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Economic and Societal Impact of American Immigration

Info: 2941 words (12 pages) Essay
Published: 10th Nov 2021 in America

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As of 2018, researchers estimate that the total amount of immigrants that are active DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are somewhere between 699,000 and 800,000 people. This is a lot of people. There are two possible scenarios circulating in politics, in accordance to what to do with the large number of DACA recipients: have them deported, or have them remain protected under the Dreamers Act.

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The DACA bill, a bill passed to allow and protect the working rights of illegal immigrants, was first passed and placed in full effect in 2012, at the end of President Barack Obama's first term and the start of his second. Obama's goal with this program was to primarily secure the safety of those who were undocumented in the U.S., but it was also to provide them the grant to work legally in the United States.

A large majority of immigrants working in the U.S. illegally tend to find alternatives to being hired, for example: "borrowing" other people's social security number. By passing DACA, Obama envisioned that no illegal immigrant should go through this burden, but rather apply for permission that would protect them from deportation. This program was a huge success in the beginning and up until the end of his second term.

It wasn't until President Donald Trump stepped in that the dreamers started to see the light at the end of the tunnel slowly turn into pitch darkness. Although all DACA recipients are illegal immigrants, the Dreamers Act should be kept in motion because they bring a lot to this country like: they help stabilize the U.S. economy, bring innovative ideas, and bridge the gap between illegal workers and the laws that shape immigration.

During President Trump's current presidential term, a large number of Latino's are going against their own race at the fault of Trump's argument against the Latino community. Twenty six percent of Latinos voted for Trump in 2016 because they believed that if immigrants wanted to be part of America, then they needed to do it the right way; the legal way (CBS News 2016).

Latino communities have fallen for Trump's arguments, making them go against their own race.​ Although President Trump's bias is clearly about race, he repeatedly states, "This isn't about race". If it weren't about race then why is he vigorously fighting to eliminate the Dreamer's Act which consists of 76% Latinos, according to the Migration Policy Institute?

The reason a lot of Latino individuals leave Mexico (or any Latin American country) is to pursue and experience the American Dream. This dream that consists of a country where you can speak freely and be who you want is what drives many people to America, although America right now isn't the America that we know. While in the term of Trump's presidency, we have digressed backwards in terms of racial politics.

The argument against immigration has dominated the nation's conversations now that President Trump is running for the second term of his presidency. One argument Trump was really adamant about during his electoral campaign in 2015 was that Mexico is only sending over their worst citizens. He stated, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best.

They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting" (CBS News 2016). Trump, with his despise for illegal immigrants, tends to focus his arguments on Mexico's shipment of young, marginalized men to the United States. Much of his anti-immigrant rhetoric is solely focused upon men. Although we can categorize many Americans as the "bad people" he is worried about, Trump is more focused on blaming illegal immigrants. He fails to accept the fact that America has pre-existing problems unrelated to America's immigration such as education and healthcare. According to the article The Business Outsider​ ​, America's education and healthcare system currently rank 27th in the world, when it was once at the top. In the last 30 years, America has fallen 26 spots behind where they once were and that is solely due to the fact that money isn't being invested the way it should be for these programs.

US News notes fell by 3% from 2010 to 2014, even as its student population grew by 1%. In Turkey — the nation with the most dramatic improvement in healthcare and education levels, according to the study — education spending rose by 76%. This decrease in spending seems to have had a significant impact on America's educational attainment, which also declined over the last few decades. The US may also have a problem with the way it is spending money. The countries with the most significant improvements in education and healthcare — namely, Turkey, China, and Brazil — also saw quicker GDP growth on a per capita basis.

This leads the study to conclude that education and healthcare investments could be tied to a country's economic performance, and improvements in these areas could lead to faster economic growth.

Education is the most important tool for a country to thrive. If there is no good education, a country can't thrive and expand. America has dropped 26 spots in just 30 years but yet Trump's focus is to get rid of immigrants and not help America thrive. Although Trump notes that some immigrants are good people, he also fails to see the importance of immigrants in the United States and how they keep the country thriving.

Although the American economy is already strong, the help of illegal and legal immigrants helps it thrive. Trump believes the opposite when he quotes, "People living in the​ U.S. illegally take jobs from native-born American citizens" (CBS News 2016). This, in fact, is not supported. Based on economic research done by the National Foundation for American Policy, 760,000 new jobs were created by immigrants in 2016. They also stated that at this rate, annually, new jobs created by immigrants would increase by 121,000. With the creation of all these new jobs, "Money in the economy would lead to a cumulative increase in GDP over the next 10 years of 862 billion dollars" (NFPA). This would benefit not only immigrants but the United States as a whole. These statistics contradict Trump's belief that illegal immigrants are taking American jobs, but they are, on the contrary, creating more jobs annually. Trump is short to recognize what a benefit illegal immigrants are to this nation. The increase of 862 billion dollars over 10 years can be used to help America get back to the top in education and healthcare.

Trump and his followers believe that ordering the deportation of all illegal immigrants back to their countries would resolve the surge of "bad" immigrants, which is not the solution.

What good is sending 11.6 million immigrants back home? ProCon​ ​, a website that talks about the pros and cons of immigration in America agrees with me in that getting rid of all immigrants, would only harm the economy, contradicting Trump's solution of deportation by stating this excerpt,

Locating millions of immigrants for deportation would take a very dramatic increase in domestic surveillance and enforcement, including door-to-door roundups. Mistakes would inevitably be made, with legal immigrants and citizens swept up in the process. Courts that handle immigration cases would be overwhelmed. Mass deportations would also harm the economy. Most undocumented workers are in relatively low-skilled jobs, but about a quarter are in white-collar jobs. Of those, about half are in management, finance or professional careers. Removing large numbers would have a very significant impact on the businesses that employ them. Undocumented workers make up about 5.1% of the American workforce at a time when a 4.9% unemployment rate shows that labor markets are growing tight. (ProCon 6)

This is what the United States would be losing if Donald Trump were to deport all illegal immigrants. Not only would there be mistakes made that would inevitably sweep legal citizens that appear to be Latino(a) away, but the economy would be harmed dramatically. The economy in America is pretty strong but if all immigrants go away, then so does the five percent of American workforce that undocumented immigrants bring. The five percent workforce that would eventually be able and help America gain 862 billion dollars in GDP over just 10 years proving that undocumented immigration workers, would help the economy. Only five percent of American workforce is made up of undocumented immigrants, but with the decontinuation of DACA, these immigrants will slowly start to fade away which would only decrease the amount of money America gets. At least with the DACA program, these undocumented workers have a permit that grants them permission to work which means its a win win scenario for America and the immigrants.

According to The Atlantic,​ President Barack Obama stated, "The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation… nations with the ability to innovate are better poised to nurture entrepreneurship, attract early-stage risk capital and sustain a diversified ecosystem that bolsters long-term economic growth." This is true as we have seen many other countries benefit from innovative ideas that are based around immigrants. For example, TheAtlantic ​states,

In 2010, Canada welcomed 280,636 immigrants while the U.S. accepted 1,042,625 -- on a per capita basis less than one-half of the Canadian figure. Canada, with a population one-tenth that of the U.S., accepted 186,913 "economic immigrants" in 2010, accounting for 66.7 percent of its total. These immigrants unquestionably contribute to economic growth, job creation and increased demand for housing. In contrast, the U.S. currently caps employment-based visas, including those with extraordinary skills, professionals holding advanced degrees, skilled workers and professionals, special immigrants (e.g. religious workers), and investors, at 140,000, or just 13.4 percent of all immigrants.

Other countries have seen and experienced first hand what immigrants can bring to the table and none have reported that they have damaged the country, mainly their economy. Rather, they have implied how much growth immigrants have brought for their economy and just all around. Canada is just one of many examples of how an innovative idea, such as adopting a better way to treat immigrants, has helped benefit their country rather than bring it down.

Aside from bringing economic opportunities to American citizens, immigrants also bring new ideas to this country. Trump is quick to target these immigrants and classify them as worthless, even though he knows exactly the contribution they bring to this country. "The economic impact of illegal immigration in the U.S. is costly and impacts the financial security of the county's legal residents… Illegal workers are often underpaid, which keeps wages lower in a particular occupation and region… Illegal aliens can put a financial burden on local and federal law enforcement (ProCon). Although they are underpaid, undocumented immigrants​ are trying hard and are still in America rather then being back in their home country. The problem of being underpaid doesn't seem to scare them away but rather motivates them to work harder, leading to the acceleration of our economy.

Throughout his first term, Trump has really tried to put an end to DACA and the program's aim to keep insightful immigrants in the country. His main argument as to why they should terminate the program is because they are all illegal immigrants whether it be by choice or not. DACA recipients who were brought to the U.S. at an early age, were likely brought here by their parents. To most recipients, the U.S. is the only home they have ever known.

Trump fails to realize that the new ideas that immigrants bring are helping progress this country, as a lot of innovative ideas have come from other countries.

According to The Insider, ​ ​in 1902, a New Zealand farmer "took flight for roughly 350 yards--months before the Wright brothers nailed down a more sustained flight." Airplanes are very important because they provide an unprecedentedly rapid delivery of passengers and goods across the globe which allows for a greater cultural and intellectual exchange.

Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish born American invented the telephone. A life without a cellphone is no life at all, as all teenagers would probably say today.

In 1866, Karl Benz (Mercedes Benz) was the first person to register a patent for a gas-fueled motorwagen.

Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist invented the first electric battery in 1800.

X-Ray radiation was invented in Germany in 1895 by a German mechanical engineer known as Wilhelm Rontgen. Without this, the healthcare system, not only in America would not be as efficient. It would be impossible to see hairline fractures which cause more pain than an actual bone break.

These are some of the many ideas that have come outside of America and that are pretty crucial to the efficiency of today's world. By neglecting immigrants, America could lose the potential expansion on an important discovery that could benefit the world in the future.

Whatever one's view is upon immigration, it is important to understand that immigrants help America thrive with their biggest needs such as the economy. The leader of America needs to be one who is willing to say that undocumented immigrants don't hurt the society but rather stregthen it. By taking away DACA, millions of opportunities to strengthen the country would be lost and a major economic downfall would happen in America. Immigrants are the biggest source that a country can use to help them progress. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."

Works Cited

DeVol, Ross. "The 8 Best Innovation Ideas From Around the World." ​The Atlantic​, Atlantic Media Company, 8 May 2012, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/the-8-best-innovation-ideas-fromaround-the-world/248695/.

Donnelly, Grace. "DACA: Arguments Being Made For and Against Reform." ​Fortune​, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2018, fortune.com/2018/01/25/trump-daca-citizenship/.

Espinoza, Kiana. "Hopes for a Continued Community Response to DACA." ​UWIRE Text​, Uloop Inc., 2017.

Felter, Claire, and Danielle Renwick. "The U.S. Immigration Debate." ​Foreign Affairs​, 6 Sept. 2017. ​ForeignAffairs.com​, www.cfr.org/who-we-are. Accessed 24 Nov. 2019.

Ghadar, Fariborz. ​Becoming American : Why Immigration Is Good for Our Nation's Future​. Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, [2014], 2014. EBSCO​host​, libproxy.unm.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true& db=cat05987a&AN=unm.860825758&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. ​Becoming Legal: Immigration Law and Mixed-Status Families​. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, [2017], 2017. Issues of globalization: case studies in contemporary anthropology. EBSCO​host​, libproxy.unm.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true& db=cat05987a&AN=unm.956967244&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Hooker, Sarah, and Michael Fix. "County-Level View of DACA Population Finds Surprising Amount of Ethnic & Enrollment Diversity." ​Migrationpolicy.org​, 24 Feb. 2015, www.migrationpolicy.org/news/county-level-view-daca-population-finds-surprisi ng-amount-ethnic-enrollment-diversity.

Honl-Stuenkel, Gustav. "University Officials Express Continued Support for DACA and Undocumented Students During Info Session." ​UWIRE Text​, Uloop Inc., 2018.

Miller, Zoë "16 Things You Thought Were Invented in the US - but Weren't." ​Insider​, Insider, 20 Mar. 2018, www.insider.com/things-not-invented-in-us-2018

Mozumder, Suman. "Undocumented." ​News India - Times​, vol. 47, no. 50, News - India Times, 2016, p. 8,10, http://search.proquest.com/docview/1852714681/​.

CNN. "Someone Please Remind Trump That He Ended DACA." ​CNN Wire​, CNN Newsource Sales, Inc., 2018.

Telford, Marguerite, and Ali Noorani. "Should DACA Be Ended?" ​New York Times Upfront​, vol. 151, no. 3, Scholastic, Inc., 2018.

"Transcript of Donald Trump's Immigration Speech." ​New York Times​, 1 Sept. 2016. ​New York Times​, www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/us/politics/transcript-trump-immigration-speech.ht ml?mcubz=1. Accessed 24 Nov. 2019.

"Top 10 Pro & Con Arguments Should the Government Allow Immigrants Who Are Here Illegally to Become US Citizens?" ​ProCon.org​, 28 Feb. 2017, Rios 11

immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000842%5C. Accessed 24 Nov. 2019.

"A YEAR SINCE TRUMP ENDED DACA, LAXALT HAS DONE NOTHING TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER." States News Service​ ​, States News Service, 2018.

 

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