A Position Paper on Immigration

Essay by biged522University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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Immigration is a topic that is discussed in coffeehouses, at the break room water fountain, in the boardrooms, and at the highest level of government. Why, we ask is this, such a widely discussed topic? I believe the answer will vary from person to person. I believe the primary reason is centered on cost. There are those who argue, that the cost of supporting immigrants, is burdening our state budget. The cost of supporting their health care needs, public schooling, and public assistance needs, far out weigh the benefit of there being here. Then there are those who point to Ellis Island and a statue, at the base of that statue is inscribed, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". They believe that America was founded on the sweat and toil of immigrants.

The Alien Payoff, a reading by Paul Glastris, touches on all of the controversial arguments that have been highlighted in all of the places mentioned in my first sentence.

Glastris starts the reading by depicting the life of Francisco Castro, a Mexican immigrant. Castro works in the Los Angeles Produce Market, eleven hours a day, six days a week. I believe that Glastris selected Castro because he may represent our perception of a Mexican immigrant. That image is "laborer", physical toil, long hours doing what a native-born worker would not. I agree with Glastris' assessment of cheap labor translating to lower food cost to consumers. Glastris highlights a landmark report by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, this report concludes, the actual effect of immigrations' impact on our economy is "not that great", "The cost to native-born workers are small, and so are the benefits," (Richard Freeman - Economist, Harvard University). The report acknowledges the substantial cost...