Time To Rethink Immigration

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Hundreds of thousands of immigrants flock to the United States every year. The immigrants come from all corners of the world. Some are from South America, some are from Asia, and some are from the Middle East. What will the effect on America be in the future? If America doesn't toughen immigration laws, serious problems will arise. One has to wonder what long term effect immigrants will have on America's economic future. People argue that immigrants are beneficial to the American economy. Actually, they do the opposite. The economic gain from immigration is $10 billion a year. The fiscal cost to the US is $15 to $20 billion a year (National Research Council/National Academy of Science). The detriment to the average US citizen is about $226 dollars a year says the National Acdemy of Sciences. Between 1917 and 1929 Mexican immigrants in the US sent around $10 million a year back to Mexico.

This is roughly equal to 7% of the value of exports from Mexico to the US at all time(Williams 177). That is more than the money of gain through exports! How can we afford to send our money to another country? This just does not make sense. Is a $10 million gain worth $200 a year to taxpayers? I think not.

The United States is unique from other countries because it has a middle class. Our middle class is one of the things that keeps the American dream going. Immigrants are diminishing the gap between the rich and the poor. The average immigrant has only a ninth grade education(US Census Bureau) and only about 48% of the working age immigrants have an occupational field (INS) . Supporters argue, "Who else is going to take hard labor jobs for low pay?" This is a problem today. 50% of...