Does Immigration Contribute to a Better America
He stressed the ramifications of the “demographic mutation” (pg 40) that America is undergoing and the fear that this country will become a “freak” (pg 40) among the world’s nations. The Immigration policy is an extremely relevant issue in today’s society. Although, the idea of immigration being a “crisis” allows for misinterpretation. Many Americans fail to take into consideration the positive effects that a highly diverse country brings to each individual person. Evidence of the social, cultural, national and economical effects indeed show that with the proper regulations and implementations, immigration contributes to a better America.
In the words of Phillippe Legrain in The Case for Immigration: The Secret to Economic Vibrancy , the “potential gains from freer migration are huge” (pg 34). No matter which way the term is looked at, diversity cannot be seen as a bad thing. Having hundreds of thousands of millions of different kinds of people all living in the relatively same environment is a wonderful thing. Children growing up in a predominately one-ethnicity populated area don’t get the same type of education socially that kids in a diverse area would. People that are shielded from diversity, racially, ethnically and culturally are blind to a different side of life.
A diverse society offers “the opportunity to lead a richer life by meeting people from different backgrounds: friends, colleagues, and even a life partner. ”(pg 36) In a world market that involves more and more networking with nations all over the globe, why not be introduced to other kinds of people back home in one’s own country? Growing up with a cornucopia of people will only make it easier when faced with diversity in other work places in the future. In the end, we are all different but we together we are the only race, the human race. Fear of a cultural imbalance is a concern brought upon by immigration.
People worry about the dilution of the American culture. But what is American culture? The United States of America prides itself on being a melting pot of people from all over the world. Its culture is nothing but a combination of each and every culture of the very people that reside in it: from the Native Americans who first lived here, to the British that colonized, the Africans brought as slaves, to the French that migrated from Canada, the Hispanics from South America and so on and so forth. American culture cannot be stemmed from any one culture alone. In this sense we don’t have a set culture.
The American culture only diversifies and becomes more appealing with the arrival of more people, cultures, and ideas. An increase in the vibrancy of our culture has been proven to positively affect the ideas and innovations of this country. “Immigrants tend to see things differently rather than following the conventional wisdom” says Legrain. “Research shows that a diverse group of talented individuals can perform better than a likeminded group of geniuses” (pg 35) because each person pushes the other to succeed and offers outside perspectives, ideas, and wisdom.
The United States of America was founded upon the idea for a refuge for people being suppressed by their home country. In a sense America itself is a nation of immigrants or descendants thereof. So what/who is a true American? And who decides what the qualifications are for someone to be a quote “American”? Setting quotas that limit the number of immigrants accepted into the United States of America goes against the original foundation of this country. What would have happened if the Native Americans got together and decided they were only going to allow so many British per year because they wanted to keep their nation pure?
By controlling who comes into the country America is going back on its founding principles. If American opened its doors to those people being oppressed in their home countries, like it once did, it would only increase a sense of nationalism. The new immigrants would be so thankful of the opportunity America had granted them while older immigrants would be proud of a country that does so much to help out people of poorer parts of the earth. Then and only then will America be fulfilling its fundamental goal, instead of refusing aid to less fortunate humans that this country provided for our British ancestors so long ago.
One of the major oppositions to the immigration policy has to do with the economy. American recently has been going through an economic crisis where jobs have been scarce. People are looking for work with no avail. A logical, though misguided, conclusion is that the few available jobs are occupied by illegal and legal foreigners that accept work for less pay. Contrary to popular belief while “the number of immigrants has risen sharply over the past twenty years, America’s unemployment rate has fallen. (pg 36) Immigrants have different values, ideas, and motives and therefore are willing to accept jobs that most Americans are now overlooking. Immigrants are more likely to pick a job as a janitor at a local school than would a 24 year old American college graduate. Since the high school dropout rate has diminished, so has the number of Americans looking for low skill low paying jobs. Foreigners are willing to come into the country and accept these lower paying jobs and allow for the production and occupation of higher skilled, higher paying jobs by more educated citizens. Just as women did not deprive men of jobs when they entered the labor force too, foreigners don’t cost Americans their jobs—they don’t just take jobs; they create them too”(pg 36) says Legraine, “as advanced economies create high-skilled jobs they inevitably create low-skilled ones too. ” All of the aforementioned benefits of immigration relates to those legal immigrants. Legal immigrants receive the same benefits as other Americans while taking on the same responsibilities.
Illegal immigrants have the luxury of coming to this country working for free, non taxable, income and sending it back to their home countries, which does little to stimulate the American economy. They benefit from things that the rest of the citizens pay for. That being said, I do not support illegal immigration. It is unjust to the legal immigrants and citizens of the United States who literally and figuratively pay for the benefits they receive. I do however believe that the legalization process and immigration policies do need reform.
I do not believe America should set quotas for the number of immigrants allowed to travel into the country. If they pass immigration standards and regulations they should be allowed legal access into the United States. I do not support the point system that gives certain skilled workers priority over other potential immigrants. One of the main reasons illegal immigration is so high is because of the difficulty of acquiring legal access to the country. In order to reduce illegal immigration, the United States should simplify its immigration process while still ensuring and maintaining the safety of its itizens. I support the Immigration Reform of 1986 that allows for deportation of illegal immigrants and punishes employers that knowingly higher illegals. In no way should illegal immigrants be allowed to benefit from the opportunities abundant in America. However, legal access to the country should be made more realistic and, for lack of a better word, easier for qualified persons of other countries looking for a better life in the United States of America. After all, we are the land of the free.