An illegal immigrant or an alien can bee conceptualized as that individual who enters and stays in a foreign country illegally. Illegally here means that the person or immigrant fails to adhere to the laid down rules that apply to visitors entering the country. There are many reasons why people immigrate illegally to other countries.
This includes economic needs, social needs and in some cases the need to commit a crime. Several strategies are used by the illegal immigrants to gain access into the foreign country. They may enter legally using a visitor’s visa, then overstay, or they may use illegal routes that circumvent customs. They may also compromise the immigration officials by bribing them.
The United States of America is one of the countries in the world with a large number of illegal immigrants. It is estimated that about 11 million individuals were living illegally in the United States of America in the year 2008 (Riley 2). Majority of these are from neighboring countries such as Mexico and other war torn countries around the world.
Successive governments have made efforts to deal with menace. Some of the strategies used are to grant amnesty to the illegal immigrants, a move that has attracted a lot of controversy especially from conservative members of the society. In this essay, the writer is going to argue why it is better to confer amnesty to these illegal immigrants as opposed to continuing to illegalize their existence.
Amnesty to the Illegal Immigrants: Is it the Best Option?
Granting amnesty to the illegal immigrants involves recognizing their existence and removing the criminal tag from this existence. Their crime of breaking immigration rules is forgiven (Rumbold 3). It also means that they will no longer be prosecuted for working with forged documents or driving with fake licenses (Rumbold 4).
Those who oppose granting amnesty to the undocumented workers support their arguments by giving several reasons. They are of the view that such a move will be counter-productive economically. This is given that the undocumented workers will take the labor meant for the natives, putting the American worker at a disadvantage.
However, as Riley (2) reports, scientific facts do not support this position. Studies have indicated that, if America was to grant the more than 12 million undocumented workers a legal status, the economy will benefit. More jobs for the native American will be created, as well as improved wages for the same (Ellsworth 5: Riley 5).
The GDP of the country will rise by about 1.5 trillion dollars if this were to happen (Riley 5). This is given that the illegal immigrants will now be able to participate fully in the economy. They will be able to start businesses and pay taxes as legal entrepreneurs in the country. This is something that they can not do while they are regarded as aliens illegally living here.
Those against amnesty admit the fact that illegal immigrants came to this country to escape poverty, war and other vagaries of life in their mother countries. However, they are of the view that, as much as this might be the case, this is not an excuse to breaking immigration and other laws (Berry & Cooney 4).
However, these critics are forgetting the fact that these people risked more than their lives when coming here. They risked separation from families and ostracisation and rejection in their new country. It is only fair to legalize their existence, given that the only crime that they committed is trying to make their lives and those of their families better. Surely, no one should be punished for this.
Deportation or arresting of illegal immigrants can be counter-productive, a fact that those against amnesty ignore or are not aware of. There are those immigrants who come here and start families. The children they bore and in some cases their partners are technically legal citizens (Ellsworth 4).
By arresting and deporting them, the government will in effect be breaking up an American family. This is not only unfair to the immigrant, but also to the innocent children, whose only fault was to be born in an illegal immigrant’s family. This is despite the fact that the illegal immigrant is allowed to take their children with them.
This is still unfair, considering that the child, who is innocent, will be subjected to the poverty and other vagaries in the parent’s mother country.
It is technically impossible to round up and deport all illegal immigrants in the United States of America (Berry & Cooney 5). This is given that it is not possible to execute a door to door campaign to arrest all illegal immigrants.
This means that the authority’s opposition to their existence does not negate the fact that they still live among the Native Americans. They continue contributing to the economy, albeit using illegal documents such as fake work permits. This means that it will be easier, and it will make more sense, to grant these individuals amnesty instead of arresting them.
There are those who argue that granting illegal immigrants’ amnesty will pose a national security threat by easing the entry of terrorists and other criminal elements into the country.
However, just like other arguments from these people, this is fuelled by fear and uncertainty. Unless the immigration department is inefficient, no terrorist or criminal should pass through the screening carried out on the potential candidates for amnesty.
In conclusion, it is important to restate that facts prove that it is more beneficial to grant amnesty to the illegal immigrants than to criminalize their existence. The benefits range from economical, social among others. Americans should embrace these people instead of shunning them by supporting the call for amnesty.
Berry, Benson, and Cooney, Stillwater. “Should Illegal Aliens Currently Living in the United States be Granted Permanent Residency Status?” Juniata.edu. 30 October, 2010
Ellsworth, Eva. “Some Arguments for Amnesty”. Mensnewsdaily. 30 October, 2010
Riley, Jonathan. “Study Says Granting Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants would Boost Economy.” East Bay Express. 30 October, 2010
Rumbold, Richard. “Should there be an Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants?” Pickled Politics. 30 October, 2010