The issue of illegal immigration in the United States has attracted substantial controversy with a large faction of the U.S. population supporting deportation and an equally large group calling for the government to grant them amnesty. During former President Bush’s regime, the president had pushed for the immigration reform bill that was unfortunately squashed by the Congress.
A careful look at the benefits of having these illegal immigrants around and the disadvantages that may be brought about by their deportation makes one realize just how crucial their presence in the U.S. is to our country. It can, therefore, be argued that in as much as the illegal immigrants in the U.S. have brought serious problems in the social lives of natives, their contribution to the welfare of the U.S. is great and granting them amnesty is more desirable than deporting them.
Reasons for Amnesty
Illegal Immigrants Offer Cheap Labor
There are many benefits that are bound to come with a situation where illegal immigrants are granted amnesty. As controversial as they may sound, these benefits actually accrue to American citizens and it is in order to acknowledge them. First, the illegal immigrants bring about cost cuts for small scale investors in the U.S. since they are not authorized to work in the United States and thus they are not entitled to the minimum wage.
They are also not eligible to form unions and thus employers in the United States can exploit them for maximum gains from their labor. Despite the fact that it is contrary to the law to hire an illegal worker while knowing his/her status, employers are not required by the law to run checks on their employees’ citizenship statuses (Hall 27).
Employers therefore hire illegal workers knowingly and use the latter as an alibi in case they get caught. They are also in a position to threaten their employees with deportation if the employees do not yield in to their demands.
They Are Responsible for Economic Growth
Another good reason for granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is the fact that these people are responsible for a great percentage of our GDP. A substantial percentage of these immigrants pay taxes and thus it is good for the economy if these immigrants are kept in the U.S. There is also the benefit of the financial gain that is bound to come with the granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants.
This will come from fines that the illegal immigrants will be required to pay in order to be granted the amnesty. The amnesty will also lead to an increase in the tax base of the United States which will see the government collecting more taxes (Huskey 1). All in all, the illegal immigrants are a very important part of the economy of the U.S. and losing them could lead to an economic meltdown.
Lack of Feasible Alternatives
Another reason why granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants in the United States should be granted amnesty is because the alternative option is not feasible. Thus if the government opts for mass deportation of the illegal immigrants, a lot of undesirable repercussions will follow. Fist, the government would incur a cost of approximately $300 billion if it opted for mass deportation of illegal immigrants.
This amount could instead be used in other economic activities and amnesty be granted to illegal immigrants who would be required to pay some fine for amnesty. Another reason why deportation will bring problems is that the separation of families that have mixed citizenships will be morally wrong. Additionally, the population of the U.S. is composed of an approximate 5% of illegal immigrants with almost a quarter of them working in farms.
It is thus apparent that removing these people will have an adverse effect on the economy of the U.S. This is because U.S. farms provide raw materials for a lot of factories and with the workers (illegal immigrants) removed from the country, the productive capacity of the farms will be adversely affected (Chamie 1). This will, in turn affect the productive capacity of some key industries and consequently the economy will be affected.
A consideration of the benefits and disadvantages that would accrue with the granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants in the United States will most likely lead one to conclude that these people should be granted amnesty. This is because, as much as they lack legal citizenship, they have contributed substantially to the growth of the economy of the United States and thus removing them from the economy would have adverse effects on the productive capacity of the U.S.
On the other hand, a decision to deport these people would make the government incur immense costs that would affect the economy substantially (Wayne 23). These costs include financial costs for deportation, loss of labor, social costs in terms of separating families of mixed citizenships and the like. It is thus of essence that the government reconsiders the immigration reform bill while putting all these matters into consideration in order to grant amnesty to the illegal immigrants who will in turn pay taxes in large numbers.
Chamie, J. “Reviewing the Amnesty Debate”. 2008. Web.
Hall, S. Immigration Amnesty Pros & Cons. New York. Wadsworth Publishing, 2009. Print.
Huskey, C. “The Positive Effects of Granting Amnesty”. 2010. Web.
Wayne, G. Why Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants is Justified. Journal of Political Science. Vol 2, pp. 12 – 29.