United States Should Be Against Immigration Research Paper

Pages: 6 (1887 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

Immigration: Why the United States Should Be Opposed to It

Today, the U.S. plays host to millions of both legal and illegal immigrants. Those who oppose the current levels of immigration include but they are not limited to labor advocates and nativists. While labor advocates are concerned that some U.S. citizens could lose their jobs to immigrants, nativists are convinced that immigrants of non-European descent could threaten the American culture going forward. However, there are those who are of the opinion that the current immigration levels are both acceptable and perhaps beneficial. Those in support of immigration include humanitarians, religious activists, and a number of corporate entities. While corporate entities in support of the prevailing levels of immigration are chiefly beneficiaries of the same via cheap foreign labor, humanitarians and religious activists cite the need to respect human rights amongst other ethical considerations. Two or three decades ago, the immigration debate was largely focused on illegal immigrants. However, the said debate has recently shifted to also include legal immigrants. In general terms, any nation's immigration policy should ideally address not only the relevant ethical and humanitarian concerns but also other equally important issues of an economic and cultural nature. This is more so the case given that every government has a duty to protect not only the happiness but also the well-being of its citizens. Towards that end, the relevance of revisiting the immigration debate cannot be overstated. This is more so the case given that the same has been accused of not only decreasing job availability but also pilling downward pressure on wage levels.

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TOPIC: Research Paper on United States Should Be Against Immigration Assignment

According to the International Organization for Migration, the term 'migration' does not have an assigned definition (8). This effectively means that the definition of migration could vary depending on the context and/or intended meaning. However, for uniformity purposes, the United Nations according to the International Organization for Migration recommends that a "migrant be defined for statistical purposes as a person who enters a country other than that of which he/she is a citizen for at least 12 months, after having been absent for one year or longer" (8). This is the definition of immigration which will be adopted in this text. According to Miller, the immigration policy of the United States has thought history been founded on two contending views (174). One of these views in the words of the author "advocates that the United States should serve as a refuge for the world's dispossessed" (Miller 174). The key argument in this case is that in some cases, some individuals are forced to flee their home countries as a result of war, harsh political undercurrents, or unbearable economic conditions. Towards that end, it is only fair for the United States to offer safe abode to such individuals. This is largely an ethical argument in support of immigration. The other contending view often advanced in support of immigration according to Miller is that the immigration policy should be formulated in such a way that it benefits the United States via the admission of individuals who contribute positively towards the economic and social advancement of the country (174). As the author further points out, this view recommends the exclusion of immigrants who may end up becoming a burden. In basic terms, this argument favors the admission of immigrants based on what contribution they would make to the country. In the opinion of Coates, immigrants who have no specialized skills should be seen as an additional burden for taxpayers (181). The central argument in this case is that based on their level of skill or knowledge, some immigrants could make significant contributions towards the continued success of the United States as an economic powerhouse. The immigration policy should therefore be designed to encourage the admission of highly educated individuals or those who have a specific set of skills which would be of specific benefit to the nation.

Why the United States Should be Opposed to Immigration

In the words of Miller, "the United States has admitted almost twice as many immigrants and refugees as all other countries combined!" (134). In my opinion, the admission of such a high number of immigrants cannot be without accompanying costs. If this is indeed the case, the U.S. immigration policy is in desperate need of review. However, the need for the said review cannot be identified without first having a look at the folly of admitting such a high number of immigrants.

To begin with, there are those who have in the past opposed immigration on the grounds that the same affects job availability for native-born workers. According to Chen, the United States immigration policy and law has in the recent past demonstrated a particular inclination towards job skills deemed beneficial to the economy of the country (94). This approach in the opinion of the author differs from the previous one in which case the emphasis was largely on family reunification. Indeed, of all the developed nations, the U.S. has in the recent past attracted the highest number of skilled immigrants (Poston and Bouvier, 217). In my opinion, embracing the immigration of skilled workers effectively decreases available job opportunities for well-educated Americans. Although the economy could benefit from such an immigration policy, young college graduates seeking jobs could end up being the real losers. To bring this very issue into perspective, Chen points out that the change in policy has in this case "contributed to a large influx of highly skilled workers from India, Taiwan, and China" (94). Whichever way one looks at it, this will inevitably lead to an increased competition for jobs. According to Horn and Schaffner, business entities have in the past been known to employ immigrants due to their willingness to work for lower wages than native-born employees (271). In that regard, employers are more likely than not to employ immigrants as opposed to native-born workers in an attempt to enhance their profitability.

It can also be noted that the economic benefits the U.S. reaps from permitting the immigration of highly skilled immigrants could be countered by the burden such individuals occasionally impose on the country's social welfare systems. Further, some immigrants may find it hard to immediately get employment and thus resort to doing menial jobs to support their families. The income derived from such jobs may not be reported for tax purposes. This effectively denies the destination country the much needed income. In that regard, the projected economic benefits of embracing immigration may not be realized at all. Hanson is convinced that reducing immigration may help lower the fiscal burden (36). Closely related to this is the claim that crime rates tend to increase with an increase in the number of immigrants. As Krohn, Lizotte, and Hall note, increased immigration to cities in the U.S. should according to what is referred to as the social disorganization theory lead to higher crime rates (233). It is however important to note that this argument has been questioned by a number of authors. For instance, Siegel is of the opinion that previous research has clearly shown "that immigrants are actually less violent than the general population" (66). However, conventional wisdom tells us than not all the immigrants who are welcomed to the U.S. get employed immediately. Some may be motivated to pursue some illegal deals to make ends meet in a foreign country. This is yet another indicator that the cost of immigration might as well override the benefits of the same.

The argument that immigration could make positive contributions towards the social advancement of the country is in itself misleading. A nation largely claims its national identity from the ethnicity of its inhabitants. There is often no guarantee offered that the assimilation of immigrants into the destination country's population will be successful. Indeed, there are those who have in the past argued that a nation's culture could be distorted by immigrants as they gradually replace the existing culture with that of their own. In the words of Morrow, "the face of the United States is changing" (117). As the author further points out, minority numbers in the U.S. are rapidly growing and for this reason, it is estimated that non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered by the said minorities by 2042.

It is also important to note that in some cases, immigrants may end up being worse off than they were in their countries of origin. According to Kirch, migrants in some scenarios "may have to cope with temporary or permanent loss of contact to family and friends, disconnection with language, culture, homeland, loss of status, and loss of contact with their ethnic group" (925). This could lead to both physical and psychological stress which could in turn trigger other stress related complications. As Kirch further points out, migrants moving from one location to the next could "ultimately 'adopt' the health profile and risk factors for disease of the local population" (925). Developed countries like the U.S. are known to have a significantly high incidence of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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