Aleyah Casias

English 1101

April 24,

America open arms or up in arms?
To be for or to be against a controversial topic is always a point for discussion. A topic
today that is a concern for many is immigration. Many Americans disprove of Immigrants
because almost half of Immigrants come to America Illegally. According to MPI which stands
for Migration Policy Institute an “estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants resided in the
United States in 2013”, which is an immense number. (Zong Jie and Jeanne Batalova). Despite
this fact many Americans have either argued that immigrants either help or cause harm with their
presence in America. Some may agree that illegal workers are a threat to the economy and steal
away jobs from American citizens. On the other hand others say illegal immigrants do the job
others do not want to do, pay taxes without seeing the benefits of government welfare programs
and add to the American Economy. Other Americans who are more closed off to the idea of
immigrants coming to America worry about the safety of their families and for their own safety,
living in fear ever since 9/11. Simply put much like crime, people everywhere today seem to be
troubled by immigration (Roberts, Steven V and Paul Glastris). This makes this topic of
immigration very important and controversial to be sure.
Attributions of Immigrants and American Jobs
With Immigration being an important topic in America the American people might ask
themselves are Immigrants important in America? Do they have value? In the past immigrants
were welcomed to come to America for a new life, freedom and the allure of achieving the
American dream. In coming to America Immigrants helped America be a better place for

example by aiding in building the Trans American rail road. On the contrary in the past much
like today the American people were up in arms about these Immigrants having the idea
Immigrants were stealing their jobs. Today Americans still live with that fear which causes a
feeling of contempt. Many Americans think “How can we keep bringing people into this country
when our own people don't have jobs?" complains Clark Yates, an African-American car
mechanic (Roberts, Steven V and Paul Glastris). When Immigrants provide cheap labor it makes
a strike for better working conditions for the American workers nearly impossible. Immigrant
workers just replaced the American workers. The American people have the right to be angry
about unjust work conditions but the immigrants on the other hand have the right to work to feed
their families. Although without seeing one’s own true value better working conditions and better
pay with more benefits would not have been possible. The American people made better working
conditions possible. With that in mind without immigrants’ cheap labor and massive numbers the
Trans American rail road would not have been possible. When you have many willing
immigrants who will work for whatever amount often a price that is not even considered in the
minds of an American as being acceptable problems arise. On the contrary, “Others argue that
undocumented immigrants in many ways help fuel the U.S. economy, toiling for low wages in
jobs—such as physically arduous farm work—that most Americans refuse to do (State
Immigration Laws). Proof of this was seen in Alabama as produce was rotting in the fields
because a law enforcing immigration was put in place taking away the majority of the work force
(Dave Martin). America needs workers who are willing to work at the same time these
Americans take advantage of immigrant workers. Americans work for better working conditions
while immigrants need for any sort of income work against these goals for a better America.
Much like the immigrants who lived in the 1800s they added to America but at a price, in the end

“These immigrants had initially been welcomed for their willingness to perform low-wage
manual labor, but resentment against them grew in the 1870s, once the railroad was complete
(Roberts, Steven V and Paul Glastris).
Immigrants: Cost
As humans we all have the desire to have a better life for our families and ourselves. The
main reasons why many Immigrants come to America is to have the opportunity to have a better
life for their families. We see that this is true at “Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami treats
more than 20 illegals a day, 8,000 a year. More than half are maternity cases, and Ronald Ruppel,
the chief financial officer, says pregnant women arrive at the Miami airport and tell cab drivers:
"Take me to Jackson." Their incentive: Babies born in America are U.S. citizens (Roberts, Steven
V and Paul Glastris). The problem is that immigrants give fake names when receiving medical
care never to be seen or heard from again. This leaves American tax payers with the medical
expenses of immigrants. Which leaves many tax paying Americans asking themselves why must
I pay for their medical expenses? This causes even more problems when the Americans asking
themselves this question have a problem with Immigrants being in America in the first place and
most likely want stricter laws in place on immigrants. A republican once asked to “reimburse the
state for $2.4 billion it spends annually on undocumented aliens (Roberts, Steven V and Paul
Glastris). This staggering amount can make anyone angry. In addition much like an older sibling
must share with a younger sibling so do Americans have to share with immigrants often waiting
in the same line.
Amnesty for Illegals and Illegals role in the Government and Economy

On the opposing side others argue and feel the same as “Eddy Jerena, a carpenter with
roots in Sicily, jumps in angrily: "My brother, he has a business, and the Mexicans work hard for
him, 12 hours a day, and they don't complain. You get these American-born guys, they don't work
like that. This country was built by immigrants. The Mexicans deserve to be here (Roberts,
Steven V and Paul Glastris). People often are hard workers if their hard work decides if they and
their families have enough to make ends meet at the end of the month. If hard work alone was a
determining factor for who in America got to stay and make a life here immigration would not be
a problem. Immigrants only wish is to have a better life here in America and get met with
challenge after challenge and fight to meet every one. However many people don’t believe that
coming to America illegally should be allowed. Once Immigrants are already here many
Americans feel that citizenship should be out of reach for all illegal immigrants. Their reasoning
being why should immigrants be rewarded for breaking American laws and be pardoned by
being granted full citizenship. On the opposing side many Immigrants pay taxes much like the
American people do the only contrast is that “Undocumented immigrants, they point out, pay
taxes, spur economic growth, and thus deserve the full benefits of citizenship. They also
contribute to government programs such as Social Security, advocates note, yet are not allowed
to receive benefits from such programs (“State Immigration Laws. ” Issues & Controversies).
Immigrants who pay taxes receive no help from government programs. People argue that
Immigrants who pay taxes are showing a sincere interest in abiding by the laws without
complaining about having money taken away from them that will only help the American
government who makes such government programs out of reach.
Danger and a chance for a better tomorrow: a comprise, a price of a life

To deny the fact that the world around us is indeed changing is impossible. We as a
culture and as a country have changed since the events of 9/11 and recent news of terrorist
bombing which kill innocent people with no apparent reason than to create fear and destruction.
As a result of 9/11 the American people mourned the loss of those innocent lives. While Muslim
Americans lived in fear as America the only country they had known turned on them. At the
same time families were destroyed and many firemen and policeman became heroes in their
death. They died by the hands of immigrants people from a different country coming to America
with the direct intent to harm and kill innocent people that fact is undeniable. With that we ask
what does it mean to be an American? Does it mean becoming stronger in our resolve to protect
our loved ones no matter the cost? Does it mean celebrating diversity? Many Americans range
from welcoming immigrants to fearing them which is understandable. It is important to
remember one immigrant does not speak for all of them. In the end the fact is “Hundreds of
people die each year attempting to cross the border between the United States and Mexico, most
of heatstroke or dehydration in the treacherous deserts that separate the two countries” (“State
Immigration Laws. ”Issues & Controversies). With this in mind the saying an eye for an eye a
life for a life comes to mind. These people, these immigrants pay the ultimate price for the
chance to come to America. Why? There is a certain allure to America that makes death a
possible outcome worth the risk that is because America is the land of opportunity. In the end we
are all people. With loved ones, friends, lives, hopes, dreams and fears. With this one fact in
mind there must be a way to limit the number of human lives lost. American or Immigrant
human life is precious. America is a land built on immigrants to stop immigration would ensure
America keeping its vital role and place in history but to allow free immigration would result in a
loss of safely and security for American citizens and would give a free pass to new immigrants

which would be unacceptable. Immigrants should be allowed to come to America but they will
have certain requirements that must be met within a certain time period or immigrants should be
subject to deportation. Such as “Under the Obama plan, undocumented immigrants would have
to demonstrate fluency in English, display knowledge of American history and government, and
pay back taxes, plus a small fine, to become citizens. Those convicted of serious crimes would
not be eligible for citizenship (“State Immigration Laws. ” Issues & Controversies). America
should be a land of opportunity for all humanity.

Works Cited
Alvarez Gutiérrez, Leticia. "Costo Alto De Política Anti-Imigrante Sobre La Familia Y
Educación : The Adverse Consequences Of Anti-Latino Immigration Laws." Theory Into
Practice 52.3 (2013): 169-179. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.
“Immigration Policy. ” Issues & Controversies. Infobase Learning, 8 Apr. 2013. Web. 13
Apr. 2016. <>.
“Immigrant Profiling by Local Law Enforcement. ” Issues & Controversies. Infobase
Learning, 3 May 2010. Web. 13 Apr. 2016. Photo by Dave Martin
Zong, Jie, and Jeanne Batalova. "Frequently Requested Statistics on
Immigrants and Immigration in the United States." Migration Policy Institute.
Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland,, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Apr.