Illegal Immigrants And The Necessity For Borders To Be Restricted
America is known as the melting pot country. There is a diverse amount of people here from all different nations and from different religious backgrounds. Everyone is accepted here. An American does not have a certain "look" about them. There is a huge sense of pride to be an American. That is what makes this country so great. Immigrants were what shaped the United States back in the 1700’s. With such a technologically advanced country, along with the amount of freedom the American people have, people from other countries want to migrate to the United States, where freedom of religion and of speech is allowed. But the population of the country is steadily increasing, posing the problem of over crowding. The population in the U.S. of immigrants from Mexico is rapidly escalating to be the largest immigrant group, with 54% of the six million illegal immigrants coming from the United States’ neighbor, Mexico (Andreas 8). Should stricter policies be enforced for Mexican immigrants wanting to cross the border into the U.S.? Or should the amount of border patrolmen be lessened and have an open border between the two countries?
Along the border there is a great deal of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, causing an uprising in illegal immigration. It is difficult to get across the border illegally, but there are several ways that these people have found to be successful. In 1993 the U.S. increased the number of patrolmen along the southwest border with "Operation Blockade" in El Paso, TX. The improved quantity of patrolmen was found to be working extremely well, it was put into effect elsewhere immediately, such as in San Diego, CA and Nogales, AZ. Along with this operation, they set up floodlights along 31 miles on the Rio Grande River. The military joined in and gave the government 180,000 metal sheets to construct a ten foot high steel wall in San Diego, and in Nogales, a fence was built that was fifteen feet in height along the border. All this was given by the military (Andreas 3). There was a lessened amount of illegal immigrants trying to get across the border. But what was not taken into consideration was that the numbers in the less visible and remote areas along the border had increased (Andreas 4). So while it seemed like this operation was working, in fact, it just lead the Mexican people to try and get through in other less obvious areas along the border. Another method in which Mexican citizens are crossing the border is by the use of smugglers. Smugglers hide people wanting to cross the border in their cars, trucks, semis, etc. Usually the immigrant’s family pays the smugglers, to help get people over the border. They are willing to take great risks in dodging border patrolmen (Andreas 4). As the amount of security around borders heightens, the smuggler’s interest increases in trying to get people across. The government has made harsher punishment for smugglers, trying to get them to quit smuggling people into the Unites States. The other way Mexican immigrants are getting into America is by getting a Visa. This is a legal way and it does take a while to be granted a visa. A visa is a document that someone needs to get when wanting to travel through, or into the United States. They will be given a stamp, which is the visa itself, with all the information on it (i.e. the visa category, date it was issued, date it expires, and the number of entries into the U.S. permitted). One must apply at an American Consulate to get a visa. Once the expiration date on the visa has expired that person is now considered an illegal immigrant or alien (Kimmel 12). Every year 150,000 people decide to reside in America illegally after their visa has expired (Andreas 7). Why do so many people come over to the United States? They come here to get a better life for their children, because it is better in America then where ever they came from. Most immigrants come to the U.S. for personal gain, to better their standard of living, or to get a better paying job.
Many Americans still cannot even fathom the amount of people that arrive here illegally and legally. There is a large sum of our population that is not native born, approximately 31 million foreigners in the United States today (Magnusson 1). The people who overstay their visa accounts for about 40-50% of illegal immigration (Andres 7). The total number of illegal immigrants is approximately six million, which means that they are make up 2% of the United States’ population. Of the six million, Mexican immigrants tally up to three and a half million of the total number of illegal immigrants. Most immigrants from Mexico usually end up in one of six places. They are either in California (40%) or among Miami, New York, Chicago, Washington, or Texas (Magnusson 1). On the other hand, legal immigration is much higher than illegal by being a total number of 274 million people, including immigrants that have become citizens to the U.S (U.S. Census Bureau 1). There has been an increase in new applications for visa citizenship by 50% in the past six years. The amount of unresolved applications has grown to a level four million applications (Tancredo 1). Immigration plays a major part in society today, and illegal immigration should be carefully looked over.
With so many illegal immigrants coming over to the U.S., many arguments can emerge from native-born citizens about the problems illegal aliens bring into this great nation. First of all, there is the argument of drugs and corruption of the people here. 25% of people in jail are in this country illegally (USBC 2). The taxpayers have to pay for these illegal criminals’ shelter and food. Besides being put in jail and American citizens paying taxes on them, they bring in large amounts of drugs. Within the past couple of years, drug trafficking across the Southwest border has increased dramatically, with huge amounts of narcotics trying to be smuggled into the U.S. Of all the drug apprehensions in America, roughly two-thirds are confiscated along this border (Smith 1). Besides crime, immigrants bring in problems with population. Since there is abundant proof that the U.S. is swamped with immigrants, problems have arose concerning how many people this nation can exactly hold. When will the food supply run out? Will there be enough land? How can the government support everyone that is on welfare? The list of questions can go on and on. But too many people are being allowed inside these crucial borders that cannot even speak the American language, but yet, they are considered citizens. Where is the pride in that? Because these people are coming over in thousands daily, new diseases that American people have not been exposed to are causing tensions on society (USBC 1). There is also the issue of taxpayers paying for illegal immigrants to be educated; in Florida, $21 million dollars is spent on education for illegal children each year. Aliens coming over to the Unites States are increasingly unskilled, poorly educated, and more likely to live in poverty and on welfare than a native born citizen (USBC 2). "By bankrupting America, we could bring about a standard of living in this country approaching that which the illegal immigrants fled" (USBC 4).
In the defense of illegal immigration, their life from where they came from was not a pleasant one. Most likely they were poverty stricken and thought they would be better off in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Many experts on the subject will argue that they are just as brave, if not even more brave because of what they have endured (Prophets Without Papers 1). They will do the work that most Americans do not want to do, and carry the pride in doing it, unlike most Americans. These immigrants will do anything to get the chance to live in a nation that so many Americans take for granted. Once, they romanticized in the nineteenth century for being immigrants and coming over from a new land to start a new and prosperous life, but today they are considered a menace to society. Because of what they have been through they are considered by supporters of immigration to be "the most modern Americans" (Prophets 2). Finally there is the everlasting argument that immigration is what made America the country it is today, so the more the merrier. Who cares how much the land can hold? These people are the history and the future of this nation. The believers of this idea have many strong points and arguments that should be taken into consideration when thinking about this topic.
Some Americans do not fit into either side of the argument. They are the people that believe that the U.S. should not close its borders, but yet, not open them either. This group of people think that stricter punishments and regulations should be put on the issue of immigration. They are neither against immigration, nor for it, but they realize the importance it is to have moderation. So what can be done? First of all, the immigrants that enter the nation legally with a visa, and then let it expire and still reside in the country should not be allowed to obtain employment, public education, public housing, or any other benefit such as welfare. Driver’s license should not be given out to illegal immigrants. If they want to remain in the United States and have the benefits a citizen does, they should go about it through all the proper ways. Those staying in America for an extended period of time should learn how to speak the language and know a good portion of this nation’s past heritage. Amnesty for illegal aliens should not be taken into effect, and hiring illegal aliens should be against the law. If this went into effect it is predicted that the number of immigrants wanting to come over illegally would drop (Tancredo 2).
With all of these fact and statistics, opinions and thoughts all out in the open, hopefully a resolution can come about. The answer to the question can never be certain and is left up to each individual to believe what he or she wants, as soon as they have all the facts, of course. What many Americans want is a balance between too many people and too many restrictions. Americans do not want to have to walk around with an ID badge saying that they are true to the red, white, and blue. This is a free country after all. So should the borders be closed, not allowing people to travel freely from country to country? Or should the borders be open, allowing everyone and anyone to enter this wonderful nation? Maybe there could be a balance of the two. At any rate, Americans should not look down upon immigrants, for their ancestors were once immigrants at a point in time as well. America cannot let immigrants over run this nation and allow them to blind the people of America of how this country became so great. Each and every American should be considered blessed to be an American citizen today. God bless the red, white, and blue.
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