Amnesty is Unacceptable

immigrationImmigration is nothing new to our country. We have people from all around the world that come to America to live the “American Dream.” Even my own family migrated from the Philippines and established the grounds that my family now lives on. If it were not for them coming here I would not be living this wonderful life. However, that was decades ago and times have definitely changed since then. As our country’s economy has flourished so has the population, with not just U.S. born citizens but immigrants as well. With the rising concern of the growing number of immigrants in the U.S., the Senate has finally approved a bill for immigration reform. The decision is now left in the hands of the House, where republicans are not so easily convinced.

Currently the House of Representatives are debating whether or not they will pass the immigration reform bill approved by the Senate. There are a number of arguments concerning the new proposal, but the main issue lies in granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. The bill proposes that it will allow a pathway to undocumented immigrants to earn their citizenship over a period of time. So, the immigrants that essentially broke our laws coming into the country will be rewarded with citizenship. Granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants is injustice towards the people of America and does not benefit the people to the degree that the bill proposes.

There is no disagreement on the fact that America needs immigration reform since the last one passed back in 1986. However, these new changes should not be taken lightly and must be looked at with careful detail before making anything permanent. After presenting both sides of the argument it will be clear why granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants is not the right decision.

A study conducted by Jeffery Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, concluded that there are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S (Clark). If the immigration reform is signed this will mean that all those immigrants that illegally entered our country, will be pardoned for their crime and granted a pathway to citizenship. This means after going through a series of events, an undocumented immigrant will have earned their U.S. Citizenship despite the fact that they crossed illegally. Once legalized, the newly granted U.S. citizen can now legally petition for more members of their family to enter our country, and then they can petition for more family members and so on (Ball). Roy Beck gives a captivating demonstration using gumballs to establish an exaggerated effect of mass immigration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE). At this rate, our country will become so heavily populated with people from other countries instead of our own.

Supporters argue that the increase in citizens will in turn boost our economy (Olympia). Undocumented immigrants are forced to work under-the-table jobs since they cannot legally work in our country. This affects our economy because taxes from their earned wages are not being paid by both employee and employer. Therefore, after being granted amnesty, undocumented citizens will be able to work legally and contribute to taxes which will in turn help boost the economy. This may be true, however, the claim about an increase in demand for goods and services is questionable. How can there be that much more of an increase in goods and services if the number of undocumented immigrants does not change, except for their statuses changing from undocumented. They are living in our country consuming our goods and services on a daily basis whether they are undocumented or not. Perhaps, over a long period of time we may see some changes, but immediate changes will bring more benefit to the undocumented immigrants than the already established U.S. citizens.

Another concern has to do with welfare benefits. Once amnesty is granted and citizenship is given there will be a need for a new welfare plan because the already low budget funds for welfare and social security will need to be divided amongst a greater number of citizens. These newly established citizens, whose lineage has not been with the U.S.but with their native country, will be able to share the benefits that Americans have earned through generations of taxes paid by themselves and their families before them. Our country has founded an amazing welfare system that assists individuals and families that are in financial need. These benefits are one of the great things about America and are provided through government funding which is collected through taxes. So, there are undocumented immigrants who have been living in the U.S. illegally, working under the table not paying taxes that are going to magically earn U.S. citizenship and then become eligible to reap the wonderful government benefits. This is all win-win for undocumented immigrants. What is the benefit for the U.S. citizens, if any? Economic studies are giving provisional estimations which may be true in correlation with an increase of population, but does that increase in population need to be at the expense of granting amnesty? If the government is so eager to give out citizenship why not lower the requirements necessary to become a citizen.

Lastly, there is the issue of employment. How will job availabilities change once undocumented immigrants are able to go out and work wherever they please. Representatives of the White House proposes that it will actually provide more jobs because entrepreneurs and high-skilled immigrants migrant to the U.S. and start small businesses which creates jobs (Munoz). True, but this again has nothing to do with granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. If there are undocumented immigrants working at an undesirable environment they will quickly leave that job as soon as amnesty is granted to apply for a better one. Businesses are more likely to hire immigrants because they are willing to work low-paying jobs that Americans are not willing to. The notion that more jobs will be available lies in the assumption that after passing the bill immigrants will open small businesses which will then in turn create jobs. Again, this is an ideal situation but is not a guarantee.

Immigration reform is a highly controversial issue with many views and opinions. Roy Beck, journalist and public policy analyst, is the executive director of NumbersUSA and is committed to stop immigration reform. I am not against immigration. I know that our country has been built upon immigration. I for one, am thankful for being born a U.S. Citizen thanks to my grandparents migrating, legally, to Hawaii. Granting amnesty to those who broke our law coming here is unacceptable. The only people who benefit the most by passing that law will be those who broke the law to begin with. There is no anger towards these undocumented citizen living here. Obviously we live among them on a daily basis without knowing. It just would not be right to give them a free pass when there are so many immigrants out there who are doing it the right way, the legal way. If the undocumented immigrants want to become U.S. citizens they need to obey the laws like everyone else and get in line. We cannot give away free passes.

 

 

Works Cited

Ball, Molly. “The little group behind the big fight to stop immigration reform.” Theatlantic. Web. August 1, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/the-little-group-behind-the-big-fight-to-stop-immigration-reform/278252/

Clark, Krissy. “Who are the 11 million undocumented immigrants?” Marketplace. Web. August 1, 2013. http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/who-are-11-million-undocumented-immigrants

 

Munoz, Ceclia. “The economic benefits of fixing our broken immigration system.” Thewhitehouse. Web. August 1, 2013. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/10/economic-benefits-fixing-our-broken-immigration-system

Olympia Meola Richmond Times-Dispacth. “White House says immigration reform would boost Va. Economy.” Timesdispatch. Web. August 1, 2013. http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/central-virginia/white-house-says-immigration-reform-would-boost-va-economy/article_f3f305b7-8fe0-54b2-8ecc-b52b9fda91fb.html

 

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