Amnesty to the Illegal Immigrants Essay

Amnesty to the Illegal Immigrants

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            The issue of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants in the recent years has become political hot issue. Opinion is divided between those who want the illegal immigrants deported for violating the laws of the land and those who advocate for their amnesty claiming that the country stands to gain more with amnesty than with mass deportation.  A look at the just concluded elections indicates the issue has been sensitive with both presidential candidates trending cautiously to avoid vexing the conservatives who are against illegal immigration and the liberals who are in support of amnesty.  This is in recognition of the fact that both sides represent a massive proportion of their support.  The position of this paper is that illegal immigrants in the United States should be granted amnesty for they stand to contribute towards economy building.

            Each and every year thousand of people mostly from Latin America and Asia fight to gain entrance into the United States, in recognition of the vast opportunities that are present in America.  Currently, an official estimate puts the figures of illegal immigrants in the country to be over 12 million. This represents a substantial proportion of the population and the workforce.  It was in this light that senator Edward Kennedy and Senator John McCain introduced a bill in the house seeking to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies.  In the proposal, the senators were trying to strike a delicate balance between the needs of America to maintain security along and within its borders and as well as meet its labor force needs.  According to the proposals, there was an urgent need to introduce stiffer laws on immigration as well as ensure the immigrants to be granted amnesty have met the minimum requirements of being proficient in English as well as of impeccable criminal record (Michael 46).

            A number of approaches to the issue of illegal immigrants have been proposed but amnesty remains the most effective.  Granting illegal immigrant’s amnesty has a number of benefits to the nation.  One of the greatest contributions is through the building of a formidable labor force for the nation.  President Bush recognized this and through the Fair and Secure Immigration Reform (FSIR) he has sought to “offer amnesty to some illegal immigrants and expand the number of temporary work visas granted to laborers from Mexico.” (Gordon 57)  This was a positive move for a look at a number of agricultural plantations and manufacturing factories reveals that they have been thriving on illegal immigrant’s labor.  This has been the trend since time immemorial. The contribution of immigrant labor to the US economy is well chronicled, in the 19th century for example, “industrialists praised the stream of immigrants from Europe because their workers provided the cheap labor that fuelled the burgeoning factories of the industrial revolution.” (Wayne et al 77).  Indeed as Wayne et al (77) further observes, the reluctance with which the congress has approached the issue of illegal immigrants is in the knowledge that they “have provided much of the low-wage labor in sectors of the economy such as agriculture, hotels and restaurants”.  Granting the huge list of the undocumented immigrant’s amnesty will ensure that the United States continues to reap huge economic benefits from the large pool of labor supply.

            By granting amnesty to the illegal immigrants, the government stands to bring to the taxation circle millions of immigrants that have evaded taxation for ages.  The major proposal on the table is that illegal immigrants be granted amnesty after remitting all the past taxes defaulted.  A close look at how illegal immigrants pay taxes indicates that in the long run the federal government stands to gain and would gain more by granting them amnesty.  Illegal immigrants pay billions in taxes through the use of fake social security numbers and yet such funds are not to be drawn out.  Amnesty to the illegal immigrants will go along way in encouraging those that have escaped the net to pay their taxes.  Amnesty will also give the federal agencies records of all immigrants and will ease the tracing of illegal immigrants incase of tax default or criminal activities (Joan 28).

            Indeed there are immense benefits but not all however identify will them.  Critics to amnesty cite a number of reasons.  One of the claims is that granting amnesty is tantamount to increasing the number of poor people in United States and will go a long way in straining the available resources and social amenities.  They claim that these immigrants will be surviving at the expense of the American tax payers not to mention the cost of security patrols due to increased criminal activities.  Indeed a look at the illegal immigrants indicates that a large proportion of them are of meager education.  A number of illegal immigrants have also been involved in criminal activities.  The existing findings however indicate that American citizens are more likely to be involved in crime than the illegal ones as the later are afraid of deportation.  Statistics also indicate that immigrants contribute more to the economy than they get from the government in terms of social amenities.  This is because of the immense contributions they make through providing the nation with a large pool of cheap labor and the remittances they make to the IRS.  Granting them amnesty hence will ensure that America continues drawing more from their contributions in terms of labor and taxation than it would through deportation and detentions.

Works Cited

Wayne A. et al. Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective. University of California,           San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies. Stanford University Press, 1994; 75-    79

Gordon Howard Hanson. Why Does Immigration Divide America?: Public Finance and            Political Opposition to Open Borders. Institute for International Economics           (U.S.). Peterson Institute, 2005; 57

Michael Kazin, Frans Becker, Menno Hurenkamp. In Search of Progressive America.     University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008; 41-47

Joan S et al. Creating and Transforming Households: The Constraints of the World-       economy. Cambridge University Press, 1992; 24-28

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