Views Of Illegal Immigration Throughout The U.S
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Jeffrey Fisher
Eng 100-01
Views of Illegal Immigration throughout the U.S
Visibly there are many viewpoints surrounding illegal immigrants and whether or not it should be legalized to come to America. Immigration is the movement of people into one place from another. Illegal immigration refers to immigration across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. Under this definition, an illegal immigrant is a foreigner who either illegally crossed an international political border, either by land, sea or air, or a foreigner who legally entered a country but nevertheless overstays their visa in order to live and/or work. The US has often been called the “melting pot.” The name is delivered from United States rich tradition of immigrants coming to the US looking for something better. Most of them did not posses wealth or power in their home countries. Most were not highly educated. Other than these few commonalities of what they didnt possess, their backgrounds were vastly different. Opinions vary about the economic effects of immigration. Those who find that immigrants produce a negative effect on the U.S. economy often focus on the difference between taxes paid and government services received and wage-lowering effects among low-skilled native workers, while those who find positive economic effects focus on added productivity and lower costs to consumers for certain goods and services.

This researched argument exploring the varying viewpoints on the issue of immigration into the U.S will utilize the following scholarly articles: “Immigration raids hurt farmers”, by Moira Herbst, from the academic journal Business Week, “Immigration and the U.S. Economy:

Labor-Market Impacts, Illegal Entry, and Policy Choices”, by Gordon H. Hanson, Kenneth F. Scheve, Matthew J. Slaughter, and Antonio Spilimbergo, from the academic journal Oxford, and finally the scholarly article, “Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages:

Evidence from Apprehensions at the US.-Mexico Border”, by Gordan H. Hanson and Antonio Spilimbergo, from the academic journal American Economic Association.

The first source utilized in this researched argument is “Immigration raids hurt farmers”, by Moira Herbst, from the academic journal Business Week, a magazine that gives numerous types of business news. The article explores how farmers support immigration into the U.S because they say an immigration crackdown is causing workers to flee and crippling operations and now the farmers are urging to reform (Herbst). In the article it states how Maureen Torrey, an 11th generation farmer in the rural town of Elba, N.Y., has lost a lot of sleep because she doesnt have enough workers to harvest and bring in crops her 11,000 acre farm which grows cabbage and winter squash. The farmer Maureen Torrey says, “With all the raids, people get scared and leave, and I dont blame them”. Torrey as quoted by Herbst clearly this illustrates that immigrants are aware of the possible risks at working illegal in the U.S and by getting caught they can suffer major consequences (Herbst). Herbst states a “climate of fear is spreading among undocumented immigrant workers, causing turmoil in industries dependent on their labor. In August the Homeland Security Dept. announced that employers would be required to terminate workers who fail to produce valid Social Security numbers”. An estimated three-quarter of agricultural workers in the U.S. are undocumented, and growers are starting to feel the paralyzing effects of losing their workforce. Herbst says “They say that unless the government implements workable reforms, the future of the U.S. as a food-producing nation is in jeopardy”. This goes to show that Americans agriculture economy will greatly suffer because the farmers that are producing the goods arent going to have the sufficient amount of workers to maintain the farms and without agriculture humans wouldnt be able to survive. Agriculture does not play the role it once did in the U.S. economy (Herbst). Though the amount of farmland used has remained fairly steady over the past century, changes to the structure of farms and improvements in productivity have cut the number of people involved dramatically. Illegal immigration in the United States has its origins in the market for agricultural labor. Coming from the article “Immigration raids hurt farmers” by Moira Herbst discusses that in 1900 41% of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture, while that number now stands at less than 2%. Farmers hire workers for about 3 million agricultural jobs each year, but only one-quarter of that workforce is legally authorized (Herbst). Agriculture also makes up a lower share of the U.S. gross domestic product than ever, accounting for less than 1%.

Herbst also states “employers and their advocates say that the fact that wages have increased so much and workers are still scarce is evidence that pay is not the problem”. This statement shows that immigrant workers are willing to work in harsh conditions that no other person would think about doing therefore labor shortages are created. Ana Avendano, director of the immigrant worker program for the AFL-CIO says, “Employers say they cant find workers, but look at the conditions they are offering. Some of them are atrocious” (Herbst). The Farmer Torrey says she offers good working conditions, and provides housing and a 401[k] plan for her workers. Workers start at $7.15 an hour, and the average wage on the farm is $10.95 to $11.95 per hour. “It doesnt matter if I raise wages,” says Torrey. “We just dont have the population base; theres no one out there (Herbst).”

The second source researched is, “Immigration and the U.S. Economy: Labor-Market Impacts, Illegal Entry, and Policy Choices”, by Gordon H. Hanson, Kenneth F. Scheve, Matthew J. Slaughter, and Antonio Spilimbergo, from the academic journal Oxford. This article gives detail information on different issues that surround immigration and also the positive and negative effects of illegal immigration. The article also discusses three policy issues that are central to the current debate about immigration. One is what should be the level and composition of legal immigration. The United States admits relatively large numbers of immigrants with low levels of education and other discernible skills. Rising immigration of the less skilled may lower wages of native workers. A second issue is what to do about illegal immigration. Illegal aliens

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