The Importance of Immigration Reform Essay

Submitted By Zj-Cham
Words: 1339
Pages: 6

The Importance of Immigration Reform The United States of America has always been known as the land of opportunity, a place where people with nothing can one day turn their lives around for the better. That is why there is a large influx of immigrants, especially those who don’t possess many skills, coming into the country to find work in order to improve their lives. However, many of these migrators are undocumented and entering the country illegally, and more and more of these immigrants are coming every year. In January 2011, there were 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. (Center for American Progress). The large inflow of immigrants, both legal and illegal, is causing both negative economic and security problems. Although the American government is trying to improve the immigration system through immigration reform laws to amend those issues, politicians must implement these laws quickly if they want to improve the economy and national security of our country. The future of the American economy depends on its citizens and workers, and thus the decisions made by politicians on immigration reform laws can affect the economy both negatively and positively. Some organizations, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, believe that the current immigration system is worsening the American economy. FAIR argues that the current system is increasing job competition in the U.S., especially in low-skilled jobs. This is because of the readily available surplus of illegal foreign workers that employers choose to hire over native workers. Since employers are not reprimanded for hiring illegal workers, they exclusively hire them because they are willing to work for extremely low wages in dangerous conditions. The result of this is that native workers who depend on these low-skill jobs are losing their positions to illegal workers who are willing to work for less money. As hundreds of thousands of immigrants continue looking for jobs, not enough jobs are created fast enough for both natives and immigrants alike. Defenders of immigration argue that illegal workers are actually responsible for creating jobs in the U.S., but even if that is true, only one job is created for every three illegal immigrants (FAIR). In the end, the competition for low-skill jobs between natives and immigrants is causing more poverty among both groups, ultimately hurting the economy. Another way the current immigration system is negatively affecting the economy is due to the difficulty for high-skilled workers trying to enter the country. Currently, the United States only gives 7% of its permanent residency visas for employment needs, whereas in other countries such as South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland, 80% of all permanent visas are used for employment (Feinblatt). This means that talented workers who are trying to get into the U.S. for its STEM jobs, which are fields requiring expertise in science, technology, engineering, and math, will have a hard time entering the country. As a result, these workers end up immigrating to other countries that are much easier to gain citizenship in and directly improving those countries’ economies, while our economy lags behind. In fact, countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Chile are actively offering visas to talented entrepreneurs in the hope of boosting their own economies, while it is nearly impossible for those entrepreneurs to enter the U.S. (Feinblatt). If the American government does not change its immigration system, by 2018, the U.S. will have a shortage of more than 230,000 STEM workers, dragging our economy even further behind other countries’ (Feinblatt). If the United States wants its economy to match or even surpass those of other countries, it will have to implement major immigration reform policies to the current immigration system. First of all, politicians have to deal with the large numbers of illegal immigrants coming into the country. Even…