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The Immigration Problem Essay Research Paper The

The Immigration Problem Essay, Research Paper

The Immigration Problem

The question is have we given up on turning our immigrants into Americans

(Brimelow 30). Undoubtedly, all the hipped-up controversial rhetoric will deter

the immigrant population from becoming legal. It has become such a hassle to go

through the process that many people choose to cross the border without

permission. Before 1960, eighty percent of the immigration to America came from

Europe. Since 1960, however, eighty percent has come from places other than

Europe (Wishard 153). As a result, immigrant laws have become less accepting of

the immigrant community. Long ago, European immigrants were given a job, shelter,

and food. Soon, the new immigrants were granted citizenship and voting

privileges (Hernandez A1). Today, immigrants are lucky to cross the boarder

without being shot–God forbid they become citizens.

Contrary to what many believe, many immigrants are not here to become citizens.

Many wish to stay for a short time and then return to their home. In fact, many

immigrants are reluctant to become legal. Many harbor hopes and dreams of

eventually returning to their friends and family back home. Then there are the

distinct few who do not wish to decide, and would like have “dual citizenship.”

To be loyal to more than one country, to vote in both countries, and to travel

back and forth easily (Limon).

To understand the affects of immigration one must study the state where it is

more rampant. California is a magnet for immigrants. As a result, many claim

that immigrants are a great economic burden. California does, however, benefit

from its porous borders. The succession of immigrant groups has brought the

state unparalleled ethnic diversity (Gerston 9). Besides ethnic diversity,

California has one of the most diverse economies in the world. Despite its

problems, California prevails in agriculture, mining, manufacture,

transportation, communication, electronics, construction, and defense. These

industries contain a high percentage of immigrants. If California were an

independent nation, with a 695.3 billion dollar economy, it would rank eighth in

the world (Gerston 8). California’s dense population is a direct result of

immigration, which accounts for California’s great political and economic


The unregulated movement of goods, services, and people throughout the states is

what makes this country economically stable and productive. NAFTA (North

American Free Trade Agreement) and GATT (General Agreement on Trades and

Tariffs) are examples of successful agreements between neighboring countries.

These agreements have resulted in the unparalleled betterment of the economies

involved. Open markets in banking, insurance, agriculture, telecommunications,

construction, tourism, advertising, etc. are essential to a capitalist economy.

We cannot, in a world economy, close our doors to the rest of the world

(Limbaugh). The Clinton Administration is committed to reducing illegal

immigration, and agreements like NAFTA are critical to that effort (Christopher


Laws do little or nothing to curb the illegal immigration problem. Everyone

claims to be against immigration, but those same people love the low-cost

agricultural products they purchase from the supermarket. No one seems to

protest the inexpensive fruits and vegetables cultivated and grown by

undocumented workers. Politicians who claim to be adamantly against illegal

immigration turn around and hire illegal aliens. Pete Wilson, Dianne Feinstein,

and Michael Huffington have all contributed to the “nannygate” problem. It is

actually no big deal, but it shows how honest and forthright our politicians are.

Everyone contributes to the problem, but no one will face reality. Let’s face it,

we all reep the benefits of illegal immigration. Let’s forget about all the

useless rhetoric, and cut a deal with Mexico and other countries that will

benefit everyone (Olmo B7). If politicians are serious about curbing immigration

they should try to strengthen the world economy. Mexico’s average salary is one-

sixth ours (Gore). Can we expect immigrants to stay out?

Recent, controversial debates have struck a fuse in many Americans. Americans

who have been laid off or who can’t seem to get ahead in our capitalist market

seem to be infuriated by the influx of illegal aliens. They feel that they

cannot compete with low-wage workers. To show for this is the countless anti-

immigrant legislation being proposed to congress. There are grass-roots

initiatives out there proposing to amend the constitution to limit American

citizenship solely to children born of U.S. citizens only (McDonnel A1). A

significant number of people wish to eradicate the rights foreign nationals have

acquired through the years. Americans have proven to be very competitive in the

world market. Especiall those who have a good education.

Many feel that immigrants do not deserve an education because they have not

contributed to the well being of the community. Already, undocumented students

are the least likely to be given financial help, and they are often charged the

highest tuition fees. Under a new court ruling, undocumented Cal State students

will lose access to the system’s grants programs; in addition, they will be

charged out of state fees (Chandler A3). Many will have to drop out. That is

unfortunate because immigrants tend to be better students.

One of the biggest concerns Americans have with immigrants is education. It is a

common and incorrect stereotype to believe that immigrant children bring

substandard skills and poor attitudes to school (Woo A1). People from all over

the world have brought with them their culture and enthusiasm for education.

Prevalent, it is, that many immigrant students, legal or not, have grades

substantially higher than their American counterparts. A new study found that

children of immigrant parents have a greater desire to learn. Their grades are

superior, they score higher on standardized tests and they aspire to college at

a greater rate than their third-generation peers (Woo A1).

While immigrant civil rights groups gain new footing, activist groups are

growing at an unprecedented rate. Many of these groups preach hate and violence.

Bete Hammond from S.T.P.I.T. (Stop The Out-of-control Problems of Immigration

Today) said, “It’s bad enough that we do everything for their citizens when they

come here illegally and break our laws, now they want us to bail out their

economy?” Hammond, obviously referring to the loan-guarantees to Mexico. Hammond

tells his followers, “we’ve got to take back our country.”

Those who tend to agree with legislation directed at immigrants should listen to

the legislation’s proponents. S.T.P.I.T has, for the most part, shown its stance

on progress. They were against NAFTA [which created new jobs for the three

countries involved], the Mexico “bailout” [which was just a loan], and they want

the strictest laws to apply only to our immigrants legal or illegal. Especially

those from countries they dislike, namely: non-anglo, or “inferior countries.”

The people who are least likely to be affected by illegal immigration are the

ones who are more likely to be against it. Barbara A. Coe said, “We are tired of

being victims of these people.” Barbara is chairwoman of the Orange County-based

California Coalition for Immigration Reform, an umbrella group that was a key

organizer on behalf of Proposition 187 (McDonnel A1). Orange County is one of

the most affluent counties in Southern California. Despite the counties recent

economic problems (i.e. bankruptcy), the people who live there are still in

better economic conditions than the rest of the state. Ultimately, what caused

the counties bankruptcy was not immigration, but bad investments.

There is no quick fix to the immigration problem. People have studied the issue

for centuries, and no one can figure it out. The world’s most educated scholars

cannot find the answer to the growing problem. The key lies in something very

simple: a world government. No matter how the economy is doing, no one will be

left out. A world government can only occur in my dreams. Unfortunately, there

are too many gun-toating-crazies ready to label it “communism.” The next best

alternative lies in a borderless world. A world that shares its resources,

people, rights, money, and knowledge, is a better world. Our salvation lies in

reciprocity not altruism.

The idea of a borderless world will conjure up fears among many. People believe

that the world’s population will suddenly try to infiltrate the Americas. If

countries were more equal then there would be no need for immigration in the

first place. I do not want a world government; I want equality for the world’s


Brimelow, Peter,. “TIme to Rethink Immigration.” National Review 44

(1992): 30-68.

Chandler, John. “CSU Plans to Raise Fees for Illegal Immigrants.”

L.A. Times 2 Apr. 1995: A3.

Christopher, Warren. “NAFTA: In the overriding interest of the

United States.” Dispatch 15 Nov. 1993: 785.

Fragomen, Austin T. Jr. The Illegal Alien: Criminal or

Economic Refugee? Staten Island: Center for

Migration Studies, 1973.

Gerston, Larry and Terry Christensen. California Politics

and Government: A Practical Approach.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1993.

Gore, Albert Jr. “North American Free Trade Agreement.”

C-SPAN. 15 Dec. 1993.

Hernandez, Efrain Jr. and Simon, Richard. “Despite Gains, Latino

Voters Still Lack Clout.” L.A. Times

4 Dec 1994: A1.

Limbaugh, Rush. “Open-Line Friday.” KFI, Los Angeles.

7 Apr. 1995.

Limon, Emiliano. “I want dual citizenship.” KFI,

Los Angeles. 28 Apr. 1995.

McDonnel, Patrick J. “For Them, Prop. 187 is Just the Beginning.”

L.A. Times 28 Jan. 1995: A1.

Olmo, Frank. “Perspective on Immigration; Open the Door to Mexicans.”

L.A. Times 31 Jan. 1995: B7.

Wishard, Van Dusen. “The Wider Vision Seeks to Inspire the Best in

People.” Vital Speeches 6 (1994): 153.

Woo, Elaine. “Immigrants do Well in School, Study Finds.” L.A. Times

3 Apr. 1995: A1.


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