Vanessa Labrada 11/16/11 FYS 138 Professor Lodge The Melting Pot The debate of illegal immigration in the United States is one that is plagued with many details, and one that sparks a huge amount of controversy among politicians and citizens alike. While it is an issue that many argue about, few people are actually knowledgeable about the subject and have facts to back up their opinions. According the Center for Immigration Studies, the “unauthorized resident immigrant population is defined by all foreign-born non-citizens who are not legal residents” (CIS).This definition incudes people who emigrate from countries all over the world; it is not exclusive to those who come from Mexico and surrounding Central and Southern American countries. Although the numbers from such neighboring countries are greater because they are in closer proximity to the United States, they are not the only immigrants illegally entering the country.

Also, their presence in the country is not as harmful as opponents of illegal immigration make it out to be.Cons of illegal immigration include a higher unemployment rate among Americans, overcrowding in schools and hospitals, and the burden that immigrants become when they use services such as welfare and Social Security, leading to a loss of American taxpayers’ money. America was founded on a system of secured liberties and laws. The Constitution protects the citizens of the United States, but does not extend its reach to non-citizens.

As a result, people that illegally immigrate to the United States from other countries must resort to unlawful methods to live and prosper here.They arrive here and steal the jobs of deserving Americans, which in turn increases the unemployment rate for Americans. By taking these jobs, they are creating unfair competition for less-skilled American workers, because employers would prefer to hire the worker that would cost them less. This displaces a vast number of American workers, and also, lowers the wages that employers are willing to pay. Secondly, illegal immigrants reap the benefits of programs and services intended for lawful citizens when they use programs such as welfare, food stamps, Social Security, public schooling for their children, or emergency medical care at hospital. This forces American citizens to pay more taxes in order to fund these programs.

America is already suffering through one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. It cannot afford to support illegal immigrants and their families in addition to its citizens. However, these cons are outweighed by the benefits that immigration from outside countries can bring to the United States. While it would be ideal for immigration to become legal, there are simply not enough resources and funding to make every illegal immigrant a citizen of this country.

The fact of the matter is that immigrants come here looking for a better chance at life, and a better paying job to support their families. The risk their lives in coming here, and are treated as less than humans when they take up strenuous jobs. Those undesirable jobs are available for a reason; most Americans would not enjoy being a housemaid, a fruit picker out in the hot sun, a gardener, etc. Furthermore, undocumented immigrants do indeed contribute to the American economy. They and their families generate revenue as workers and consumers, and contrary to popular belief, pay the inevitable sales and property taxes.Most illegal immigrants are not even eligible to receive benefits from Social Security and other programs, because they do not have the required legal documents.

They do not have most of the benefits that legal workers have, because of they have no legal papers and for fear of deportation. The taxes they pay help fund the economy, and kicking them all out would definitely affect the economy. America was built on immigrants who wanted a better way of life, in terms of politics, economics, and religion. To deny these people a chance at improvement would seem to go against our founding ideas.Of course, it is impossible to offer every single immigrant American citizenship, but it seems fair to reward the workers that only want to make a decent income. Anya Martin and Michelle Carello’s play El Camino is love story based on the true story of two Pittsburghers and their plight as immigrants in America.

The issues of immigration are not black- and-white; there are many gray, in-between areas filled with facts and fictions. Immigration brings many benefits to America, by enriching our culture with diversity and stimulating the economy.Works Cited "BalancedPolitics. org - Legal Immigration (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages).

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"FAIR. " FAIR: Federation for American Immigration Reform. Mar. 2005.

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"Top 10 Pros and Cons - Illegal Immigration - ProCon. org. " Immigration ProCon. org - What Are the Solutions to Illegal Immigration in America? 13 Apr. 2009.

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