Immigration, Friend or Foe?

 

Heather Foley

Mexington, Kentucky

Steven Alvarez

April 1st 2014

 

Immigration: Friend or Foe

 

Immigration has sparked a huge controversy throughout today’s society. Many people, like me, are for immigration, but s far too many are still opposed to the idea of people coming to the United States of America. My goal is to influence people to encourage and support others to come to the United States of America to better themselves. I have truly learned a lot though out my mexington class and have passionately learned the reasons why I have been adrenalized to support immigration into the United States of America.

 Immigration Statistics

Immigration to the U.S 1820-2006

fig. 1: Immigration to the U.S 1820-2006

 

Immigrants create a good percentage of the people living in areas of the United States. Based on American Progress the Immigration population had a colossal growth over the past fifty plus years. AmericanProgress.org has also stated that since 2011 “ Broken down by immigration status, the foreign-born population in 2011 was composed of 15.5 million naturalized U.S. citizens, 13.1 million legal permanent residents, and 11.1 million unauthorized migrant.” There is almost as many immigrants living in the Unites States as there are natural born citizens. The website has also communicated that 2 out of 3 immigrants came to America before the year 2000. Most of the Immigrants living among us have been living in the United States for well over the past 14 years. AmericanProgress.org has also expressed that around half of the undocumented immigrants living in the United States have received a high school diploma or higher.

The United States started calculating how many people came to America in 1850.Migration Policy has given me a lot of facts and statistics that have educated me on immigration in the United States. The website has stated that immigrants make up about 13% of our population. If you want to get technical then that’s roughly 40 million out of the US population of 309.3 million people.

Many immigrants come to the United States in order to work and send money back to their family in their respective countries. It is considered their version of the American dream. If there is an abundance of immigrants doing this, then they should be allowed to get a visa that would allow them to come here and work without the fear of persecution. In 2011, over 59% of the immigrants in the United States had migrated from Mexico (CNN). Allowing these immigrants to work would cause a boost in the Mexican economy. Boosting Mexico’s economy would cause a decrease in Mexican immigration to the U.S. This is because the immigrants would no longer have to leave their country to be able to make enough money to support their families.

 

Border Patrol

 

Another issue in today’s society that is related to immigration is border patrol. In the next five years the U.S will spend $4.5 billion dollars on the border patrol program (ProPublica). “The priority mission of the Border Patrol is preventing terrorists and terrorists weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States.” states the Official Border Patrol website I believe this is a waste of money. That $4.5 billion could go towards building schools that are multilingual, or even bilingual which would help the children of immigrants who do not know how to read, write, or really speak English, This is important because those children did not have a choice in coming to America. Many of them were born in the U.S to parents that came here to make a better life. These children should not be punished for something that they had no control in. Many children are very small if they cross the border with their parents, they just do what they’re told, as to please their parents.

One other thing that the money currently being used to fund the border patrol could be used on is the national debt. The current debt amount is $17.2 trillion dollars (just facts). The 4.5 billion dollars could be paid to some of the countries that we have borrowed money from, which could allow our own economy to boost. An economic boost would allow more people to buy product which could lead to a long term economic stimulation that could potentially rid the country of debt after some time.

fig. 2: Border patrol employment

fig. 2: Border patrol employment

Another problem with the Border Patrol is the amount of money it takes to employ so many people. Statistics show that there is a steady increase in the staffing of the border patrol over the last 20 years. At the end of fiscal year 2010, the federal Department of Homeland Security investments in border security had grown to 11.9 million and included more than 40,000 personnel, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

DREAMers

 

One aspect that comes along with the issue of immigration is the DREAMers. The DREAMers are a group of undocumented Mexican-Americans who are fighting for their right to become citizens. Most of the DREAMers came to the United States as small children with parents who were looking for a better life. The DREAMers feel like they have the right to become just like normal american citizens. These DREAMers have went to american american schools, and have gotten a diploma. Some of them have even went to college, but without a social security number their degrees are worthless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These videos give an idea of what the DREAMers do, and what they are striving for. The DREAMers are a strong group of people that are no longer afraid to say that they are undocumented.

 

 

In conclusion, i feel like immigration overall a good thing. One thing that the American government could do to better immigration is to allow more immigrants to come to the U.S per year. Immigrants that want to come to the United States just long enough to be able to support their families, and to make a better life for themselves back in Mexico should be allowed to come to the United States with temporary visas. This will lower the overall immigration rate. The Border patrol should be disbanded, and that money should be used to not only help better our economy, but also the economies of places where the most immigrants are coming from. The DREAMers should be allowed to become citizens,as long as there are regulations put upon the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited Page:

Textual sources:

1)      “The Facts on Immigration Today.” Name. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

2)       Migrationpolicy.org.

 

Media sources:

http://web.mit.edu/cis/fpi_immigration.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/23/rick-perry/gov-rick-perry-says-federal-government-has-not-eng/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w2SPmIr61I

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