One of the most controversial political issues of today is that of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Illegal immigration into the United States is a problem that should be stopped, as it is unfair to both Americans and to the people of the country from which they illegally immigrated. It is thought that the majority of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. are Mexicans (Anderson 55). Roy Beck clarifies the situation by stating, “The national consensus is that the United States should be a post-mass immigration country has included most leaders of business, religion, labor, academia, and social work.” Illegal immigration from Mexico must be stopped by means of different policies and other methods of prevention because the effects on both Mexico and the United States are predominately unfavorable.
There are multiple policies and means of preventing illegal immigrants from entering the United States. Immigration laws are the catalysts of illegal immigration prevention. Proposition 187 is a tough immigration law clamping down on illegal aliens, used in California, the state with the most illegal immigrants. It doubled the number of border guards, made it harder for legal immigrants to bring their families over, not permitting as much political asylum, and was harder on illegal aliens already here (DiConsiglio 3). NAFTA, officially, hasn’t reduced as much illegal immigration as had been hoped, but, it helped Mexico recover faster from its economic crisis in ‘94-’95, which has stopped a larger flood of people since most immigrants tend to come to the U.S. in times of Mexican economic depression (“Mexico” 2). The major reason Mexicans tend to illegally immigrate is to find jobs.
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Therefore, eliminating the chance of them getting a job would be a deterrent. A bill shown to the House, by California would let the employer enter a job applicant’s social security number over the phone to receive confirmation, of a person’s official citizenship (DeMott 31). That would work in conjunction with the need for proper documentation to be shown to employers for current verification of legal citizenship, limiting their job opportunities and thus discouraging them from ever illegally immigrating. The Border Patrol is the most effective and widely used form of prevention. It is an agency of Immigration and Naturalization, that is charged with detecting and preventing illegal passage to the U.S. between Mexico and America (Anderson 59). U.S. vigilance on “the line” causes more delays, higher risks, and raised costs for the “jumpers.” More guards are forcing potential illegal aliens to lose money, by causing them to hire “coyotes” to smuggle them, losing possible wages, and paying for food and lodging (McDonnell 1-2).
Jorge Compos, a 22-year-old who has been caught trying to immigrate illegally multiple times, exclaimed that “There’s migra (migration officers) on horses, on motorbikes, on foot, in Broncos. They’re everywhere.” Illegal immigration impacts Mexico in many negative ways, by debasing its economy and leaving Mexico without much-needed technically skilled professionals. Illegal immigrants cost Mexico heavily in terms of human capital. This decreases the amount of the workforce, keeping some Mexican communities in poverty. Overall, illegal immigration usually leads to family discourse and larger social problems in Mexico (“Illegal” 1). Mexico’s successful professionals tend not to stay in Mexico; doctors and multiple others are leaving the country to take lower-paying jobs in the U.S. (McDonnell 4). Julio Cesar, a Mexican citizen comments on this situation saying, “I think Mexico needs people to stay and build up this country.”
The United States takes on most of the shortfalls, that illegal immigration causes; having to deal with the abuse of social services by non-citizens, the taking of citizens’ jobs and the lowering of their wages, and sinking of the common lifestyles, overall threatening the quality of life in certain communities. The majority of Americans, since the 1950s, have been predominantly a working middle class, who have been used to an accustomed lifestyle (Beck 77). With all the illegal immigrants, there are surplus workers which mean fewer jobs and more competition with workers for the lower pay brought about by the extra workmen. Thus, the jobs that help produce middle-class lifestyles are taken and the middle class decreases. The lowering of wages has brought deteriorating lifestyles along as the size of the middle-class decreases.
People simply do not have as much money to help sustain their lifestyle and they sometimes have to get additional jobs (Beck 76). This leads people to have less of a family life, which causes all sorts of trouble. Illegal aliens are using welfare, education, and other state and federal social services, whose costs are increasing taxes for everyone (DeMott 28). Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, so they not justified in using social services, such as welfare, health care, and other services. It is more likely for immigrants to use social services provided by the government than nonimmigrants (DiConsiglio 5). A “Where I Stand Poll” in 1994 said 94% of the U.S. believes all illegal immigrants shouldn’t receive welfare and government services and 73% said their children shouldn’t attend public schools (DeMott 30).
Illegal immigration tends to bring down the standard of living in areas where illegal aliens are concentrated. Cities with higher levels of illegal immigrants tend to show a dramatic difference in social percentages than lesser-immigrated cities. The higher illegally immigrated cities on average have 30% longer commuting time, 40% more people living in poverty, 60% more high school dropouts, twice as many violent crimes, twice as many unemployed, more than twice the welfare dependency, and more than seven times as much crowded housing (Beck77). These statistics are astonishing and represent the essence of the impact of illegal immigration on America.
The following statement by Lydia Anderson exemplifies the effects of illegal immigrants and the discourtesy they have for America: Whether they take jobs or burden our social services, however, the continued influx of illegal immigrants promotes disrespect for the law and seriously limits our ability to control out immigration policy. Illegal immigration from Mexico is a problem and must be stopped using different means of prevention we can avoid any negative repercussions on Mexico and the U.S. It is an economic drain on the U.S. and it is degrading the condition of American society as a whole. Frank Sharry, of the liberal National Immigration Forum, has said, “There is virtually a national consensus that illegal immigration is a problem.” With this in mind, in a few years, there will be new policies implemented that will virtually wipe out illegal immigration, mainly focused on preventing illegal aliens from acquiring jobs.