Barack Obama once said, “What makes someone American isn’t just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles and faith in the idea that anyone – from anywhere – can write the next chapter of our story.” What Obama is trying to say is that as a nation, loyalty to other countries and allowing immigrants to be part of our country has made our nation stronger, that anyone from anywhere can create the next chapter of the United States. We are still part of a world where controversial and dishonorable arguments cover the news headlines. One of the main topics that has always been debated on is immigration. We live in a country that was originated by immigrants and ironically, it is perpetually still something that is being argued over by today. Considering the fact that, illegal immigration has contributed a lot more money to the government than they have received in benefits. The United States should help those in seek of a better life and opportunities since it is called the land of the free and opportunities.
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Many Americans speculate about why immigrants do not just enter the United States legally. However, many Americans do not have knowledge on how hard it is to enter America legally. Although, the immigration system is very generous, the possibilities of you getting chosen are very subjected to many requirements and eligibility limitations. Immigration to the United States on a temporary or permanent basis is very limited, they base your qualification on employment, family reconciliation, and humanitarian protection. For example, when I was six years old my mother brought me into the United States illegally. I was born in the Dominican Republic where my father was a very powerful man however, my mother was not. My father used to physically and mentally abuse my mom, and she couldn’t do anything about it because of his status in the Dominican Republic. Due to this, my mother decided to apply for my visa but, it was denied for unknown reasons, she then had to take action some other way, which was by bringing me into the United States illegally and herself with a visa. As a six year old I was introduced to these people who prepared and helped me by remembering my other identity so, I could enter illegally with no problems. After many years of being in the United States, my mom was able to save up the money to get my permanent residency and I was fortunate enough to get it because, many people struggle and are not able to get their legal papers after residing in the country illegally.
More than eight million citizens reside with at least one family member, usually a parent, who is illegal and children make up the greater number of those US citizens. Nearly six million citizens are under the age of 18 and they reside with a family member who is undocumented. Due to the continuing threats connected to immigration enforcement actions, many children have been affected. In 2016 service providers and doctors have detailed informally, that they have noticed that many of the children of illegal parents have been exhibiting stress, anxiety and behavioral changes. According to ICE’s, when parents are detained, and a minor comes across during the immigration imposition, they usually assist the legal guardian’s in effort to make childcare arrangements. However, if the legal guardian is unable to arrange childcare before deportation, Child Protective Services can take the child for case management. The children are placed in a shelter, group home, friend, or stranger in a foster home until custody is arranged in court. Furthermore, after being deported parents have the right to reconcile with their children outside of the United States. However, in order to reunite they have an ongoing coordination between family members, the parent country’s consulate, and the US state and federal agencies. It can be very hard for deported parents to demonstrate that they can provide stabilization and a safe environment for their children in the country of deportation.
For many years now, many studies have demonstrated that the connection between immigration and crime is very low. It has been confirmed that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be incarcerated less than the native born. This is something that stands with both legal and illegal immigrants regardless of the country they came from and level of education. Between the years 1990 and 2013 it was reported that FBI data concluded that violent crimes had declined 48% after the US population tripled, as well as the number of illegal immigrants. In 2010, Census data shows that the rate for incarcerated less educated Mexican, Salvadorian, and Guatemalan men who make up most of the illegal population have lower incarceration rate, next to native American young men without a highschool diploma. It is long pastime for US immigration policies to reflect on the diversity of immigration in the United States. They should not be basing criminology of illegal immigrants by politics of fear and myth but, on evidence.
Many Americans believe that illegal immigrants are just bringing down the economy. However, in 2010 studies showed that undocumented people paid 13 billion dollars into retirement accounts but, only receives 1 billion dollars back. Furthermore, immigrants have contributed to almost 300 billion dollars to Social Security. Illegal immigrants have contributed an amount of more than 11 billion dollars in state and local taxes per year. Undocumented individuals get taken 8% out of their income in taxes, and they have given about 80,000 dollars more in taxes than the government has used over their lifetime.
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To conclude with, immigration continues to be an issue in America today. Millions of immigrants migrate both legally and illegally each year and this has significantly affected many people’s lives. Many people tend to view immigrants as criminals, non-hard workers, etc. However, as I demonstrated in this essay, immigrants contribute to society, have declined the percentage of criminal activities and are less likely to commit crime compared to native born citizens.
- U.S. Citizen Children Impacted by Immigration Enforcement. (2018, November 27). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/us-citizen-children-impacted-immigration-enforcement
- Why Don’t They Just Get In Line? (2018, November 27). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/why-don’t-they-just-get-line
- The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States. (2016, November 29). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/criminalization-immigration-united-states
- 7 ways immigrants enrich our economy and society. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.unidosus.org/issues/immigration/resources/facts