Illegal immigration is one of the major issue facing various regions across the world. The United States is home of immigrants but illegal immigrants have become a source of political debate over the issues such as education, employment benefits, and legal status. The individuals from underdeveloped countries and war-torn nations usually sneak into countries which are well off economically in search of greener pastures. The illegal immigrants sneak into the country through the Pacific Ocean, Mexico borders and other routes. The illegal immigrants in America are estimated to be about 12 million, the majority of them being Hispanic and Mexicans. They make almost a quarter of all US foreign-born residents. Most undocumented immigrants come to the United States because of work opportunities. These individuals are far more likely to be in their prime years than the rest of the population. The number of undocumented works in America is estimated to be over 10 million. Three-quarters of these workers get access into the country through Mexico border and usually find employment quickly as they are paid below minimum wage. These workers do not enjoy the benefits that documented workers do.
Reasons for illegal immigration
There are several compelling reasons why large undocumented immigrants is a major issue in society. It undermines the law and order and permits a shadow economy which is difficult to control. While undocumented immigrants frequently come under fierce criticism, they also benefit the country in various ways. They play an integral role in the economy by paying taxes and filling jobs in agriculture, constructions, and hospitality which would otherwise remain vacant. Illegal immigration pros and cons depend on how the individual look at the situation. It has a significant effect on the English language, cost, crime rate, and jobs. The analysis of how illegal immigration affect language, cost, crime rate, and jobs will be provided.
The undocumented immigrants usually face the need to “become American” in order to overcome their deficits in the new language and culture. As these immigrants shed old and acquire new, they obtain various language skills for working positively and effectively in the new environment. Currently, most illegal immigrants in the United States are composed of Latin Americans and Asians, areas with significantly different languages and cultures than those of European immigrants in 1900s. The influx of illegal immigrants has caused controversy, with one of the flashpoints being language. For immigrants, the English language is believed to give them opening doors to education and economic opportunity. The non-English speakers usually find themselves isolated and may find it hard to get employment. In 2015, it was estimated that about 64.7 million people spoke a language other than English at home but were more proficient in English. The report showed that sixty per cent of the individuals who spoke a foreign language at home were fully proficient in English. This was an increase from fifty-six per cent in 1981 as the levels of immigration continue to increase.
While most illegal immigrants learn English in the workplaces, their U.S born children grow up learning English while also hearing and speaking their native languages. The US Census Bureau shows that there are about 350 languages in the country. This means that there is no official language in the United States. Although, English and Spanish languages are commonly used in many governmental offices. The influx of illegal immigrants has increased language diversity in the country. Seventy per cent of the overall population of the immigrants and US natives use a language other than English in their homes. Most of these people are also fluent and proficient in English. This has increased the number of bilingual people in the United States making communication easy. The Limited English Proficient (LEP) has reportedly dropped over the past decades. In 2015, about 26 million people were reportedly LEPs, accounting to nine per cent of the overall U.S population ages 5 and above. In 2018, 25.1 million Limited English Proficient people across the United States. The overall foreign-language speakers have continued to increase over the last decade, increasing the linguistic diversity in the country.
English as a Challenge for immigrants
The limited proficiency in the English language is a formidable challenge for the immigrants, both in economic and social integration. Most immigrants with Limited English Proficiency might self-segregate leading to economic and social isolation. However, the main concern is placed on the future of the English language with an increased influx of illegal immigrants in America, especially from non-English speaking countries. The interesting new dialects have emerged in most cities with a large wave of immigrants. This greatly affects the grammar and syntax of English as most immigrants will tend to incorporate some of their native words in English. It’s hard for these immigrants because they can’t build a sentence in the same way in the native language as in English. Thus, they are more likely to fuse some words native words in the English language thus affecting its grammar and syntax. For instance, an individual born in German parents may speak English which sounds peculiar from someone born in the country. In standard German, “tomorrow I’m going for movies” is directly translated as “tomorrow go I in the movies”. For the LEPs, they will directly translate from the German language causing grammatical and syntax errors. With the increase of trend, proficiency in the English language may start to deteriorate.
The burden of illegal immigrants
For the years, the United States has reportedly faced a significant fiscal burden on illegal immigration. A number of attempts have been made to estimate the economic costs and benefits of immigrants in the United States. Some of the analysis is based on perpetual research which heavily relies on the public opinion showing people’s impressions of costs and benefits of illegal immigrants. The public policy debate surrounding undocumented immigration revolves around the burden to U.S taxpayers. Most people believe that illegal immigrants have been a burden to taxpayers’ money while the non-partisans believe that undocumented immigrants contribute more in taxes than the costs of providing services at the federal level. The reliable studies delve on employment, wages and other types of economic data to determine the cost of undocumented immigrants in the United States. They usually look at the tax employment, government services, health care utilization and labour force participation. The conclusion on the cost of undocumented immigrants may vary with an assumption on tax, education, and health.
Undocumented immigrants have tremendous benefits to the economic growth of the country. According to (haha, 10), most illegal immigrants come to the United States as young workers, when they are paying taxes and not drawing extensively on public pensions or health care. Majority of the undocumented immigrants are between 25-40 years. this group is more likely to become taxpayers that require public services. In addition, they are more likely to own homes and pay property taxes from their jobs. The undocumented immigrants are not allowed to enroll in Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. Even though they pay taxes, they cannot access these welfare programs. Even the legal immigrants are required to contribute to Medicaid and Social Security for about 10 years before they enroll in such programs. This implies that undocumented immigrants are more of a benefit to the country rather than a burden to the taxpayers’ money.
If born in the United States, the children of the undocumented immigrants are eligible to government aid targeted on the young. Illegal immigrants tend to access public services less compared to citizens or documented immigrants. A study carried out in California found out that undocumented Mexican immigrants reported less use of the health care services and poorer experiences with care compared to the citizens (10). One of the propaganda is that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes. However, many of them pay taxes even when they are ineligible to access certain public services. They pay sales taxes on purchase the same way the citizen-consumers do. It has also been reported that half of the working undocumented immigrants pay federal and state income taxes. Moreover, the willingness of illegal immigrants to work for less than minimum wage reduces the cost of consumer goods. Most industries are assured of cheap labour which might reduce the prices of goods and services in the market. The hardest estimate is usually on their contribution to the country’s GDP.
In the 1982 Plyler v. Doe case, the US Supreme Court declared that it’s illegal for federal and state governments to deny funding education for undocumented immigrant children. This decision burdened the state and federal governments through their utilization of educational services and related social system services. The burden is always placed on the taxpayer’s money as the undocumented immigrants do not contribute to the welfare programs through taxes. The cost associated with educating illegal immigrant children has been a major cause of the budget deficits in several states in America. According to Federal for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) 2017 report, the total cost of the undocumented immigrants was $135 billion while their taxes were estimated to be $19 billion. This implies that illegal immigrants are present a significant financial burden to the government.
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