The modern world has gone through various challenges in terms of economic and social reforms. In reference to this point, people across the globe have been seeking for greener pasture as they seek to improve on their living conditions. As a result, the movement of people across national borders or rather from one nation to the other has been on the rise in the recent times. With this in mind, one of the countries across the globe that continues to faces different challenges as a result of experiencing higher levels of immigrants is the United States of America. This is due to the fact that the United States of America is believed to be a land of opportunities since it the most developed country across the globe. Similarly, there are beliefs across the globe that political, social and economic structures of the United States are well developed and thus offer freedom and fairness to every person in the US. This is further supported by the fact that there is fully access to important amenities such as education and healthcare (Preston, 2010).
In spite of the fact that the United States is the most developed country in the world and may be in a position to provide shelter to immigrants through the provision of the necessary economic, political and social structures, there are reasons that have been cited in the past on the importance of limiting the number of immigrants that find their way into the US. On the other hand, there are also reasons why the US needs to allow immigrants into its boundaries. In line with this, this essay will examine why it is important for the United States to implement tougher or rather stringent immigration laws, whereas on the other hand examining why it need to be lenient on its immigrations laws. The essay will approach this topic of discussion by looking at the effects of immigrants on the social, economic and political structures together with national security of the United States.
Effects of Immigration on the US
Immigration across the globe in human history has always resulted in either chaos or peaceful moments depending on how it is done. Therefore, immigration into the United States by immigrants from across the globe has both positive and negative effects on the United States. These effects can be categorized as social, political and economic to national security threats. It is important for one to understand that before any laws on immigration are implemented, it is important to consider the effects that such implementations would have on the political, economic and social structures in the United States.
There are positive effects or rather benefits of immigration to the United States. To begin with, it has been found out that immigration has enabled the United States to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge that it would not have otherwise acquired. In reference to Preston (2010) in her article that appeared in the New York Times, there has been an increased rate of immigrants who have important knowledge and skills that are needed in the American workforce. In this regard, the American workforce has been receiving a flow of skilled workers from other countries into its labor market thus reducing the risk of lack of necessary skills that are needed in the workforce for an economy to continue thriving. In other words, the flow of the workforce has minimal chances of being interrupted due to a continuous supply of labor.
Apart from the formal labor force, it was found out that there are a lot of immigrants who were recruited into the American armed forces. This has enabled the United States to be in a position to deal with the demand for soldiers that have been send on different missions across the globe to fulfill the US policy of improving on global security. In the past, the United States armed forces faced challenges due to the fact that there was a shortage of Americans who were willing to join the armed forces. However, the inclusion of immigrants into the US army has been able to deal with these challenges, thus enabling the US to avoid compromising with its security standards.
The integration of immigrants into the American workforce has also been found to increase competitions in the American labor force (Preston, 2010). In this regards, some of the immigrants who come to America have the same skills as the Americans. Therefore, for the Americans to protect their jobs, most have been forced to pursue higher education and training as a way of improving their skills and knowledge and increasing their chances of being employed. In addition, others have been forced to pursue complementary courses and training that has raised their labor skills and knowledge. This has raised the standards of goods and services that are produced in the American economy.
Following this point, there has been an introduction of new forms of technology from other economies into the American economies as a result of integrating immigrants into the US economic, political and social structures. This has been facilitated by the fact that counties such as Japan, China, India and South Korea are specialists in certain types of technological pieces. However, buying this technological know-how has proved to be expensive in the past. However, through immigrants, these forms of technology have been able to trickle down and get into the US system thus putting the US at a position of efficient production at reduced costs of labor.
In line with this, the labor costs that are offered by immigrants are far much lower as compared to the costs of labor in the US. This is due to the fact that the US is developed more than any other country across the globe. As a result, the wages that are paid to its workers are very high as compared to any other country across the globe. Therefore, when these immigrants come to the United States, most of them are willing to be paid lesser that what is offered in the US labor market but higher than what they were being offered in their home countries. This has facilitated the fact that there is a substantial decrease in the cost of labor and consequently the cost of production in the US markets (Preston, 2010).
It has also been noted that the economic structures of the United States offer a favorable environment for conducting business. As a result of this, there are a lot of immigrants who have seized this opportunity to invest heavily in the American markets as to reap the benefits that are found in such market structures. Whereas this is a way of making profits to them, the American government has gained substantially since these businessmen and women have created jobs for the Americans. This has boosted the economy of the US in the past and when well maintained, this economy will continue to grow and expand with investment from foreigners who come to the US as immigrants contributing heavily to this economic development.
Negative Effects of Immigration on the US
There are numerous negative effects that immigrants pose to the United States; economically, socially, politically and in terms of national security. To begin with, the movement of immigrants into the United States has been found to increase the national spending of the US due to the fact that most of these immigrants are poor and unable to support themselves when they arrive in the United States. This has increased strain on the national budget of the United States especially during the recent economic downturn that affected the US economy to the point of recession (Archibold, 2010). It is particularly important to note that the support that is accorded to immigrant is not given to one person alone but to the whole family that this person has. For instance, if a person is married and has three children and immigrates to the United States, his family is supported together with himself. There have also been arguments that this has extended to gay marriages whereby gay families too are supported by this plan.
Whereas one of the advantages of immigrants to the United States is their injection of new skills and knowledge in the workforce, there are a lot of immigrants who have moved to the United States without knowledge and skills that could enable them to contribute positively towards growing the economy of the United States. In this regard therefore, such immigrants have been able to receive assistance from the government of the US to settle whereas they have little or no contribution at all towards building the American economy. Such immigrants are therefore more of a liability to the United States rather than an asset. On the other hand, language barrier has proved to be a hindrance to the dissemination of skills and knowledge of these immigrants into the United States. For instance, some of the Latin immigrants have the required skills and knowledge that could enable them work towards enhancing their lives and contributing towards building the US. However, most of these immigrants are unable to do so since they are not proficient in English. Therefore, they have to spend more of their time learning English before they are integrated into the workforce (Archibold, 2010).
In relation to this point, the level of crime and crime-related cases has been on the rise in the US. These crimes are committed by two groups of people; the America citizens and some of the immigrants. First, it is important to understand that when one does not have anything to do for a living, he or she will engage in criminal activities in order to have a means of surviving. As a result, the immigrants who have failed to secure jobs in the United States of America have ended up engaging in criminal activities. Additionally, some of these immigrants act as drug agents for drug traffickers outside the United States. Therefore, they have promoted the use of drugs among the American youths thus endangering the future generations of the Americans (Hall, 2005).
On the contrary, as a mentioned earlier, there have also been reported cases of crimes among the Americans that are on the rise. This is as a result of the fact that most of these Americans have lost their jobs in the recent past because the immigrants are willing to offer their labor at a cheaper cost. In line with this, these American have resulted to crime as a means of earning their living thus increasing the crime rates in the US. Therefore, the combined statistics of crimes committed by the immigrants and the Americans have produced an overall high rate of crime in the American society.
There have also been social impacts on the American society as a result of immigrants being integrated into the American society. To begin with, there are different characteristics that these immigrants have that have found their way into the American society. Some of these characteristics include the use of drugs among the immigrants. Therefore, after being integrated into the American society, the immigrant communities have managed to introduce these vices into the American societies. As a result, there are more Americans who have begun using drugs not because they learnt it from fellow Americans but because they have been introduced to it by immigrants (Hall, 2005).
In line with social behaviors in the American society, there have been serious problems between different races across the United States due to a high level of immigrants. The issue of race has managed to crop back into the American society with the Americans both blacks and whites discriminating against the immigrants. In most cases, the African Americans have been assigned menial jobs due to the fact that most of them are unable to access higher education that could help them be prepared for white collar jobs. However, the entrance of immigrants into the American societies has been found to take low class jobs that most of these blacks could be doing. Consequently, most of them are left without jobs. Therefore, to revenge back, most of them have been found to discriminate against the immigrants since there is nothing more that they can do to get back to them.
The inclusion of the immigrants into the American security forces has also continued to pose a risk to the national security of the United States. In this regard, some of the individual immigrants that have been recruited to fight and defend the economic, political and thus democratic and social structures of the United States have links to terrorist groups across the world. Therefore, there are high chances that these individuals can pass important information that belongs to the United States to terrorist groups thus compromising with the national security and making the US vulnerable to terrorist attacks across the world (Hall, 2005).