One of the more controversial topics in America today is the issue surrounding the 11 million undocumented/illegal immigrants in the United states and whether or not to force them to leave the country by deportation or to legalize their status in the U.S. Immigrants cross the border of the United States both legally and illegally every day. Immigrants come here because America is a place of opportunities, freedoms, and safety that they may not be able to have elsewhere in the world. The opportunities for immigrants in America are vast, and the ability to make a better life with limited obstacles is extremely appealing. Many Americans believe that the immigrants here illegally should be tracked down and deported, others believe these people have the right to be here and that legislation should be passed to legalize the undocumented immigrants. The latter believe that legalization is the only realistic option for a real solution. Legalization supporters have many reasons for their stance on this issue. The supporters believe that legalization would help support and keep the U.S. economy in tact. Supporters of legalization disagree with myths of how undocumented immigrants hurt the wellbeing of the American way of life both culturally and financially. Very importantly, supporters for legalization feel it is a civic duty to uphold the values that America was historically based on, that of being a melting pot of different cultures through immigration, that of family, and looking after the wellbeing of mankind as a whole.
One reason supporters want to legalize undocumented immigrants is for the support of the U.S. economy. People for the legalization argue that the immigrants here illegally already perform civic duties such as paying taxes. Their stance is that if the undocumented people are all able to become citizens, it would ensure more of them would be included in taxation, which would have a positive impact on the economy. Supporters also argue the the billions of dollars spent on medical services for illegals every year could be offset by creating a way to properly tax and provide health insurance, if the country were to legalize them. Many American citizens see the undocumented people as freeloading off American success when civil and medical services are provided to them without paying for it and believe they receive these services without actually earning them. However according to Francine Lipman, a Professor of Law, Business, and Economics at Chapman University, “Every empirical study of illegals’ economic impact demonstrates… undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services”. This supports the argument that illegal immigrants do contribute to the economy and do it quite effectively. By following the facts from studies like these it can be assumed that whatever is spent on services is balanced by how much they give to the U.S economy and then more. The study also destroys the myth that they do not pay taxes. Ultimately, this means undocumented immigrants do not receive the same benefits as regular citizens but are forced to pay taxes, which puts them at a bigger disadvantage for success than they already are. Illegal immigrants are already limited to certain jobs, but when their limited income is taxed like normal citizens and do not receive the benefits, such as food stamps or welfare, like normal citizens then their lives become even more difficult. This system is unfair, unjust, and benefits no one , supporters for legalization think.
According to supporters, if the illegal immigrants are legalized, illegals would not be the only ones receiving benefits but the rest of the country would be as well. Immigrants would be able to own proper work permits and employers would be have a more stable labor force. Legalization would allow the immigrants to receive higher and fair wages giving them enough income to participate in society. Fair wages would give the immigrants the ability to purchase goods thereby strengthening the nation’s economy. Again, it is a common misconception that illegal immigrants would be the only people benefiting if legalized and would have no positive impact on the American Citizens. Most people against legalizing illegal immigrants do not understand, as the supporters do, the positive impacts it would have. If better informed maybe they would be more willing to accept it, especially if it will make America a more successful and more unified country.
There are reasons people make the decision to travel hundreds of miles to America. These people have a thirst for success that gives them a drive that makes willing to do anything to reach it, many American citizens realize this. This motivated attitude fits right in with the rest of the American people and America’s history. Anyone with this type of motivation and drive should not be denied American freedom but be welcomed, as understood by legalization supporters. Nothing can come out of accepting illegal immigrants as legal citizens, in the eyes of supporters, but a more positive future for the United States of America.
People that support legalizing illegal immigrants believe moral values should also play a key role in the decision to legalize the undocumented people. Forcing people who have created a life for themselves and/or a family in the United States to leave is not representative of the values in which America was built or representative of the values now, and many people for legalization believe this to be true. Even if the immigrants did break the law to be here, making them leave would be inhumane and detrimental to what America stands for, coming from those who stand for legalizing illegal immigrants. For instance, deporting undocumented people would force families to be separated. The members of the family that are legal would have to make the difficult decision of staying in America or leaving the country with their family so they can stay together. A decision to deport would impact the individual’s life completely and that of the family members. American citizens with strong family values and morals don’t want to see others forced into fragmenting their family just because of a legal status. If the immigrants are allowed to stay, their chance for a better life increases along with a reliable source of income. If they are forced to leave, they get to be with their family only if they decide to leave together but would have to go back to a country with a possibly worse economy and standard of living then that of the United States, thereby deviating from what many believe is the America way. Also, there are children that are legal citizens with families that are not. What will happen to the child if their parents are deported? The child will either be separated and left by themselves or forced to live in terrible conditions back with their parents in their home country. Supporters know this can negatively affect the child’s development, chance for an education, and a better future. Children that are forced to live with distant relatives or placed under foster care because of deportation of their family, tend to acquire behavioral problems such as depression and anger. This can increase the chance of the child becoming a juvenile delinquent or possibly becoming a criminal in the future. It can also affect a child’s social development and progress in school. Children left behind tend to do worse in school than their peers and also have trouble in social situations. For the supporters separating families is not something they want America to be known for, it will negatively affect her image and makes America seem like an unwelcoming country.
However, if all undocumented immigrants are legalized, separating families would not have to be an option. Families would not have to live in fear, and could concentrate on creating a better life for themselves. Children would also not be separated from the parents reducing behavioral issues and allowing them to have a healthy childhood. If all illegal immigrants are legalized then America will be viewed again as a country that is compassionate and a country that cares as much about the individual just as equally as the country as a whole, which is what supporters would like to see. If all of America can treat the illegal immigrants as people, America’s value of freedom will show.
An issue that many Americans have trouble understanding is what illegal immigrants go through to get to America and what they go through while they are here, as there are many people who have gained citizenship that do understand. This is something supporters of legalizing illegal immigrants look at when making a decision over this issue. Undocumented people came here in hope of a better life for themselves and their families and are willing to do anything to reach success. It is thought that illegals try to benefit from the United States without doing anything in return. However undocumented immigrants pay taxes and do not receive benefits such as welfare and food stamps, which makes their already difficult lives even more difficult. Also, the fear of being deported and separated from their families is an everyday feeling. Parents are forced to leave their children in the United States when they are deported back to their country, this leaves the child feeling alone and can negatively affect the child’s development. If all 11 million illegal immigrants are legalized then the country’s values of success and freedom will shine to the rest of the world. The new legal immigrants would be able to acquire work permits and driver’s licenses allowing them to receive better paying jobs and participate in society. This will make the economy stronger and more unified. It would also relieve families fear of being deported and separated. Families will be able to stay together and will not force an individual to make the choice to leave their families. Legalizing undocumented immigrants would continue America’s tradition of keeping the values of success and freedom a top priority. Supporters for legalization want to see an across the board legalization not only for the economic value but because they are willing to share the greatness of America with those less fortunate, for moral and ethical reasons.