Illegal Immigration

Essay by yakabodCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2008

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

As a new election year approaches, illegal immigration has been at the forefront of media coverage and has provoked strong feelings and opinions from many voters as well-as politicians. In his book, Reefer Madness, Eric Schlosser, correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, notes that "The state's [California] recruitment of illegal's from Mexico started a trend that has lately spread throughout the United States". Illegal immigration has been a longstanding issue in the United States, creating immense controversy but everyone agrees that change is necessary and inevitable. Unfortunately, at the heart of the issue is the fact that the U.S. economy is dependent on hiring illegal migrant workers. Nevertheless, as the migrant labor force in the U.S. increases, the benefits to all parties affected may not outweigh the problems it poses to society in general. Undoubtedly, hosting illegal immigrants imposes costs on the legal residents of United States particularly in jobs, crime, and taxes.

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, notes that in the United States alone the estimated total illegal population equaled twelve million in January 2006 according to the Pew Hispanic Center. In fact, "...the number of illegal aliens has increased dramatically and, since the mid 1990's, has surpassed the number of legal immigrants." While most illegal immigrants come to this country to escape war, sexism, or poor living and economic conditions in their country, Alien labor has become vital to the American lifestyle and necessary for a good economy. Migrant workers, most of them illegal immigrants, supply the bulk of the labor force for picking and packing fresh fruit and vegetables. Without the labor that migrant workers provide, it would mean paying a great deal more for the same fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, a great deal of fruit would rot on the ground due to a shortage of available American...