. “Undocumented Immigrants: Facts and Figures.” Urban Institute. N.p., 12 Jan. 2004. Web. 20 Oct 2010.
(Passel, Capps, and Fix)
Pope, John. “Illegal Immigration: Drugs, Gangs and Crime.” Civitas Institute. N.p., 2010. Web. 12 Oct 2010.
“‘Recovery Summer’: Nothing But Deficit of Hope for America’s Unemployed.” Seeking Alpha. N.p., 11 Aug. 2010. Web. 15 Oct 2010.
Slevin, Peter. “Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration.” Washington Post. Washington Post Company, 26 Jul. 2010. Web. 14 Oct 2010.
“Study Shows Illegal Immigrants From Mexico Staying Put Despite Overall Decline.” Fox News. Fox News, 02 Sep. 2010. Web. 20 Oct 2010.
“The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration.” US Illegal Aliens. N.p., 25 Sep. 2006. Web. 13 Oct 2010.
(“US Illegal Aliens”)
“Two illegal aliens charged with murder of South Carolina man.” Examiner National. N.p., 21 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Oct 2010.
Wooldridge, Frosty. “DAY WITHOUT ILLEGAL ALIENS .” News With Views. N.p., 25 Sep. 2006. Web. 13 Oct 2010.