Friday, December 7, 2007

What To Do About Immigration

The United States of America is a country that was built on immigration. Throughout the years, group after group has migrated to the United States in hope for freedom, or a chance at a new life. It is not until now, that the subject of immigration has been so greatly questioned. Our country has now set numerous laws concerning immigration, and has defined a process to become an American citizen. Since these complicated regulations have been put in place, there have been problems with illegal immigrants entering this country. The majority of these immigrants come across our southern border from Mexico looking for gainful employment and a shot at the American dream. This is where the topic becomes debatable. A large portion of the American population believes that these immigrants are hurting our economy, and we should block off our borders to prevent these aliens from entering our country. The remainder of the population believes that these immigrants are helping out country, or at the least not hurting it, and we should allow them to enter our country to help themselves as well as us. This issue has been debated back and forth by countless politicians, and citizens alike, with no solution achieved. From our point of view, there is only one way to fix this problem. Border security should be strengthened to prevent illegal immigration, but the process to obtain citizenship should be greatly simplified.

Many American citizens believe that immigrants are a drain on our economy. This side of the argument is mainly justified by the fact that illegal immigrants are not paying taxes. Immigrants sneak over the border, obtain jobs, earn money, and send a great deal of their money back to Mexico. This is taking money out of the US economy and putting it into the Mexican economy. Also, this side of the argument believes that illegal Mexican immigrants are taking jobs from deserving American citizens. Immigrants come across the border looking for work, and every one of them ends up working a position that could go to one the unemployed American citizens. While taking jobs from American citizens, it is also believed that these immigrants are raising our crime rates. By being forced to live under the radar, it is believed that these immigrants are stealing or using violence to obtain their needs. Lastly, this side of the argument believes that immigrants are draining our social security funds. They are not paying into the funds through taxes, but they are taking money out of it when they get injured or sick. These beliefs lead to a simple list of solutions. The first solution is to increase border security. Build a huge fence, and increase the number of guards stationed at the border to protect it. The next part of the solution is to track down every illegal immigrant in the country and send them back to their home country. With combining the two measures, the number of immigrants, and the effect that they have on the American economy could be drastically reduced.

The other side of the argument also has a very valid set of beliefs. This side believes that immigrants actually help our economy. These immigrants are taking jobs that American citizens refuse to do. Immigration does not cause more US citizens to be unemployed, it actually causes citizens to get higher paying, and more skilled jobs than they would if there were no immigrants. Immigrants also fill in a large void that is becoming more and more present in the American work force. As the baby boomers reach the age when they are to elderly to work, there will not be enough workers in the American workforce to support them. People are now living considerably longer than they have in the past, and families are having fewer children. Due to these factors, the group of people at working age is far smaller than it needs to be. With the influx of new immigrants, more workers suddenly become available to support this large group outside the working age. Without immigrants, the elderly and children would be forced to take part in many tasks simply to supply the needs of our nation. Immigrants not only balance out this void, they also help to keep our everyday costs low. As our nation becomes more and more technologically advanced, there are fewer people who are willing to farm. The farmers who do stay in the business are having more and more trouble finding workers to assist in their fields. This is where immigrants are very beneficial to the farmers. Immigrants are willing to farm and work very hard for their money. These immigrants are also willing to work for lower salaries than American citizens would be willing to work for. American citizens do not see the amount of money offered to be worth the strenuous labor that is required for farming. Mexican immigrants are willing to work for these wages, because it is still significantly greater than what they could make in their home country. By accepting to work for these wages, these immigrants keep our foods at prices that we can afford. If American farmers had to pay the wages that American citizens demand for that type of labor, the prices of our food would skyrocket our economy would plummet. Farmers only survive because they have immigrant labor that they can depend on to work for wages that they can afford. These immigrants are not only helping us, their most important task in this country is to help themselves, and their families. These immigrants have risked their lives entering our country simply to find a job. If work is not available for them in their home country, how can we just send them back for their families to starve to death? The United States helps countries all around the world with whatever problems they might face, why can we not help the Mexican citizens who cannot find a job to support their families? Even if we could somehow answer yes to these questions, it would be extremely costly to track down these illegal immigrants and send them back to their home country. This would be far more costly than this nation can afford, and would be a gigantic hit to our economy. This so called problem is very likely to work itself out anyways. Mexico is a developing country, and as it develops, more jobs are becoming available. As more jobs develop in Mexico, fewer people will be forced to immigrate to the United States, and many of the immigrants already here will return to their home country and obtain a job. From this point of view, immigration is helping our country and the immigration problem will work itself out in time. There is no need to waste tax money to send these immigrants back to their home country.

Each of these two sets of beliefs has a strong basis, and could be right in numerous aspects. Unfortunately, both sets of beliefs cannot be followed at the same time. This is where it becomes necessary to mediate to determine a solution. While this does mean that each side must give in on some of their beliefs, it also means that both sides have an equal say in the situation. In this situation, there is truly only one way to compromise between the two sides. Each side has very firm beliefs, and neither one will be completely satisfied with the result, but some type of compromise must be made to bring this debate to an end.

Illegal immigrants are taking money out of our economy by sending it back to Mexico, but we do need the extra work force. We do not need to be giving these immigrants tax free money, but we should be giving them a chance to better their own lives, and the lives of their family. There is only one true way to make this happen. The United States needs to greatly simplify the process to become an American citizen. The long waits to be accepted or even considered as a citizen need to be done away with. If immigrants could be accepted legally without the long wait and the countless difficult processes, then immigrants would be less hesitant about applying for citizenship. If these immigrants were made legal citizens, they would still add the crucial numbers to our work force, as well as continue to help the diminishing farming market, but they would be paying taxes. Along with making the process to become a citizen easier, border patrol should be increased. Whether it is in the form of a wall, or more guards, this would prevent the number of illegal immigrants from entering, and would encourage the immigrants to apply for citizenship instead of risking their lives. The simplified process of becoming a citizen should also be advertised in the US. This way, the immigrants that have already entered could apply for citizenship and stop operating under the radar. This provides the immigrants with every opportunity to succeed in America, but gives the American government the opportunity to monitor and keep track of what is going on in our country.

Illegal immigrants may or may not hurt our economy. It is true that there are positive and negative consequences of having these immigrants in our country. While there is no way to truly get rid of every negative consequence while keeping the positive aspects, this solution does come close. If this plan were to be carried out, our country would become more united, and although the plan does not perfectly follow either side, it is something that both sides could support. Immigration built this country, and with the proper changes, it can continue to help the US thrive today.

· "Illegal Immigration." Center for Immigration Studies. 14 November 2007.
· 1 December 2007. 1 December 2007 .
· Sullivan, Bob. "The Voice of Identity Theft Victims." 31 March 2006. The Red Tape Chronicles. 14 November 2007.

Newspaper Articles:
· Pinkerton, James. "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN; Zero tolerance, major impact; End of 'catch and release' on border strains courts and jails, but proponents applaud effort." The Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX) (Nov 20, 2007): 1. Custom Newspapers (InfoTrac-Gale). Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .
· Waldmeir, Patti. "Home-baked solutions to illegal immigration LEGAL COUNSEL Patti Waldmeir. (BUSINESS LIFE)." The Financial Times (June 13, 2007): 12. Custom Newspapers (InfoTrac-Gale). Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .

· Long, Robert Emmet. Immigration to the U.S. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1992.
· Fairchild, Henry Pratt. Immigration, a world movement, and its American significance. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1913.

Scholarly Articles:
· Hebel, Sara. "McCain Reverses Position on Immigrant Tuition. (John McCain)(Brief article)." The Chronicle of Higher Education 54.11 (Nov 9, 2007): NA. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .
· Church, George, and Laurence Barrett. "Send back your tired, your poor...." Time 21 June 1993: 26.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mediation Brief

Thesis: American borders need better protection to prevent the incursion of illegal immigrants, but the process to become an American citizen also needs improvement.
Illegal immigration is a double-sided sword, but an agreement can be made between the sides. On one hand, there are people who believe in enforcing all border-patrol laws and do not want any illegal immigrants coming into America, because of the resulting consequences of having an excess of unaccounted people. On the other hand, there are the people who believe that immigrants are doing Americans a favor by performing cheap labor. Well, there just may be a way to mediate the sides.
On the first hand, where people are against illegal immigration, the borders will receive better protection against the incoming of illegal immigrants. Looking at one of the major points of this issue, most countries have enforced immigration laws to protect their own well-being. If immigrants are easily crossing our borders just looking for a better place to live, imagine how easily terrorists are able to get in. We, as Americans, still need to put our country first before deciding to help others.
On the second hand, where people are for allowing immigrants in to America, the process to become an American citizen should be enhanced. This country was founded on immigrants, so why are we making it so hard and time-consuming to let honest people enjoy America? If the process is improved, American government will be able to track these people and keep better statistics and data on how many immigrants we can allow into America. Right now, people are just coming in as they please and no one can keep track, but if the process is improved, then maybe America will be better able to handle the influx.
By making these revisions, the two sides begin to merge. Borders will no longer be open roads available to anyone and everyone, while immigrants will be receiving better service when it comes to becoming an American citizen. Jobs would be dispersed more fairly. Immigrants could finally join their families or begin new ones, without illegally crossing borders. Another plus for Americans, by increasing the flow of incoming American Citizens, is that they too will be paying into Social Security and not only taking out like the majority did before. By taking out the illegal aspect of the issue, America can better handle these immigrants and they too can assimilate into America better.

· November 2007. 14 November 2007 .
· "Illegal Immigration." Center for Imigration Sudies. 14 November 2007 .
· Sullivan, Bob. "The Voice of Identity Theft Victims." 31 March 2006. The Red Tape Chronicles. 14 November 2007 .
Newspaper Articles
· Pinkerton, James. "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN; Zero tolerance, major impact; End of 'catch and release' on border strains courts and jails, but proponents applaud effort." The Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX) (Nov 20, 2007): 1. Custom Newspapers (InfoTrac-Gale). Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .
· Waldmeir, Patti. "Home-baked solutions to illegal immigration LEGAL COUNSEL Patti Waldmeir.(BUSINESS LIFE)." The Financial Times (June 13, 2007): 12. Custom Newspapers (InfoTrac-Gale). Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .
· Long, Robert Emmet. Immigration to the U.S.. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1992.
· Fairchild, Henry Pratt. Immigration, a world movement and its American signigicance. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1913.
Scholarly Articles
· Hebel, Sara. "McCain Reverses Position on Immigrant Tuition.(John McCain)(Brief article)." The Chronicle of Higher Education 54.11 (Nov 9, 2007): NA. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. Clemson University. 3 Dec. 2007 .
· Church, George, and Laurence Barrett. "Send back your tired, your poor...." Time 21 June 1993: 26.

Monday, November 19, 2007


THESIS: Illegal immigrants are far more beneficial to this country than they are given credit for, and laws should be less strict on their immigration.

A large percentage of American citizens have the “kick them out and keep them out” opinion when it comes to illegal immigrants. The thing that these people do not realize is that these immigrants can actually help our economy instead of hurting it, as they are so widely publicized to do. Also, keeping these people out is being very inhumane to them. There are countless reasons why it would be beneficial to all if the immigration laws were relaxed and these immigrants were given a fair chance. Some of these reasons include:

1. The average age of American citizens is rapidly growing. Between improving healthcare for the elderly, and a lower number of children per family, the number of working age citizens is on the decline. If this number decreases too low, our country will be unable to provide for the elderly and children who are unable to work. Allowing more immigrants to cross the border and work on American soil can help to balance out this problem and lessen the stress on American workers.

2. Another number on the decline is the number of people farming in America. As our society becomes more technologically advanced, and as cities grow larger, more and more farmers are leaving the profession. On top of this, the farmers that do stay in business find less people willing to work in their fields. Illegal immigrants are the only thing keeping many of these farmers from going out of business. Also, illegal immigrants help keep our food prices low. Illegal immigrants are very often willing to work at lower salaries than American workers, therefore allowing the farmer to sell his goods at a lower cost.

3. One of the largest complaints about illegal immigration is that these immigrants take jobs from American citizens. While in some cases this may be true, these immigrants usually fill positions that American workers do not want. While this may sound like a very large generalization, it is true. Many farmers and contractors cannot afford to pay out the wages that American workers demand; therefore American workers do not show interest in the position. By immigrants filling these positions, the immigrants are raising the wages that are paid to American citizens. Illegal immigrants are generally hired as low skilled laborers to avoid companies that require legal residency. This opens up the more skilled positions to the current residents; therefore, earning them a greater pay rate.

4. It is often said that illegal immigrants are “stealing the American dream” from American citizens. To those who support this belief, I must ask if it is worth killing these people to avoid this from happening. This is exactly what is happening with added border patrol. Many key sites on the Mexico-United States border have added extra security to ensure that no illegal immigrants enter. Though this may have helped the problem, it is impossible to patrol the entire span of the border. This is leading these immigrants to crawl through the blistering heat of remote desert locations on the border for a chance at making it to America. Many immigrants have died simply trying to get to a place with a job. Have illegal immigrants caused enough harm to us for us to force this fate upon them?

5. My final reason that immigration laws should be relaxed is that the immigration problem is likely to work itself out. The high level of immigration is due to the poverty and unemployment rates in Mexico at this time. Mexico is a developing country. As the country develops, more jobs will open up, and fewer immigrants will be forced to enter the United States to find employment. Many immigrants will return to their home country to be with their family when they are certain to find employment.

These are simply a few reasons that immigration laws need to be relaxed. If it were easier for these immigrants to enter the United States, it would be very beneficial to them as well as our country. Immigrants are not a drain on the American economy, they are a necessity.

"Immigration Policy Issues." News Batch. July 2007. 14 Nov 2007 .

Simon, Julian. "IMMIGRATION." 11 Dec 1995. Cato Institute. 14 Nov 2007 .

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The living conditions of many countries are far from the standards that we hold in the United States. One such country is the country directly to the south of us, Mexico. Illegal immigrants have caught a lot of negative publicity over the past few years as our country grows larger and larger. Many people now protest that these immigrants need to be tracked down and sent back to their home country. This process would be very time consuming, expensive, and in reality, impossible. The better option for taking care of this 'problem' would be to simplify the applicatoin process for citizenship. If these immigrants were given the option of entering this country leagally without a great deal of hassle, then we would not have to waste the time and money that we spend on border control, and we could avoid the task of having to send illegal immigrants back. This country still has plenty of land left to offer to these immigrants. With the use of this land, we could easily care for these new citizens. The American government needs to be more accomadating to people who wish to become citizens of our great country.