Illegal Immigration in the United States, Good or Bad? Illegal immigration has been an important and serious issue for decades; which affects everyone, both Americans and immigrants themselves. Illegal Immigration has three main purposes: first to find a better life in the “promise land”, second: free healthcare, and third: for criminal activity. Most illegal immigrants come to America with the best intentions for themselves and/or their families, but many others have alternative motives. The thing that must be remembered is that illegal immigration is illegal. It’s all in the name. “Over 6 million illegal immigrants live in the US- some estimate even more.” (Illegal Immigration) This is astonishing. Six million people could make up a whole suburb such as Mesa or Chandler. Immigrants arrive in America in different ways. One is crossing the border illegally by land. Another way get into the US are by false identities or by stolen, or falsified passports. Another way is by illegal smuggling boats. “Others enter with legal documentation and then violate the terms on which they have been admitted by taking jobs that are not authorized or overstaying the authorized period of stay in the country” (Illegal Immigration) A bad side to having such a large amount of illegal immigrants in the nation is the crime rate and prison population caused by certain “illegals”. “Illegal immigration is a major cause in the overcrowding of our schools and our prisons.” (Bender, David) Michael Huffington, a former member of the US House of Reps. For California says that, “Many illegal immigrants come for two purposes that are both destructive and expensive: to commit crimes or to receive government benefits.” (Huffington, 63) “For instance, the 18th Street gang in Southern California is one of the nation’s most violent street gangs with a staggering 20,000 members. More appalling is the fact that 60 percent of the 18the Street gang’s membership consists of illegal aliens. The gang’s crimes range from armed robbery to arson to murder.” (Izumi, Lance T.) Other immigrants who come to America illegally get here, and then go to hospitals with no insurance, or may apply for welfare such as unemployment or food assistance. Since welfare comes from taxes paid by citizens of the United States, this practice is highly looked down upon, even despised. Although some illegal immigrants pay taxes through false social security numbers, it doesn’t come close to adding up to the amount spent on healthcare for the population living in the U.S. Illegal immigration is not always looked down upon, as some say they help our economy, while others say hurt the economy. “Many business owners, on the other hand, are strongly pro-immigration. President Bill Clinton and others who supported the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) believed that the free flow of people over national borders, like that of goods and capital, could only lead to prosperity.” (Bender, 19) Illegal aliens or immigrants can become legal and become worry free citizens of the U.S., by taking the right steps. Although the United States is almost completely against the importation of illegal immigrants to do work in the states, it did happen at one time. “During WWII and until the 1960’s, the U.S. permitted hundreds of thousands of undocumented agricultural workers, mostly from Mexico, to work temporarily in America.” (Huffington, 52) These workers helped out with the work force when most of the men were out fighting for the country. To sum it up, illegal immigrants are in this country, and many are here to stay. “One side looks at crime. Failing schools and soaring welfare spending and sees too many immigrants. The other sees America, the greatest nation on earth, built on the backs of immigrants and still benefiting enormously from the brains, energy and determination of the nest generation of newcomers.” (Huffington, 71) The U.S. will find a way to keep illegal immigration to a minimum. By reforming policies that crack down on criminal illegals, the crime rate caused by those individuals will hopefully decrease. And perhaps by instituting other policies which help the people who want a better life; and are willing to take the steps to becoming a citizen, will make America not so much of a hide out, but the land of opportunity that is once was less than a century and a half ago. Works Cited Bender, David, Bruno Leone, Charles P. Cozic. Illegal Immigration, Opposing Viewpoints. California: San Diego, 1997. Huffington, Michael. Illegal Aliens, The Immigration Experience. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, 1997. “Illegal Immigration is a Crime.” Issue Brief. http/:www.fairus.org/html/04113604.htm. 6 April 2001. Izumi, Lance T. “Illegal Immigration and Crime.” Capital Ideas: Intellectual Capital from the Political Capitol. 2 September 1997. http/:www.padificresearch.org/capital/97-9-02.html. 7 April 2001. Word Count: 782
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