by Samuel Slaten
Immigration is a huge part of any developed or developing country’s everyday life. Immigration can be something looked at as a spread of culture and values and a phenomenon that helps bridges societies together. However, the subject has a darker side as well. Immigration also has a side of racism, discrimination, and the aspect of illegally entering a country. This article will focus on the idea of trying to find a balance between decreasing illegal immigration while at the same time giving opportunities to those who had no choice in the matter to remedy their own situation.
The first issue that can be found is that when a country has a large number of people living in an area and receiving pay yet because of no identification those people do not pay taxes on their income and thus the local economy suffers making life hard on immigrants and natives alike. One example of this is how in 2011 there was an estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the US (The CNN Library ). Which it then can be deducted that non of them were forced to pay any state of federal income taxes thus in the end were actually hurting their own communities. That same concept can be applied to any country.
Another idea to keep in mind is that where there is a lack of identification there is a lure for crime. Though the issue does not just reside with the breaking of the law (though that is a very pertinent issue) but with what is occurring after. It was reported that in the late 1990’s 4-7 percent of the some 11.5 million prisoners in America were illegal immigrants. Each of these people were costing some $30,000 per year to sustain (Hagan, and Palloni 367). Given that since 2000 the illegal immigrant population in America grew by 27% ( The CNN Library ) it can be deducted that the number of illegal inmates has also increased, meaning that the US government is spending even more money on non American citizens in American facilities paid for by the American people (once again this concept can be applied to other countries as well). It is an issue that needs to be addressed at the roots. Illegal immigration paints a false facade that all immigrants are illegal or violent which is absolutely not the case. I think if a country cuts down on illegal immigration it will find a decrease in discrimination by the native population against regular immigrants. I believe that should be the goal of any immigration department, finding ways to help immigrants adjust and prosper in their new home.
However, there is another side to the story. With many illegal immigrants there are countless children whom had no say in the matter and who at times have lived in the host country so long that they can not even speak their parents language. At times many have received education in their host country and so promise to become responsible law biding adults. These children deserve to not have to suffer for their parents poor decision making. That is why I agree with movements and bills like the DREAM act that target these type of people and try to help them legally become apart of a country they consider their one and true home. I think that there should be locations where children around the age of 16 can go, whom have already entered the country as younger children, and receive the proper documents and amnesty to begin the application to citizenship.
Thus in order to promote immigration yet limit the lure of illegal immigration it is important for a country to find the right balance. One example is Canada. One way they keep immigration procedures simple is via a points-based system; “To determine whom it should let in to live and work, Canada uses a point system. You don’t even need a job or employer, just skills. Applicants are awarded points for proficiency in education, languages and job experience,” (cnn.com). Procedures are simple insuring immigration flows smoothly thus a united identity seems to form which is exemplified by Canada’s first Muslim Mayor of a major city; “When I was running for office, it was only people who were not from here who said ‘Whoa, is Calgary ready for a mayor like that?’” he says. “The people in Calgary just said, ‘Ah, it’s a kid from the East End. We know him,’” (cnn.com). Thus finding the issues with a country’s immigration department and making them efficient and simple helps spur immigration and the the need for illegal immigration low (due to smooth flowing immigration procedures).
Thus in the end I believe that in order to stop discrimination against immigrants in the long run and help to provide more opportunities is to focus on stopping illegal immigration. That being said I also think that helping kids of illegal immigrants achieve citizenship without deportation is a very important goal. Immigrants and native citizens alike are essential to a countries future and should learn to live in peace with each other, in the end we all are human.
Hagan, John, and Alberto Palloni. “Immigration and Crime in the United States.” Trans. Array The Immigration Debate. Washington D.C: National Academy Press, 1998. 367. Print.
“Immigration lessons for the U.S. from around the world.” cnn.com. CNN, 10 2012. Web. 11 Nov 2012. <http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/10/immigration-lessons-for-the-u-s- from-around-the-world/>.
The CNN Library. cnn.com. (2012): n. page. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/15/facts-on-immigration-in-the-united-states/>.