Friday, December 7, 2007

Final Paper

Final Paper

Mattilyn Hammonds

Adam Million

English 103

4 December 2007

Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration is an ever growing and ongoing issue not only in the United States, but all over the world. It is estimated that between 400,000 and 700,000 illegal immigrants enter the United States every year. Immigrants can become “illegal” in three ways: 1) entering the country without legal authorization, 2) staying longer than their allowed visa period, or 3) violating terms of legal entry into the United States. (Counters) No matter what the circumstance, illegal immigration affects the United States negatively in many ways economically and should be halted.

Many illegal immigrants send most of the money they earn here in the United States back to their home countries. This is known as “money wiring” or “remittance”. More than 50% of money being “wired” back to illegal immigrants home country goes unreported. (Illegal Immigration) This is a major loss of money for the United States. “The scale of remittance seen today is now a significant concern because these are lost funds inherently needed within the United States to support the economy, generate tax revenue and reduce domestic poverty. (Counters)” Yes, remittances may have a positive affect on the countries/people they are being sent back to, but the United States feels the negative affects of these through things such as tax fraud, and criminal activities. (Illegal Immigration)

The United States also loses money through the costs of social services for illegal immigrants. Social services for illegal immigrants include things such as food stamps, housing, Social Security, Medicaid, earned income tax credit, emergency room visits, and increased local government services. (Counters) Many Americans lose their jobs to illegal immigrants, because the illegal immigrants are willing to work for under minimum wage. The cost of Social Services due to American unemployment is around $4.3 billion annually. (Counters)

Also, many immigrants are paid cash, and therefore are not getting taxed for the money they earn. This also causes the United States to lose lots of money through Social Services each month/year because of illegal immigrants. Overall, the U.S. is losing around a total of $30 billion per year for social costs. (Counters) Obviously, this loss of money through Social Services has a great negative effect on the economy of the United States and could be regenerated through halting illegal immigration.

“In Plyler v. Doe (1982), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all children who reside in the United States regardless of their immigration status, have the right to a free education. (Counters)” Each year, states are having to pay for these illegal immigrant children to go to school, while their parents are not being taxed. The states also have to pay for the programs to teach most of these illegal immigrant children to speak English, and for the free lunch programs most of them are on. Economically, this is hurting not only each state individually, but the United States as a whole. These children of illegal immigrants are receiving the same right as American children while their parents are not being taxed like all other American parents. Annually, each state is paying $28.6 billion dollars for the children of illegal immigrants to go to school while again, their parents are not paying the government a dime. (Illegal Immigrants) This obviously is putting the United States even more in a whole due to illegal immigration and is making the every day American pay more than what they should through their own taxes.

“The Center for Immigration Studies reports that the criminal illegal alien population represents about 30 percent of the total prison population (Counters).” In the year of 2003, there were a total number of 495,614 arrests of illegal immigrants. (Illegal Immigrants) Allowing these illegal immigrants who commit crimes to stay here is a huge threat to the American peoples’ safety. Think about it, if illegal immigration was stopped, then 30 percent of the prison population would be gone and 495,614 crimes prevented per year. Obviously the United States and its people would be a lot safer.

It also costs the American people and government a lot of tax money to keep these incarcerated illegal immigrants in the United States. It costs $69.00 per day to incarcerate just one single inmate. (Illegal Immigrants) If these illegal immigrants were not incarcerated, or were not here in the first place to commit a crime and become incarcerated, the American people and government would be saved a lot of money. This would greatly help the United States economy.

Even though the issue of illegal immigration seems to be a completely black and white issue, with seemingly no gray area for mediation, I believe however, that it is possible to mediate the two sides of the issue. One side being that illegal immigration should be stopped completely, and the other side, that it should be allowed. It is possible to mediate the issue of illegal immigration with just a few simple policies that could be put into play.

First of all, a big reason immigrants come to the United States illegally is because of the long period of time it takes to actually become a legal American. It can take up to 4 years to become sworn in as a citizen after applying for citizenship. If this process could be sped up, there might not be so many immigrants coming to the United States illegally, or overstaying their Visa in the first place.

Currently, full citizenship is granted to immigrants who take an oath of loyalty. (U.S. Citizenship) If citizenship could be granted over a slow period of time, this would discourage illegal immigrants. This would allow immigrants who want to stay here legally the ability to work for businesses as cheap labor, but would allow the immigrants to also be granted more rights along the way. For example, they would not be taxed as much as a full American citizen at first, therefore allowing for cheap labor, but also benefiting the government because they would at least be taxed somewhat.

Many immigrants also come to the United States illegally because they do not want to be without their family members. (U.S. Citizenship) Sometimes, one member of a family will be granted eligibility for citizenship, while others are not. The families do not want to be separated, so instead of just the one eligible for naturalization coming to the United States, they all come. To cut down on the illegal immigrants coming to the United States because of this reason, a policy should be set into place where if one member of a family is eligible for naturalization, then the others should have more minimal requirements to be able to come over also. In this way, the families would be able to stay together, while also decreasing the illegal immigrant rate.

Another illegal immigrant issue that should be addressed is what to do with those illegal immigrants that are caught by the government. Currently in the United States, if an illegal immigrant is caught by the government, they are deported back to their country of origin. (U.S. Citizenship) However, these illegal immigrants who are already here and are caught should be given a chance to stay if they have been in the United States for at least 4 years and have not caused a disturbance to society. When given the chance to stay, they would go through a period of time where they had “check ups” and if these “check ups” show that they are still not of any disturbance, they should be able to go through naturalization. By allowing them to do this, it would cut down on the illegal immigration rate, and because they would go through naturalization, they would eventually gain full rights as citizens, causing them to be taxed, and this would in turn benefit the United States’ economy.

Lastly, another way to cut down on illegal immigration is to increase border control. If the above policies were put into place, it should discourage many immigrants from coming to the United States illegally, but some will still try. An increase in border control would help to cut down the rate of those that actually make it in into the United States illegally in the first place.

Works Cited

Illegal Immigration. Center for Immigration Studies. 14 November 2007.

Illegal Immigration Counters. Data Sources. 14 November 2007. <>

U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Process. U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Service:

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Gain U.S. Citizenship. 14 November 2007.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mediation Brief

Step Six: Mediation Brief

Though many believe the opposing views of the illegal immigration issue are too contradictory to allow the matter to be settled, it is possible to mediate the argument by implementing a few new policies. First, the naturalization process needs to be modified. Under the system currently in place, as many as four years can elapse from the time a candidate for American citizenship files out his or her application to the time he or she is actually sworn in as a citizen. The prolonged process is a major reason why immigrants may choose to come illegally. If it could be expedited, perhaps the government would not have to deal with so many people attempting to immigrate illegally. Another new policy that could be implemented by the government is perhaps allowing the immigrants to slowly gain full citizenship over the span of two years. Currently, full citizenship is granted to immigrants upon taking an oath of loyalty. If citizenship rights such as that of minimum wage were granted more gradually rather than all at once, corporations could still hire the immigrants as cheap labor; in addition, the immigrants would be taxed at a rate lower than that of full citizens, thus benefiting the immigrant, corporations, and the United States government. Another major reason why some people choose to immigrate illegally involves the issue of leaving family members behind. Sometimes, families are torn apart by the naturalization process when one member of the family is deemed ineligible for citizenship. If this is the case, the member(s) of the family who gain citizenship may try to bring the other members of their family into the country illegally. The ability of an entire family to immigrate should be simplified. For example, if one member of a family is granted the right to be a citizen, the other members of the family should have more minimal requirements to be allowed citizenship. In this way, families can remain together, again decreasing the illegal immigration rate. Another issue in the immigration controversy is how to handle illegal immigrants caught by the government. Currently, those living in the United States illegally are deported to their country of origin. However, the fair way to deal with this group would be to judge them according to how long they have lived in the United States. If they have lived in the U.S. for four years or more, they are obviously not a disturbance, and should be granted the option of going through the naturalization process while still living in the United States, as long as they attend periodical “check-ups.” Those who have been in the United States for less than four years should be deported, but should still have the option of going through the naturalization process while living in their home country. Lastly, the most obvious way to put a complete stop to illegal immigration is to increase border control. Hopefully, the programs described above should be enough to dissuade most people from immigrating illegally; nevertheless, some would still attempt to do so. To put an end to it, border control must be strengthened.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Part 3: Brief

Illegal immigration into the United States should be stopped. Illegal immigrants are either those who came into the United States without ever getting a visa, or those who did obtain a visa but have overstayed the time period of the visa. In many ways illegal immigration has a negative effect on the U.S.
Money is being sent back to the illegal immigrants’ countries, without being accounted for by the U.S. This is causing the U.S. to lose significant amounts of money every month.
Illegal immigrants are also taking away American’s job opportunities, causing the American unemployment rate to go up. This causes the amount of money the U.S. has to pay to unemployed Americans go up, and again causes the U.S. to lose significant amounts of money.
It also costs the government extra money when illegal immigrant children are enrolled in our schools from grades K-12. Each year, states have to pay for these illegal immigrant children to go to school. They also have to fund the programs for the non-English speaking students and the free lunch programs that most of the illegal immigrant children in schools receive.
It is also found that many illegal immigrants who come to the United States end up in jail. They have high crime rates, and the more of them that are in jail means the more money the government has to pay to keep them there. Not only does this cause more money loss, but it endangers the lives of America’s citizens and legal immigrants.
The splurge of illegal immigrants making it into the United States every day is costing the people of the United States, and the government greatly. Illegal immigration is not acceptable and should be stopped.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Part Two-Topic

The topic of my argument is illegal immigration. I am against illegal immigration and the illegal aliens that come into the United States every day. Many support that after illegal immigrants are here, they should get some of the same rights as legal immigrants and Americans, such as getting a driver's license and having a path to actual citizenship. However, I feel that they should not be granted any rights, and that they should not be allowed to stay in the United States.