Immigration Problem in the U.S.


 The first move stopping immigration decided by Congress was a 
law in 1862 restricting American vessels to transport Chinese
immigrants to the U.S. The Alien Contract Labor Laws of 1885, 1887, 
1888, and 1891 restricted the immigration to the U.S. of people 
entering the country to work under contracts made before their 
arrival. Alien skilled laborers, under these laws, were allowed to 
enter the U.S. to work in new industries. By this time anti-immigrant 
felling rose with the flood of immigrants and in this period the 
anti-Catholic, anti-foreign political party the Know-Nothings, was 
already born. 

 After World War I a marked increase in racism and the growth 
of isolationist sentiment in the U.S. led to demands for further tight 
legislation. In 1921 a congressional act provided for a quota system 
for immigrants, which the number of aliens of any nationality admitted 
to the U.S. in a year could not exceed 3 percent of the number of 
foreign-born residents of that nationality living in the U.S. in 1910. 
This law applied to nations of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, 
Australia, New Zealand, Asian Russia, and certain islands in the 
Atlantic and Pacific. In the 1980s concern about the surge of illegal 
aliens into the U.S. has led Congress to pass legislation aimed at 
cutting illegal immigration. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 
1986 allows most illegal aliens who have resided in the U.S. regularly 
since January 1, 1982, to apply for legal status. Also, the law 
prohibits employers from hiring illegal aliens and mandates penalties 
for violations.

 Debate over immigration and immigration policy is not new to 
the nation's history. From time to time, Congress jarred legislation 
to control the flow of immigration. As immigration rises and hatred 
grows more laws will be implemented trying to release some of the 
pressure. Illegal immigration has some pros and cons. I will discuss 
the pros first and explain them briefly in order for you to get a 
better understanding of the position. It offers cheaper labor to 
businesses. By not paying minimum wages to the workers who are willing 
to work for a lower price, this gives the business an edge over other 
competitors. Provides culture diversity in the united states. Bringing 
in immigrants gives more and different cultures to the U.S.. which can 
expand businesses to other fields of the world. Also giving people a 
more understanding of other cultures.

 Lowers the cost of products produced in the U.S. that we buy. 
If the businesses can produce products and services at a low price 
keeping there overhead low, then we as a consumer will also pay a 
lower price. Most illegals are skilled workers and helps run the 
economy. Other countries economy is also being helped. The workers 
bring money to their families out side of the U.S. which in most
cases the U.S. dollar has a higher value than their own.

 Experts disagree saying the cons of this issue out way the 
pros. Next I will discuss some cons and explain them briefly. Illegal
immigrants pay no tax. If they pay no taxes then how can we as a 
country pay for public services we as well as they do. Sending money 
out of our economy and sending it to their families abroad. If money 
is taken out of our economy it causes a monetary problem. this can 
cause an inaccurate account of money in circulation which might cause 
inflation. Lower wages. If an illegal is willing to work for under the 
minimum wage then the employer will not pay more for the job to any 
other employ. In fact might higher only illegals and take away jobs 
form legal residents who are willing to work.

 When illegals come to this country they do not get tested for 
diseases that might infect the population. Which can cause a health
problem. Such as polio, tuberculosis and other forms of diseases.
Illegals cost the states money, paying for education, health care, and 
other social services. In an already under funded programs they give 
these services a more heavy burden to deal with. Republicans have 
reached agreement among themselves on legislation designed to combat 
illegal immigration. But with their package facing delaying tactics 
from Senate Democrats and a veto from the president, they finished the 
week of Sept. 2 uncertain of their next move1 "Republicans need to 
show we can govern,"2 said bill sponsor Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "We need 
to show we can pass good legislation."3 

 Dianne Feinstein (d-Calif.) called for tough and controversial 
enforcement measures, including imposing a toll on anyone entering the 
united states to raise revenues to beef up the Border patrol.4 Sen. 
Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) one of senate's leading authorities on 
immigration issues, also proposed a similar border tax ten years ago, 
but was defeat in senators fearing it would detour tourists.5

 Referring to the Democrats "If they want to go home and do 
nothing about illegal immigration, that's a gross violation of what we 
should be doing,"6 said Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., sponsor of the 
Senate bill. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and other Democrats on 
the Immigration Subcommittee said Republicans would have to choose 
between passing an immigration bill, or proving their ideological 
purity on the public school issue.7 

 Both democrats and republicans agree that illegal immigration 
should be dealt with. The problem is they cant agree on anyone
purposes given to them. The Democrats say it is the Republicans fault, 
the Republicans say it is the Democrats fault. With this type of 
finger pointing neither of them will gain a fast decisive action to 
resolve the problem. When it comes to illegal immigrants there are a 
lot of interest groups that have been involved in this issue. From 
businesses to governments agencies. 

 First the businesses, especially in agriculture. Agriculture 
employs more undocumented workers than any other industry in the
country. Half of California's 700,000 farm workers are estimated to be 
undocumented. "Three decades ago, the percentage of foreign-born farm 
workers in California was 50 percent,"8 the Chronicle stated. "Now it 
is 92 percent."9 

 Agriculture, however, is not the only industry with an 
insatiable need for the cheap labor provided by immigrants. Published 
by the Chronicle, a list of businesses fined by the INS in San 
Francisco includes a car rental company, construction firms, 
restaurants, clubs, a trucker, a travel agency and even a Protestant 
church.10 Everywhere one looks today, one sees immigrant workers 
cleaning rooms in hotels, mowing lawns in the suburbs, pumping gas in 
service stations, doing janitorial chores in countless workplaces, 
toiling in the garment industry and doing all sorts of temporary jobs. 

 These business groups have a lot of interest in illegal 
immigration. They provide cheaper labor which cuts costs and causes
better competition. Richard Rogers, district director of the INS in 
Los Angeles, was quoted as saying: "If we were to increase fines 75 to 
80 percent, we would probably have a lot of people out of business."11 

 Government agencies are also involved. The new immigration 
legislation nearly doubles the size of the Border Patrol. In addition, 
National Guard and active-duty armed forces personnel are used more 
and more along the border. Local police forces are also being 
authorized to enforce immigration law, says Roberto Martinez of the 
American Friends Service Committee's U.S./Mexico border program.12 

 Possible solutions to the problem. Faster citizens processing, 
helping illegals country's economy such as NAFTA which is already in 
affect. Some suggest tamper proof residency cards, computerize the 
I.N.S., increases the number of boarder patrol agents, and build a 
wall around the U.S. and problem countries. There has been many 
suggestions made in dealing with this problem. The Gallegly bill is 
one of them. If ever completed by House-Senate conferees, is likely to 
include several conditions already adopted in similar form by both 
chambers. As passed by the House and Senate, the bill would: 

 Increase the number of border patrol agents by 1,000 each year 
between 1996 and 2000, roughly doubling the force to reach 10,000. 
Make it difficult for people caught trying to enter the United States 
illegally, or overstaying a visa, from being granted visas in the 
future. Establish pilot programs in which employers could 
electronically check the immigration status of their employees. 
Restrict public benefits for legal immigrants by increasing the time 
for which their sponsors are responsible for them. This section is
partially obtained by the welfare law, which denies benefits to many 
legal immigrants. Allows the deportation of legal immigrants
who illegally accepted public benefits for 12 months or more. Besides 
the Gallegly provision, which is in the House bill only, conferees 
face two other issues with major disagreements between the two 

 The House would require that any family wishing to sponsor a 
legal immigrant earn at least twice the poverty rate. The Senate 
bill would require the family to earn an income one-fourth higher 
than the poverty rate. The House bill would also make it much more 
difficult to apply for political asylum, both for those who apply 
upon entry into the United States or for those already on U.S. soil. 

 Immigration experts generally agree that the Clinton 
Administration has devoted more attention to immigration than either 
of its two Republican predecessors and he always has at least two 
reactions: his initial public statement (determined largely by
public-opinion polls, which show support for restrictions), and then 
the actual policy (as determined by his advisors and the various 
special interests they represent). 

 Clinton proposed legislation that included expedited exclusion 
for frivolous asylum claimants, an increase in INS asylum personnel, 
and various anti-smuggling provisions. President Clinton's record on 
legal immigration. In June 1995, the U.S. Commission on Immigration 
Reform, chaired by the late Barbara Jordan, recommended a modest cut 
in legal immigration and the elimination of some extended-family 
immigration categories.

 President Clinton immediately endorsed the recommendations as 
"consistent with my own views" and added that they "are pro-family, 
pro-work, pro-naturalization."13 Clinton's record on illegal 
immigration, since that is a major focus of his re-election campaign, 
particularly in California, a must-win state. Less than three months 
after taking office Clinton sent to Congress his Fiscal Year 1994 
budget proposal for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which 
included cutting 93 Border Patrol positions. President Clinton gave a 
speech in which he proclaimed that "our borders leak like a sieve" and 
urged that $45.1 million be spent to beef up the Border Patrol, 
including six hundred new agents.14 He failed to mention that the 
House had already approved an additional $60 million for the Border 
Patrol, or that the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved an 
additional $45 million. 

 One of the California's response to the problem was 
proposition 187. This proposition seeks to deny social services to 
illegals and their children. Pete Wilson, governor of California, 
announces his intention to file a suit against the federal government 
for "its failure to control our nation's borders."15 He claims that 
there are a million illegal residents in the city of Los Angles alone,
and that since 1988 the taxpayers of California have spent more than 
$10 million in education, medical, and prison costs for illegal 

 My personal opinion is not good for illegal immigrants. I 
believe that illegals should deal with their problems in their 
countries, instead of coming here and creating more problems. If there 
country has a poor economy then they should fix it. In the long run
it would be good for their country, but I know this is easier said 
than done. The illegals that are already here should be deported. The 
term "illegal" speaks for itself , that is what they are called 
illegals. Also they should not live and take up social services that 
legal residents use. Some people say "They have the right to use these 
services they, pay sales tax and don't file income tax which in most 
cases the government owes them." Well I do not see it that way. I 
found that a majority of illegals that work here take the money out of 
the country and into there families in other countries. Most of their 
net income goes outside of the U.S. economy. 

 My father came to this country over 30 years ago. He applied 
for a visa, which took him two years to get, complied with all
regulations dealing with immigration to the U.S. After arriving to the 
U.S. he work hard to became a legal resident and finally a citizen, 
gaining all privileges of that citizenship. Why should others come and 
take those privileges while they come here illegally.

 Out of the solutions given in section three the one I believe 
to be the best is the Gallegly bill. I believe that a tighter 
restriction with added border patrol would be the best and reasonable 
option. Building a wall with machine gun towers would be a great
deterrent as in the old Germany, but I don't think that's America's 


 1. Dan Carney, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly 
Report, 9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36, p2531.

 2. Dan Carney, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly 
Report, 9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36, p2531.

 3. Dan Carney, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly 
Report, 9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36, p2531. 

 4. Glenn F. Miller, Los Angles Times, 7/1/93,pA25.

 5. Glenn F. Miller, Los Angles Times, 7/1/93,pA26.

 6. Dan Carney, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly 
Report, 9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36, p2531. 

 7. Dan Carney, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly 
Report, 9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36, p2531.

 8. Moises Sandoval ,National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 
Issue 33, p20.

 9. Moises Sandoval ,National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 
Issue 33, p20.

 10. Moises Sandoval ,National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 
Issue 33, p20.

 11. Moises Sandoval ,National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 
Issue 33, p20.

 12. Moises Sandoval ,National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 
Issue 33, p20.


Taylor, Monica. Workbook For Political science 5, Western Custom 

Conover, Ted. A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal 
Aliens. Vintage, 1987.

Hutchinson, E. P. Legislative History of American Immigration Policy, 
1798-1965. Pennsylvania, 1981.

Bontemps, Arna and Conroy, Jack. Anyplace But Here. Hill & Wang, 1966.

May, Charles Paul. The Uprooted. Westminster, 1976.

Carney,Dan, " Social Policy " Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 
9/7/96, Vol. 54 Issue 36,p2531.

Miller,Glenn F., Los Angles Times, 7/1/93,pA25.

Sandoval, Moises, National Catholic Reporter, 6/28/96, Vol. 32 Issue 
33, p20.


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