Analysis of the Immigration Problem


The world has gone through a revolution and it has changed a 
lot. We have cut the death rates around the world with modern medicine 
and new farming methods. For example, we sprayed to destroy mosquitoes 
in Sri Lanka in the 1950s. In one year, the average life of everyone 
in Sri Lanka was extended by eight years because the number of people 
dying from malaria suddenly declined.

 This was a great human achievement. But we cut the death rate 
without cutting the birth rate. Now population is soaring. There were 
about one billion people living in the world when the Statue of 
Liberty was built. There are 4.5 billion today. World population is 
growing at an enormous rate. The world is going to add a billion 
people in the next eleven years, that's 224,000 every day! Experts say 
there will be at least 1.65 billion more people living in the world in 
the next twenty years.

 We must understand what these numbers mean for the U.S. Let's 
look at the question of jobs. The International Labor organization 
projects a twenty-year increase of 600 to 700 million people who will 
be seeking jobs. Eighty-eight percent of the world's population growth 
takes place in the Third World. More than a billion people today are 
paid about 150 dollars a year, which is less than the average American 
earns in a week. And growing numbers of these poorly paid Third World 
citizens want to come to the United States.

 In the 1970s, all other countries that accept immigrants 
started controlling the number of people they would allow into their
countries. The United States did not. This means that the huge numbers 
of immigrants who are turned down elsewhere will turn to the United 
States. The number of immigrants is staggering. The human suffering 
they represent is a nightmare. Latin America's population is now 390 
million people. It will be 800 million in the year 2025. Mexico's 
population has tripled since the Second World War. One third of the 
population of Mexico is under ten years of age, as a result, in just 
ten years, Mexico's unemployment rate will increase 30 percent, as 
these children become young adults, in search of work. There were in
1990 an estimated four million illegal aliens in the United States, 
and about 55 percent of them were from Mexico.

 These people look to the United States. Human population has 
always moved, like waves, to fresh lands. But for the first time in 
human history, there are no fresh lands, no new continents. We will 
have to think and decide with great care what our policy should be 
toward immigration. At this point in history, American immigration 
policies are in a mess. Our borders are totally out of control. Our 
border patrol arrests 3000 illegal immigrants per day, or 1.2 million 
per year, and Two illegal immigrants get in for every one caught. And 
those caught just try again!

 More than 1 million people are entering the U.S. legally every 
year. From 1983 through 1992, 8.7 million of these newcomers 
arrived-the highest number in any 10-year period since 1910. A record 
1.8 million were granted permanent residence in 1991. Because present 
law stresses family unification, these arrivals can bring over their 
spouses, sons and daughters: some 3.5 million are now in line to come 
in. Once here, they can bring in their direct relatives. As a result, 
there exists no visible limit to the number of legal entries. 

 Until a few years ago, immigrants seeking asylum were rare. In 
1975, a total of 200 applications were received in the U.S. Suddenly, 
asylum is the plea of choice in the U.S., and around the world, often 
as a cover for economic migration. U.S. applications were up to 
103,000 last year, and the backlog tops 300,000 cases. Under the 
present asylum rules, practically anyone who declares that he or she 
is fleeing political oppression has a good chance to enter the U.S. 
Chinese are almost always admitted, for example, if they claim that 
China's birth-control policies have limited the number of children 
they can have.

 Right now, once aliens enter the U.S., it is almost impossible 
to deport them, even if they have no valid documents. Thousands of 
those who enter illegally request asylum only if they are caught. The 
review process can take 10 years or more, and applicants often simply 

disappear while it is under way. Asylum cases are piling up faster 
than they can be cleared, with the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service falling farther behind every year. At her confirmation 
hearings at the end of September, Doris Meissner, Clinton's nominee as 
commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Services, conceded, 
'The asylum system is broken, and we need to fix it.'

 Adding the numbers of legal and illegal immigrants, 50 percent 
of all U.S. population growth comes from immigration. While Americans 
try to have smaller families, immigration threatens our nation. If 
immigration rates continue to be this high, more than seventy million 
people will be added to the United States population in just fifty 
years, with no end in sight. We are taking in more people than all of 
the rest of the world combined. As have all the other countries of the 
word, America needs to control its borders. As every house needs a 
door, so every country needs a border. And yet, our borders are full 
of holes. We have clearly lost control over our future. Our children 
will pay the price of uncontrolled immigration.

 The United States is no longer an empty continent. In 1886, 
when the Statue of Liberty was built, there were 58 million people in 
the United States. In 1984 there were 240 million people, that's four 
times the total population in less then a century The U.S. cannot and 
should not be the home of last resort for all the world s poor, 
huddled masses. We are not doing a good job with our own poor, as we 
see more people without jobs.

 Supporters of immigration use many arguments to support their 
side. Let's look at a few of these arguments: Illegal immigrants take 
jobs no Americans want. The fact is that the average illegal immigrant 
arrested in Denver, Colorado, made more than seven dollars an hour. 
Many were making over 100 dollars per day. Denver identified 43 
illegal aliens making 100 dollars per day as roofers, while 438 people 
were registered in their employment services who would have loved 
those jobs. The average illegal immigrant arrested in Chicago makes 
$5.65 an hour. More than thirty million American workers make less 
than that.

 A common belief is that aliens fulfill many of the least 
desirable jobs. However, most experts agree that in today's economy,
there is no shortage of Americans competing for many of these same 
jobs. Actually, many Americans already work in these low-paying jobs. 
For example: the poor black woman, who works as a seamstress, Her boss 
asked her to train a new employee, an illegal immigrant. As soon as 
she finished training her new charge, she was fired. Her position, of 
course, went to the illegal immigrant, who was willing to work for 
less pay, and under deplorable working conditions. This is one example 
of how illegal workers depress wages, and slow, stall or prevent 
unionization or improvements to working conditions.

 Another myth cited by supporters of immigration is that 
illegal immigrants work hard, pay taxes, and do not go on welfare. The
sad truth is that these folks seem to learn the ropes of the welfare 
system with incredible speed. Today's illegal immigrants apply for and 
receive benefits from the government that citizens need. According to 
Donald L. Huddle, an economist at Rice University in Texas, legal and 
illegal immigrants cost the nation a net 42.5 billion dollars in 1992.
The Huddle study also found that in 1992, more than 2 million 
Americans were displaced from their jobs by illegal immigrants. This 
resulted in an additional 11.9 billion dollars in public assistance. 

 In California alone, they cost more than 18 billion dollars a 
year. California currently has an estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants 
now attending grades' 0-12. This will costs the California tax payers 
an estimated 1.5 billion dollars. This is 10 percent of the students 
currently enrolled in our elementary schools today! California has 
49.8 percent of the countries illegal aliens, therefore, California 
pays multiple costs for its leaky borders.

 Providing health care for illegal immigrants costs California 
tax payers 400 million dollars annually. Illegals drain about two
billion dollars a year for incarceration, schooling and Medicaid from 
the budgets of such major destination states as Texas, Florida and 
California. For California alone, a 1993 study by the California 
Legislature estimates criminal justice costs involving illegal 
immigrants to be 385 million dollars to the state, with an additional 
112 million dollars to local or county government. This is a total 
cost of 497 million dollars, paid by the California tax payer, each 
and every year! 

 Illinois did a study showing that it paid 66 million dollars 
in unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants in one year, despite a
law that was supposed to stop illegal immigrants from getting 
unemployment benefits. Los Angeles estimates that it spends 269 
million dollars in social services on illegal immigrants each year. 
Every person added to our population drains our natural resources and 
contributes to the destruction of our environment.

 In a Pulitzer-Prize-winning study, the Des Moines Register 
found that for every person added to our population, 1.5 acres of the 
richest farm land goes out of production to make way for new houses, 
roads, and shopping centers. If this continues, the United States will 
stop shipping food to other countries shortly after the year 2000. How 
can the United States feed the hungry people of the world?

 The national majority now says it favors cutting back on legal 
immigration. A TIME/CNN poll determined last week that 77 percent of 
those surveyed felt the government was not doing enough to keep out 
illegal immigrants. For years now, the battle has raged between the 
federal authorities who are supposed to police the borders and the 
states who pay the price if they fail.

 In an attempt to reduce illegal immigration, Nevada Senator 
Harry Reid, has introduced a bill that would establish an annual limit 
of 300,000 newcomers, including ''immediate relatives,'' and a 
national identification card. Congress passed legislation in 1986 that 
stipulates fines and other penalties for employers who knowingly hire 
illegal aliens. The bill includes provisions to grant amnesty to 
illegal aliens who were in the United States prior to January 1, 1982, 
and to aid farmers who have relied on illegal aliens to harvest their 

 Does anyone benefit from the rising tide of illegal 
immigration? Businesses that can profit from employing illegals at low 
wages do. And many illegals are better off here than in their own 
countries. But many others are exploited by dishonest employers and
are treated like slaves. These immigrants are denied the rights and 
privileges we want every person in the United States to enjoy.

 In closing, we must all realize this issue will not go away. 
Other generations of Americans made great sacrifices so that we today 
can enjoy the freedom, the quality of life, and the standard of living 
that we have. When I think of what uncontrolled immigration will do to 
the dreams of my parents and grandparents, what it will mean to the 
future of my children, I realize that we will find a way to control 
immigration. Because we must. 

Primary And Secondary Sources 

(These listings are in order of their importance, in category.)

"Immigration: Identifying Propaganda Techniques"
 Bonnie Szumski & JoAnne Buggey, Ph.D.

College of Education, University of ' Minnesota
(Greenhaven Press 1989)

"Immigration-Opposing Viewpoints"
 David Bender & Bruno Leone, Series Editors 
 William Dudley, Book Editor
(Greenhaven Press 1990)

"The Essential Immigrant"
 Dan Lacey
(Hippocrene Books 1990)

 Kelly C. Anderson
(Lucent Books 1993)

"Immigration-A pictorial History of"
 Oscar Handlin
(Crown Publishers 1972)

"Immigrants, Refugees, and U.S. Policy"
 Grant S McClellan
(H. W. Wilson Company 1981)

"Immigration and Illegal Aliens"
 Mark A. Siegel, M.A., Ph.D. 
 Nancy R. Jacobs, B.A., M.A. 
 Patricia A. Von Brook, B.A., M.S.
(Information Plus 1989)


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