Whether it’s due to personal reasons, economic reasons, or unemployment, sometimes people need the opportunity to leave their nation and move somewhere new. Either to build onto what they already have or start over completely, moving to another country provides a very appealing alternative to the state of their current lifestyle. Often times this ends up in illegal immigration, which has more positive effects than people are led to believe. At one point in time America relied on outsiders so much that they were willing to enslave them in order to.
Like many other settler societies, the United States, before it achieved independence and afterward, relied on the flow of newcomers from abroad to occupy its unsettled lands. They had land and capital but lacked people to do the farming, lumbering, mining, hunting, etc (Diner, Hasia). Before long the African slave trade came into effect, bringing millions of migrants, against their will, into the United States. Now that America is thriving, laws are in place restricting entry into the country without hassle, and some are faced with deportation.
Illegal immigration is the act of entering and working in another country without the permission of the state/country authorities. Entering the country legally but violating the terms and conditions of the visas and passports and staying there for more than the legally allowed time frame, also accounts to illegal immigration (Pandey, Kundan). Illegal immigrants are often stereotyped and made to look like a nuisance, because Americans don’t always understand the different circumstances that classify one illegal, and in reality illegal immigrants contribute to the country in numerous ways.
Illegal immigrants help balance the economy because not only is the demand for low wage laborers always fulfilled, but the tax system benefits because the immigrants pay sales taxes. Also, Illegal immigrants who possess real estate properties pay real estate taxes, and agents and brokers generate commission from the real estate deals. Illegal immigrants pay interests and dividends to the banks, as well as financial loans and auto insurance loans, which contribute to the country’s income (Oak, Manali).
Illegal Immigrants do not get the benefits that citizens of the United States get, so one can understand how the taxes and loans they pay benefit the country more than if it were coming from a citizen. Not only do these contributing factors add to the positive reputation of immigrants, but also the fact that the United States is a melting pot society. Tens of millions of immigrants over four centuries have made the United States what it is today. They came to make new lives and livelihoods in the New World; their hard work benefited themselves and their new home country (Diner, Hasia).
Every person in the United States originates from somewhere else, so why should someone have the right to pick and choose who gets to stay here? Immigration provides an exchange of cultural values. An exchange of knowledge and expertise between two nations. It gives a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to find togetherness in each other. This is what this country was founded upon, so why should there be debate over stopping the cycle now? Besides the benefits illegal immigration provides us, the benefits it provides for the immigrants themselves is a greater picture.
An improved lifestyle, better work, and better education for their children are all things that every American citizen wants for their life. Is it so bad for someone from another country to want it for themselves, too? This is called “the land of opportunity” for a reason. Often times an illegal immigrant brings their family to another country illegally as well. This includes young children of all ages, which are labeled with the name illegal as well. The Dream Act is a bipartisan legislation that is working toward the education and citizenship of the illegal immigrant youth.
If passed, the dream act will allow qualified undocumented youth to receive a Conditional Permanent Residency, similar to Legal Permanent Residency in that you would be able to work, drive and travel (The Dream Act). However, it lasts for only 6 years and you will not be able to travel abroad for long periods of time. The current legislation states that a person can travel abroad up to 365 days in total for the entire 6 years under Conditional Permanent Residency. Those qualified will also be eligible for student loans and federal work-study programs, but will not be eligible for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants.
The dream Act requires that you complete a college degree, or participate in two years of military service, a small price to pay for freedom. The dream act also provides support groups for illegal immigration, which you can find by simply typing in your area code on the website. Nathan Thornburgh, a senior editor of Time magazine, stated that “Whether you fine illegal aliens or stick them in English classes or make them say a hundred Hail Marys, at the end of the day, illegals would be allowed to stay and become citizens… That’s amnesty. And that’s a good thing for America. Amnesty won’t depress wages – globalization has already done that.
Amnesty will not undermine the rule of law. It sounds counterintuitive, but with immigration, forgiving a crime may be the best way to restore law and order” (Thornburgh, Nathan). This idea provides a new view on illegal immigration, promoting that sometimes it is okay to forgive and forget, and in this case amnesty could be the answer. Thornburgh offers an alternative course of action that is understandable and not only touches on the truth that illegal immigrants aren’t the reason for the poor economic state of the United States, but also that they may even be able to help turn it around, should amnesty be considered.
As far as allowing drivers licenses to illegal aliens, it is an inefficient way to enforce immigration laws and prevent terrorism. Not allowing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants does not prevent them from obtaining them. Illegal immigrants have been caught with fake drivers licenses containing their own identities, as well as stolen or borrowed licenses of someone else’s. In the end, restricting driver’s licenses results in the proliferation of false documents. Allowing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants could stop this proliferation of false documents and should be considered.
Above all, illegal immigrants are role models. Maybe not in the sense of breaking the law, but for the fact that they are brave enough to come to another country and work toward a better life for themselves (Alexander, Rose). Also, they show good work ethic by taking readily available low paying jobs, to survive and send money home to support needy families. This concern for their families is also commendable because it sets an example for all of the deadbeat mothers and fathers in the nation.
Maybe it’s time people stop looking down on illegal immigrants and start looking up to them. Illegal immigrants are looking for nothing more than a new life and an opportunity to become part of a country that they can be proud of. Many times it is the children of illegal immigrants get stuck with this name, but it is not their fault. Is it such a bad thing to want a better life? It is my opinion that illegal immigrants are given better opportunities to become citizens of the United States, and that they can be accepted in our society.