Opening the US Border Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1666 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Opening the U.S. BOrder

The enforcement of the borders of the United States has been a debated subject during the Obama Administration. Whereas the current administration is engaged in a very complex process of reducing and eliminating illegal immigration, the focus of the policies should be turned in a different direction. In this sense, the United States should open up its southern border and substantially reduce or eliminate the extreme immigration restrictions placed on Mexicans as doing so would actually provide significant economic benefits for the country. These may include benefits in terms of economic activity, contributions to the economy, as well as saving the money which otherwise would go on border enforcement.

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The situation at the moment in this area is strictly related to the Obama Administration's policy on immigration. More precisely, the aims are firstly, to ensure a proper responsibility from the federal government in terms of arming the state borders with Mexico, secondly to eliminate the illegal hiring of undocumented workers, thirdly to create a sense of responsibility for all those willing to live illegally in the United States, as "undocumented workers who are in good standing must admit that they broke the law, pay taxes and a penalty, learn English, and get right with the law before they can get in line to earn their citizenship" (Barack Obama.com, 2010). Indeed, the last point of the Administration's plan may indeed be a marching point for the illegal immigrants. However, aside from the final point, all the other principles of the reform of President Obama cost the nation money and they are not effective enough to justify such payments. Moreover, these principles fail to take into account the benefits Mexican workers in general bring to the economy.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Opening the US Border Assignment

Firstly, the issue of immigration is not solely a matter of human rights. It represents in fact a an economic calculus as well. Simply put, the reasons for Mexican immigration is the result of poor conditions in Mexico. Thus, "many individuals come from poverty-stricken towns in Mexico and desire to come to the United States to achieve the "American dream." For many, just gaining employment at a low wage job in the United States provides a much higher standard of living than in their home country. During the 1980s, the United States saw a significant increase in illegal immigrants from Mexico. The immigration influx was not limited to Mexicans from one specific region but rather from communities all throughout Mexico" (U.S. Illegal immigration support, 2010). Therefore, it can be pointed out that one of the most positive aspects of immigration would be cheaper goods as a result of less expensive workforce.

The aspect of low wages is not necessarily a matter of legal or illegal immigration. It may be more an issue of being a citizen or not. Thus, Mexican immigrants tend to accept lower paid jobs particularly because even a reduced salary ensures him or her a better standard of living. The solution would not be to allow illegal immigrants but rather to reduce the restrictions and the physical barriers for an easier access in the country.

Secondly, the costs for maintaining a strict surveillance and security border patrol is immense. More precisely, the human resources deployed at the Mexico border are significantly higher than the Canada border. In this sense, in 2006 "Of the approximately 11,000 Border Patrol agents, 89% work along the U.S.-Mexico border (...) in a recent speech on immigration reform, President Bush pledged to add 6,000 more Border Patrol agents by the end of 2008. In the interim, 6,000 National Guard troops will be sent to the southern border to provide support services to the Border Patrol, such as construction and surveillance." (Migration Information Center, 2006). The 2006 Secure Fence Act aimed at providing increased security in terms of logistics and equipment. Therefore, adding on former president Bush, the Act states that "Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors" (Secure FEnce Act 2006, 2006). The constant efforts made by the state to enforce the border with Mexico transformed this project into a clear cut objective of the Presidential administration.

There has been a wide debate in terms of the actual costs of the plan to reinforce the immigration policy by ensuring a better control of the Mexican borders. Some sources argue that "maintenance costs over the next 25 years are estimated at $49 billion" (Shiflett, 2010); others argue that "a 2,000-mile state-of-the-art border fence has been estimated to cost between four and eight billion dollars. Costs for a wall that would run the entire length of the border might be as low as $851 million for a standard 10-foot prison chain link fence topped by razor wire. For another $362 million, the fence could be electrified" (Global security, 2010). In any case, the border seems to be extremely costly for a time when jobs are being lost as a result of the ongoing economic crisis.

Aside from the high costs the initiative entangles, there would be positive aspects of the encouragement of Mexican immigrants in the country. It must be underlined that there is no support in terms of accepting illegal immigration; however, the costs incurred to stop the illegal immigration are far greater than a slow American economy can support. Yet, the consideration of ensuring a safer and easier access of the Mexican immigrants in the country would ripe benefits for the economy. More precisely, "illegal immigration into the United States is a highly profitable proposition for both employers and the U.S. government, and it also benefits Mexico, which is the largest source country of undocumented immigrants into the U.S." (White, 2010).

Hiring illegal immigrants is illegal; yet the Wal- Mart case in which the company was fined with 11 million dollars for having hired illegal immigrants came to prove that this is a common practice in the U.S. Indeed, as stated above, the Mexicans, given the poor situation in their own country, are willing to work for smaller wages than the ordinary American. From the point-of-view of the business strategy this is a positive aspect because, by cutting down on the production and distribution costs, the prices of various products is lower. Moreover, there is little demand for certain types of jobs usually accepted by Mexicans; this in turn provides a constant labor force among the Latin population. From these points-of-view, hiring Mexican immigrants benefits the economy, at different levels. At the same time however, the policy must be adapted to such an extent as to ensure that they are hired on a legal basis and not clandestine.

The issue of legal hiring of immigrants is also an important factor for supporting the idea that eventually the immigration policy must allow for better and more inclusive laws for immigration. There is a wide population of illegal immigrants, and in particular Mexican ones. According to official estimates, there are approximately 10 million people working in the U.S. which are labeled at illegal immigrants. Should these people be granted the right to work inside the U.S. The taxes on the revenues would also increase. At the same time though, if they were to be expelled, there would be no profit in terms of tax revenues.

Finally, another important aspect for which the immigration policy should be more opened is related to the actual costs of applying is the fact that illegal immigrants, once arrived in the United States, tend to have a subversive impact on the job opportunities precisely because they are willing to work for less. In the current conditions of the economy, job creation must ensure a relaunch period and not in a quest for jobs.

Furthermore it can be pointed out that there are obvious gains… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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