The immigrant in American history has enjoyed a storied past. Those who come to America, endure the hardships of their old their old country: the Irish Famine in which almost a million people starved to death and other 1. 2 million left their homeland forever for America and Canada, or people leaving Germany from the reign of terror of Hitler and fascism. (Burns, 1999) To a large degree, the people who came to America came here legally and were here to work.
There was no such thing as welfare and government assistance and even if there were, such things would be forever seen as a slight on their family history and pride in being independent and able to care for the children and their needs as well as their own. The impact on the infrastructure of the country though the health care, prison and crime rates, schools and economy is self evident and unmistakable and serves as a severe impediment to the country as a whole. Those who defend illegal immigration, do so out of the erroneous ideologies of the past.
With the degree of public assistance and other welfare programs which are funded by American tax payers and meant to be given sparingly to other Americans who, for a time, have fallen on hard times. Yet, millions of illegal immigrants, even with the country’s employers following the law 100% and not employing illegal immigrants (something which is far from the reality) illegal can still come and in many parts of the country, receive welfare assistance and link cards as well as drivers license when it is known by the state that these people are not supposed to be in the country in the first place.
One of the ways in which illegal immigration taxes the resources of the country is through the public school system. Despite a higher percentage of the American budget being pumped into the nation’s public school system, the American public school system is lagging behind much smaller and less economically advanced countries in the world. In the Chicago Public school system, there exists 145 elementary schools which are overcrowded and more than 20 high schools with are overcrowded. (Pearson, 2006 pg.
4) This, despite the fact that in the last nine years, fifteen new high schools have been built in the city and forty five additions as well in order to absorb the influx of new students which are coming to their schools. Also, if the current rate of illegal immigration continues as all signs from a do nothing Congress proves that it will, there will be an additional ten million students placed into the public school system by 2020. (Ramirez. 2005 pg. 12) That would create a total of more than sixty million students across the country in which the future of the country would place its future.
In many parts of the country, out public schools are very crowded and the growth of certain hot spots in the country make it nearly impossible for the schools to keep up with the added increases. In 2005 alone, there was registered 723,000 immigrants and perhaps thousands more whose status has been purposely kept off the books. (Dobbs, 2006) As a result of this influx in which more than 90% come from Mexico and other Latin American countries in which English is not spoken, there are additional costs involved as well. In 2005, the state of California spent $700 million which was given to the National Association of Bilingual Education.
That number is expected to exceed $1 billion by the year 2010 as there becomes an increased push in the requirements for people in this country who are not united through race of economic status, to at least be united in language and forever promote the cohesiveness of a country. (Dobbs, 2006) Nowhere is the problem of crime brought on by illegal immigration more apparent than in Los Angeles. When an illegal immigrant comes to America and takes the job of an American who would have paid taxes and who is in the country legally, that serves as an impediment to the safety and good conduct of the country.
However, when an illegal immigrant comes to America after already having numerous altercations with the law and escapes to America because he knows that he will receive safe haven from an apathetic government and then kills a person in America that should stir up the ire in every person. Also, what should not be a surprise to anybody is the fact that many illegal immigrants who participate in bad conduct in America and are eventually arrested, they had had some the same experiences while living in their home country.
38% of the gang members of Los Angeles are here illegally and of those 38%, a whopping 71% has a criminal record which was earned while living in their home country. (Ramirez, 2005 pg 8) When this is allowed to happen, the American government is to blame. Failure to do anything to address the problem is as bad as doing a job badly. This is what is occurring in America today. Also, crime in the cities in the form of gangs, serve as a huge impediment for all peace loving cities and communities.
In a recent LA Times expose, over 65% of the gang members in LA County are illegal immigrants. In LA alone, where rival gangs fight and will die over the smallest and most unimportant piece of land, often times catching innocent people in the crosshairs, it was cited that in 2005, more than 145 murders were committed by illegal immigrants. (Ramirez, 2005 pg. 14) How these statistics must get under the ire of those peace loving and law abides citizens who have to deal with the drugs and crime from within their own borders which are home grown.
It is unfair, unwise and immoral to expect that these people absorb the crime which is committed by the undesirables of other countries who will gladly allow, and even encourage their worst criminals to cross the border to America in order that they save on the costs of having to house, clothe and feed the individual There is another story of Marta Villabos; an immigrant from Mexico who had spent the past two years sending in the paperwork and the processing fees in order that she could be granted legal status. She lived in Silver Springs Maryland and was ordered to come to Fairfax, Virginian for her interview.
In the weeks leading up the interview, Marta was forced into the hospital for a ruptured spleen. She survived but when asking if she could be given a new date for her interview, she was told no and that her and her husband, both immigrants from Mexico, would face deportation if they did not come to the interview. Only those who have experienced it first hand as well as interviewed those who have made the attempt to follow the law can relate to such stories. What is even worse is the fact that there are many more stories like that in which to tell.
Stories so horrific and full of insufficienies within the government that it would see as though the ones who had experienced it were living a nightmare. If only that was the case. This speaks to the gaps in the immigration policy. Drug smugglers are given immunity against border patrol agents and then sues the American government for $5 million, millions of illegal immigrants are given jobs because an apathetic employer, made so by an apathetic government, sees the opportunity for cheap labor and illegal immigrants are given drivers licenses and are sent welfare checks when they have not been paying taxes into the system.
Those immigrants, who want to come to this country legally and follow the rules, are given such a horrendous time of it that it almost pardons those who come to this country illegally. Every day, there occurs in America, more than eight murders committed by illegal aliens. Heaven forbid, but only when the life of a United States Congressman is affected by the criminal actions of an illegal alien can the American people expect a consensus to come from Washington over the immigration debate.
Over 87% of the American people believe that immigration reform is needed. 9Dobbs, 2006) They may debate as to exactly what needs to be done but in a post 9/11 world, allowing anybody to come across our borders, regardless of their ability to work and support themselves and their children as well as respect the laws of the country and will not commit violent crimes in the country.
Due the fact that the American government has allowed the problem to become as severe as it already is, the fault lies at the doorstep of the United States Congress; unwanted and left by its real parents; the governments of mostly Latin American countries that make no attempt to help provide for its people, a standard of living that is comparable to what all human being deserve. As a result, illegal Americans come to this country and are not encouraged to learn English.
As a result, their earning power is greatly compromised and if they even graduate high school, they can expect a lifetime of menial jobs with low pay. This decrease the sales and property taxes which they will pay and at the same time, increase the funds which the American government will then pay out in the form of Social Security and welfare checks as well as other services which are used as a reward system for those who have broken the law. Tragically however, there is another side, a more important side to immigration that has, in recent days, been overlooked due to the sheer size of illegal immigration.
There is the story of those who come to this country legally, despite the numerous hoops that an inefficient government forces these men and women to jump through. It is the story of the immigrant who comes to this country legally and who wants nothing more than to raise a family and to contribute to society. They are the unsung heroes in this story and sadly, are all too often grouped in with those who will willingly try to break the laws of this nation for their own benefit.
They are the ones who always have and always will, seek to contribute to the American society to the best of their benefit and to which the American people owe a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice; for the sacrifice of their own ancestors who left everything that they knew to come to America to make a better life for themselves, their family and their ancestors. They are the ones who always have and always will, give more than they take from this country.
That should be the immigrant experience that is celebrated in this country and those who confuse immigration with illegal immigration, are blending together two very distinct and different people and ideologies.
Burns, K, The History of New York: New York Time Warner PBS Productions 1999 Dobbs, L. Moneyline. Is Congress Preaching Amnesty? November 13, 2006 Flannigan, R. (2007) Illegal Immigration: A Handbook New York ABC-Cilo Publishers Pearson, S.. Congress Debates Illegal Immigration The Chicago Tribune August 13, 2006 Ramirez. S. The Real Face of Illegal Immigration. Los Angeles Times. September 15, 2005Sample Essay of EduBirdie.com