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Jordan Bouchair

English 1201
Prof. Hellmers
17 April 2016
Illegal Immigration: Addressing the Problems and Solutions
The United States is involved in an ideological war with itself, especially during
this election season, with her citizens divided over many pivotal issues such as
education, healthcare, entitlements, and immigration. Immigration seems to be a
particularly popular topic during this election, as Donald Trump, with the nationalistic
aura that surrounds his campaign, does extremely well in the polls. (Donald) would
build the wall, confiscate the earnings of undocumented immigrants if Mexico did not
pay for it, seek an end to birthright citizenship and rejigger the way immigrants who
enter the country legally get visas (The Donald). Many people love the messages he
sends and the brutal truths that he conveys, and many more individuals are fed up with
the way illegal immigration is affecting our country. The truth is, whether or not you
agree with Donald Trumps political views, that illegal immigration poses massive
economic and infrastructural stresses on the United States, and the problem can be
solved with by tightening border security, introducing a mandated E-Verify system,
putting an end to birthright citizenship, holding transit countries accountable, and
eliminating the Visa Lottery System.

Before addressing the solutions, the problems associated with Illegal Immigration
must first be accounted for. One problem with Illegal Immigration is that most foreign
workers compete directly in the construction, service, and manufacturing industries
where unemployment is the highest and where Americans have the least margin of
financial security (Educating 1). These foreign workers are unjustly taking jobs away
from United States citizens, and are, in some cases, paying no tax on their income,
which is unfair to both the American taxpayer and the government. Another problem
associated with illegal immigration is that the taxpayers must subsidize the benefits they
receive from the government. According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS),
The net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year (This)
net deficit is caused by a low level of tax payments by immigrants because they are
disproportionately low-skilled and thus earn low wages, and a higher rate of
consumption of government services, both because of their relative poverty and their
higher fertility (High Cost 1). The impact that illegal immigrants have on the American
taxpayer is unfair in the fact that the immigrants are not paying nearly as much as they
are receiving, resulting in massive costs to the American people and government. The
problems are easy to see, and we need real solutions to combat these problems.
One solution to the aforementioned problems would be to implement an E-Verify
system. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an
employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department
of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment
eligibility.(Performance 1). Thanks to this being an internet-based system, the eligibility
of a potential worker can be checked comprehensively and at lightning speeds. If this

system is put into place at every place of employment, then employers will be forced to
hire U.S. citizens and/or guest workers exclusively. This will not only hold employers
accountable, but it will un-incentivize illegal immigration by removing job opportunities
for those who are not United States Citizens or those who have been granted a work
permit of some sort. An E-Verify system is an effective, inexpensive way to combat the
ill-effects of illegal immigration on the employment market.
One of the most obvious ways to stifle illegal immigration is to secure our own
border, especially the United States/ Mexico border, as Apprehensions along the
southern border make up about 97-98% of the total apprehensions. (Homeland
Security 1). A wall, specifically the wall that Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump has
suggested, is estimated to cost $8 billion (Homeland Security 1). When you consider
that the net fiscal cost of illegal immigration is $11 billion to $22 billion per year, the wall
becomes financially feasible, especially if, as Trump suggests, Mexico pays for the wall.
Many people say that Mexico would never pay for this wall, including a former Mexican
president, Vicente Fox. However, Mexico may not have a choice if Trump becomes
president. Trump says he will impound remittances derived from illegal wages and
increase fees on some temporary visas and border crossing cards until Mexico agrees.
(Homeland Security 1). This would essentially force Mexico into financing the wall, as
the penalties Trump would place upon them would be a bigger and more prolonged
financial burden than simply giving the money for the border wall. The United States
must secure the southern border to curb the influx of immigrants flowing into the
country.

To further combat illegal immigration, we must hold transit countries accountable.


A transit country, in terms of immigration, is a country in which migrants go through to
reach the host country, in effect making the transit country a second hand contributor
to the illegal immigration problem. A misconception many people have is that all illegal
immigrants coming through the US southern border are Mexican in origin. This simply is
not true, as 257,473 non-Mexican illegal immigrants were apprehended at the United
States southern border in 2014 (What We Know 1). A surprising 22% of illegal
immigrants are actually from other Latin American countries other than Mexico (See Fig.
1). In fact, the ability of the USA to stem the tide of illegal immigrants depends on the
extent to which Mexico is willing and able to control its own borders with respect to
inflows of undocumented aliens from other Latin American countries as well as from
overseas. (Controlling 1). The United states must not only secure its own borders, but it
must further cooperation with Mexico and ensure that they put into place stricter
immigration policies and increase spending to control its own borders and internal
security. It cannot be solely our responsibility to patrol the southern border with Mexico,
and they must be expected to hold up their part of the bargain.
An additional way to stymie the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States is
to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the 14 th amendment, which, in
many regards, pertain to birthright citizenship. Under current federal law, nearly all
children born in the U.S. receive automatic citizenship, regardless of whether their
parents are lawfully in the country. (Reform 1). This serves as a massive incentive for
foreigners to come to the United States and have their child whilst in the country in
order to stay in the country. This law must be amended so that the definition of

citizenship is more restrictive, but also follows common sense. At least one of the
parents should be required to be a United States citizen, whether naturally or by
becoming nationalized, for a child to be considered a citizen themselves. The United
States and Canada are the only developed nations that grant automatic citizenship so
expansively to children born within their borders. Anyone born in the United States is
considered an American citizen regardless of whether the parents are U.S. citizens,
legal residents, temporary visitors, or illegal aliens in the U.S. (Reform 1). We cannot
continue to lag so far behind international standards. We must use common sense and
reform the Immigration and Nationality Act and the 14 th amendment to better understand
what the criteria are to become a U.S. citizen as well as remove incentives for foreign
parents to have their child in the U.S.
One of the least talked about, but no less important, changes that needs to be
made in order to fix the problems associated with illegal immigration is the complete
elimination of the Visa Lottery. The visa lottery program was established in 1990 and
awards approximately 50,000 permanent resident visas to foreign nationals by
conducting a random lottery. (Eliminate 1). This system randomly chooses which
foreigners may enter the country on a Visa, and it is ineffective in that the United States
does not get to select which individuals it would prefer in its country. For example, a
doctor or a lawyer would have a high chance of being selected in a preferential draft,
but under the Visa Lottery system, they have an even lower chance of being selected
than a moderate to low skilled worker. Another issue that stems from the Lottery is that it
becomes easier for terrorists to enter the United States. According to testimony of the
State Departments Inspector General during the 109th Congress, the Diversity Visa

program contains significant risks to national security from hostile intelligence officers,
criminals, and terrorists attempting to use the program for entry into the United States
as permanent residents. (Eliminate 1). Without being able to select the entrants in the
program, the U.S. is setting itself up for terrorists, criminals, and hostile foreign nationals
to enter. The U.S. would be better able to alleviate these problems if it would do more
extensive background checks on Visa applicants as well as hand pick the applicants
based on merit.
The nation is more divided than ever during this election season, as we see
strong, fiery personalities on both sides of the isle, particularly in Socialist Bernie
Sanders and Nationalistic Conservative Donald Trump, awakening a previously dormant
voter base that is eager to hear solutions. Many people in the United States are worried
about the path of this country, and they want major issues such as Illegal Immigration,
and the negative impacts it has on the economy and infrastructure of the nation, to be
addressed with honesty and common sense. The remedies to the massive stresses
illegal immigration poses are introducing an E-Verify system, which will better allow
employers to check the eligibility of workers; tightening border security, which will curb
the waves of illegal immigrant flowing into the country; making Mexico tighten its own
immigration security, which will prevent many immigrants from the lower Latin American
countries from entering the U.S.; eliminating birth right citizenship, which will reduce
incentives for foreigners to come the United states; and lastly, removing the Visa
Lottery, which reduces the U.S.s ability to monitor and control who comes into the
country.

Works Cited
Carmota, Steven A. "The High Cost of Cheap Labor." Center for Immigration Studies.
The Center for Immigration Studies, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Djaji, Slobodan, and Michael S. Michael. "Controlling Illegal Immigration: On The
Scope For Cooperation With A Transit Country." Review Of International
Economics 22.4 (2014): 808-824. Business Source Complete. Web. 17 Apr.
"Educating Americans on the Need for Policies of Controlled Immigration for the
National Interest." Immigration, Numbers, NumbersUSA: For Lower Immigration
Levels. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
"Eliminate Visa Lottery." Numbersusa.com. NumbersUSA Action, n.d. Web. 17 Apr.
2016.
Gonzales-Barrera, Ana, and Jens Krogstad. "What We Know about Illegal Immigration
from Mexico." Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 20 Nov. 2015.
Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
"Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America? - Illegal Immigration Solutions ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. ProCon.org, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
National Origin of the Illegal Immigrant Population. Digital image.Heritage.org. Heritage
Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

"Performance." USCIS. USCIS, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.


Pike, John. "Homeland Security." US-Mexico Border Fence / Great Wall of Mexico.
GlobalSecurity.org, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
<http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/systems/mexico-wall.htm>.2016.
"Reform Birthright Citizenship." Immigration, Numbers, NumbersUSA: For Lower
Immigration Levels. NumbersUSA Action, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Scherer, Michael, Olivia B. Waxman, and Zeke J. Miller. "The Donald Has Landed.
(Cover Story)." Time 186.8 (2015): 26. TOPICsearch. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

-Fig. 1 for reference