The USA And Its Problem Of Illegal Immigration (Essay)

free essayOne of the critical issues for the US is illegal immigration, which encompasses such issues as tax payment problems, crime ratios, access to health care and other services. It is possible to solve a significant part of these problems by means of an adequate policy that clearly defines and regulates the process of immigration, grants safety to all the citizens and deals with economic, ethical and other problems. As the issue of immigration is one of the most vital for the US the policies addressing, it is necessary to review and change them in order to ensure safety and well-being of all communities in the country. This approach would positively affect the economic aspect of the problem due to increased tax rates as well as grant adequate medical care and other social benefits for the community of illegal immigrants.

Causes and Consequences

The immigration policies and the phenomenon of immigration itself is one of the highly debatable topics among the US society due to its relevance to the structure. Considering the fact that the US has been a multinational country since its origin, it embraces hundreds of nations and ethnicities, which should not raise the question of immigration. For example, in 2014, 62.2% of the US population were Non-Hispanic Whites, 12.4% were African American, 2% combined two or more races, 17.4% were Hispanics, etc. (“U.S. population: Ethnic groups in America 2014 and 2060”, n. d.). However, although the ethnic and racial structure of the US society is diverse, the problem of immigration and attitude towards prospective immigrants is highly controversial. One of the most common claims is that the immigrants occupy the jobs of the American population lowering the wages, which aligns with economy theory, “An increase in the number of workers leads to lower wages” (Borjas, 2013). Another common fear is that illegal immigrants are responsible for the increase of the crime rates (Sohoni & Sohoni, 2014), which has almost become a nationwide prejudice. At the same time, a specific part of immigrants perceives that it feels disadvantaged and pressured despite the attempts to live a fair life and obtain citizenship on a legal basis. For example, although the immigrants without documentation are “excluded from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and Health Care Exchange” and “little is known about this population’s health or access to care” (Raymond-Flesch, Siemons, Pourat, Jacobs, & Brindis, 2014). As a result, the described problem requires the adoption of relevant legal measures that would positively affect all layers of the population as well as ensure their well-being and protection.

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Criteria for Evaluation

In order to evaluate adequately the efficacy of alternatives to the existing policies, it is worth establishing the criteria that allow estimating this issue. In fact, it is not difficult to determine them because different parts of the population have already defined these criteria in their claims. Thus, the evaluation should consider such characteristics as the inflow of immigrants, their status, crime ratios, the immigrants’ access to the health care services as well as other social benefits and the GDP of the country. In this respect, it is critical to indicate that the analysis would significantly benefit from assessing objective factors, such as crime rate and GDP, due to their regular annual and quarterly consideration. As a result, the particular statistics will oppose typical social claims, major part of which appears to be prejudiced. For example, although one claims that the immigrants “steal” from the American citizens, the country’s GDP has risen with the increased quantity of immigrants coming to the US (Borjas, 2013). Thus, the consideration of the selected criteria will grant relevance and validity to the process of efficacy assessment of the proposed program.

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Policy Development

Policy Alternatives

The developed policy alternatives should consider the selected criteria and affect such areas as human labor, health care, cultural adaptation, crime resistance, and social services. However, the core initiative that requires a comprehensive adoption in the mentioned context is the transition of illegal immigrants to legal citizenship. Due to the fact that the topic of illegal immigration is a sensitive subject for criminal and other social reasons (Bachmeier, Van Hook, & Bean, 2014), the first stage of the proposed alternative is granting security and social protection. For example, it would be beneficial for the illegal immigrants to have a possibility of transiting to a legal status by registering as temporarily residents of the country for one year with the annual approval of this status. As a result, it will be possible to track and document all these individuals, which will solve the problem related to the statistic monitoring of illegal immigrants (Bachmeier, Van Hook, & Bean, 2014). As these individuals are documented and tracked, they would obtain a possibility for paying taxes as well as accessing health care facilities and insurance services. However, the registration will require from the immigrants to visit adoption courses that will include language, history of the US, and legal training. After the immigrants spend five years in this transitive status, they obtain a perspective for passing the established state exams for citizenship that should include the assessment of their medical records, bank history, and tests in the subjects they were studying for this period.

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Evaluation of the Existing Policies

The contemporary policies for immigrants are rather controversial due to diverse political and social reasons. For example, the immigrant communities in the US experienced the aggravation of the issue after the adoption of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 that provided additional border security as well as created restrictions for undocumented immigrants (Romero, 2015). This experience was mostly difficult for the multinational families, where at least one member of a family was an immigrant (Romero, 2015). Moreover, due to the recent changes in the political course of the country and election of Donald Trump as the President, one expects the occurrence of more repressing policies. The most well-known initiatives of the new President is the aggravation of the immigrant policy and the construction of a wall at a Mexican border (Hirschfeld, Sanger, & Haberman, 2017). Although these changes are directed toward a positive change in the society, they are presumably irrelevant due to their dependence on the social prejudice instead of economic and social analysis.

Evaluation of the Adopted Policy

Unfortunately, the analysis of recent policies of President Trump related to immigration reveals their negative impact on the nation. The reasons for this statement include economic, religious and cultural instability due to the increased legal pressure on undocumented immigrants. Considering that Trump’s initiatives are extremely radical, the critics claim that they will damage the country undermining the existence of the sensitive layers, such as illegal Muslim immigrants and even Green Card holders (McKissen, 2017). However, the most dangerous impact of these policies on the US nation lies in the economic sphere because the immigrants provide a drastic range of services being engaged almost in any layer of the community. For example, leisure and hospitality industry employs up to 1.3 million illegal immigrants; 1.1 million of immigrants are involved in the construction; less than a million are involved in business, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, education and other services (Ehrenfreund, 2016). The deportation of all these individuals from the country, was according to the policy of Trump, could have severe consequences for the American economy (Ehrenfreund, 2016). Consequently, the analysis presumes that contrary measures directed toward the assimilation of illegal immigrants with the US society will be extremely beneficial.

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The Role of Additional Factors

One of the reasons for the President’s immigration initiatives to fail is his failure to consider additional factors associated with the problem. Among them is the value conflict based on diverse prejudices of the American society, such as the misconception that the increase of the immigrant population led to the increase in crime rates. Thus, his policy seems to serve the ideological interests of Republicans, whereas fails to serve the overall population of the country due to its economic inferiority. The reason is that his policies do not consider the actual needs of the stakeholders. For example, it is unlikely that, after the deportation of more than 3 million of illegal immigrants, the US government would rapidly find millions of qualified workers in such spheres as nursing, construction, etc. Similarly, this policy would numerous families with at least one member being an immigrant (Romero, 2015). However, the proposed policy encourages the successful transition of this layer of the population to a legal status for the inductors, families and the society to obtain economic, political, and cultural stability. Therefore, the formulation of linking and policy making mechanisms for illegal immigration based on the consideration of the objective facts and needs of the American society will efficiently solve this problem.

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Conclusion

The analysis of the contemporary immigration issues reveals that the policies offered by the US government based mostly on social prejudices lead to the damage of the social life and economy of the country whereas the proposed policy would mitigate them. The problem of the modern immigration policies is that they are extremely strict and aggressive. In addition, they fail to recognize that illegal immigrants represent a socially beneficial layer of more than 3 million individuals. Engaged in diverse industries, working for the benefit of the American nation and individual financial needs, these people suffer from the absence of social and medical services, adequate insurance policies, etc. In contrast, it is proposed to create a legal framework that would allow these individuals to remove their illegal status undergoing a transitional period of three years. The strategy suggests that, during that time, the illegal immigrants would increase their language proficiency, knowledge of the history and legal aspects of the country experiencing enhanced access to all social services and paying taxes respectively. The major outcome of this policy is the perspective of these individuals as the citizens of the country who freely work, study and increase the overall welfare of the US.