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The United States of America has remained one of the leading countries in attracting immigrants. This can be attributed to its strong economy that creates more opportunities as compared to other countries around the world. According to Joannes (2005), the number of people migrating from other nations to the United States has been on the rise within the last one decade for many as the land of opportunities consider it.
This scholar says that this country population is a true composition of the people in the world. However, it is worrying that there has been a rise in the number of illegal immigrant into the United States. Many people around the world are finding their way into the United States through the porous borders.
Most of these people are semi-illiterate and they come to the country in search of blue-collar jobs. They come as loaders, gardeners, drivers, cleaners or any other physical jobs that can be found in this country. A few are professionals such as engineers, doctors, or lawyers, but are forced to come to the United States for any job because of lack of employment opportunities in their home country.
The immigration reforms have raised a lot of controversy. While a section of the society believes that these reforms are economically viable, the other section strongly believes that these reforms will cost this country a lot and that they should be ignored. This research paper seeks to investigate the benefits of immigration reforms the government is trying to pass.
Immigration reform that the government is trying to pass is long overdue. According to Gimpel and Edwards (2004), majority of those who immigrate to the United States are doing it illegally. This is because of the current laws that many of these immigrant consider too complex to follow up. For this reason, they consider following a shorter way towards achieving their dream of being in the United States. The recent laws that were enacted to curb the increasing influx of foreigners into this country have not bore the expected fruits.
Currently, the United States is home to about twelve million illegal immigrant and the number is still on the rise. This is a clear indication that the government must act as soon as possible by coming with ways through which this immigration can take place in a more manageable manner. The move by government to introduce immigration reforms has both social and economic benefits to this country as demonstrated below.
Economic benefits of the immigration reforms
According to Orrenius (2010), most of the immigrants who come to the United States do not come to tour this country. These people come to seek employment in various sectors of this country. This is a clear indication that this group is of economic benefit to this country.
However, it becomes complex to determine the real statistics of the economic impact of this group because they are not documented. It is true that a number of these immigrants get absorbed into the informal sectors, making it difficult to have their statistics by the national government.
However, Baker (2009) argues that the government always stands to lose a lot by not documenting the economic impact of this population. According to this scholar, these immigrants always survive on the budget made for those living in this country legally. When they get sick, these illegal immigrants will not travel to their home countries. They will get their medication in the United States. When they travel, they use modes of transport within this country.
When government organs such as the police are on duty, this group must be considered. However, they are not always taken into consideration when making the national budget. This means that there will be a strain in offering these services. The hospitals would be strained because they will be forced to handle a capacity that is well above the planned volume. The education sector will also be strained, as the children of these immigrants will be enrolled in the local schools.
The police service will find itself with more work than they are planned for, and our roads may be subject to higher capacity that was initially planned. These issues can only be solved when the government brings in the immigration reforms. The government will be able to know the real percentage of people they are budgeting for within each fiscal year. This will ease the pressure on the service delivery in various sectors.
According to the research conducted by Laham (2006), it will cost the government $ 23 billion to offer services to the immigrants who come to this country. However, this group increases federal revenue by $ 48 billion. This is before factoring in border economic benefits.
This alone is a clear demonstration that while it will cost this country to bring in these reforms, the benefits that come with these reforms far outweigh the costs. Graham (2008) says that an illegal immigrant is less likely able to secure a well paying job as compared to their counterparts who legally migrated to this country.
This scholar says that a good number of those who immigrate to this country illegally are professionals with skills that can be of benefit to this country. However, it becomes difficult for this group to secure well paying jobs because they lack proper documents.
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This has seen a scenario where this country is forced to outsource for labor from other countries such as China at very high costs while this labor can cheaply be found locally among the illegal immigrants. This reform seeks to end this. The reform will help the skilled labor who immigrates to the country to acquire well paying jobs and to pay tax that will increase revenue collection.
The research by Bean (2009) shows that most of the illegal immigrants in this country are not taxed. These individuals are not taxed because of the nature of jobs they do, and the fact that the government do not have their data. As was mentioned, it is estimated that this population has reached about 12 million people.
When this population is subjected to taxation, the government can increase its revenue collection, which will in turn help in expanding the economy. This will help in creation of more jobs within the country. The research by Philips (2005) shows that these reforms will increase government spending and this will increase cash flow in the economy. This in effect, will motivate entrepreneurship among the Americans.
Social benefits of economic reforms
The economic reforms will also have a positive impact on the social welfare of the people of this country in various ways. Most of the immigrants contribute a lot of money to the social security scheme because it is a requirement in their respective workplaces. Every month, a given percentage is always deducted from their salaries towards this scheme. However, given that they are illegally working in this country, they do not stand to benefit from their contributions once they retire.
This makes them very desperate upon retirement. Given that they have relatives within this country, they become a burden to them, as they demand for financial support. When this reform sails through, it will be possible for the government to increase the immigrants’ contribution towards the social security scheme and fully benefit from it once they retire. This will help reduce dependency level in the country.
As was mentioned before, some of the services are currently strained because the government does not budget for the illegal immigrants. The reforms will help the government have data on this immigrant before making the budget. Their inclusion into the budget will help in pointing out the need to expand some of these facilities within the country. Some of the facilities that will be expanded will include schools, hospitals, the police service, recreational facilities, and roads among others.
This will eliminate the current strain that these facilities are subjected. It will improve service delivery in these sectors, which will be a strong contributing factor towards better living standards. The Healthy People 2020 vision envisions affordable healthcare services for every American (Bach & Meissner, 2001). This can only be a reality if the government has the data of all those who are staying in this country.
The rise in the level of crime is associated to the illegal immigrants into this country. According to Newton (2008), the rise in criminal activities such as drug trafficking, burglary, robbery with violence, prostitution, and child trafficking is associated to those who come to this country illegally.
They come with high hopes of getting good jobs, especially those with higher learning. Upon their arrival, they realize that due to the illegal nature of their immigration, they are unable to get good employment opportunities they were expecting in this country.
Those who decide to do jobs of lesser value as to their education get to survive. However, others easily get lured to criminal activities in order to make a living. It becomes difficult to trace them because their identity is not disclosed to the government. The best way of eliminating these vices is through immigration reforms. When the law is passed to tighten the borders of this country, it will be easy to arrest or deter such criminals. The reforms will help create a society where there is peace and respect to the law.
The discussion above confirms the fact that the immigration reforms that the United States government tries to pass have benefits to this country. It is clear that when these reforms are finally made a reality, the government will benefit economically through increased collection of taxes.
The presence of a clear data on the immigrants makes it possible for the government to budget for them. This not only expands the economy of the country but also helps ease the pressure on some of the social facilities. Socially, it eliminates dependency and crime, besides improving relationship in families.
Bach, R. L., & Meissner, D. M. (2001). Employment and immigration reform: Employer sanctions four years later. Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Baker, S. (2009). The cautious welcome: The legalization programs of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Santa Monica: Rand Corp.
Bean, F. (2009). Opening and closing the doors: Evaluating immigration reform and control. Santa Monica: Rand.
Gimpel, J. G., & Edwards, J. R. (2004). The congressional politics of immigration reform. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Graham, O. (2008). Immigration reform and America’s unchosen future. Bloomington: Author House.
Joannes, J. (2005). The Immigration Reform and Control Act handbook. Los Angeles: Parker.
Laham, N. (2006). Ronald Reagan and the politics of immigration reform. Westport: Praeger.
Newton, L. (2008). Illegal, alien, or immigrant: The politics of immigration reform. New York: New York University Press.
Orrenius, P. (2010). Beside the golden door: U.S. immigration reform in a new era of globalization. Washington: AEI Press.
Philips, L. (2005). Immigration reform and U.S. agriculture. Oakland: University of California.