Saturday, January 8, 2011

Research Paper on Illegal Immigration

Research Paper on Illegal Mexican Immigration

The impact of illegal Mexican immigration on the United States has been a major focus of policymakers and the public for well over a decade now. Unfortunately, in the wake of September 11, 2001, America has responded, in the name of national security, that America close it’s self off from the rest of the world. Immigration, in general, has always been part of the American national identity. Because America has a great number of job opportunities for unskilled labor, it is the leading factor of most newcomer Mexican immigrants. A majority of Mexican immigrants come to the states for educational purposes, to reunite with family, and just hope for a better future. The public eye is very diverse on this subject, with some believing Mexican’s should stay in Mexico and others believing that they should have the option to better their life. Mexican immigration is one of the leading problems the Mexican culture faces and they should not be condemned for looking for a better way of life. In terms of illegal immigration, those who migrate from Mexico, secretly to the United States, do not benefit the U.S. The benefits of legal immigration parallel the problems of illegal immigration.

Over the past few decades, Mexican immigration into the United States has been on a steady rise. During the early 1900’s the total Mexican-American population was estimated to be between 380,000 and 560,000 (US Census Bureau). In 1910 the Mexican Revolution broke out, a disaster that plummeted Mexico into years of political and economic crisis. A tremendous wave of immigration into the United States followed this crisis, which lasted until the 1930’s. During these years, Mexican-Americans accounted for more than 10 percent of immigrants in the U.S.

Through the rest of the 1900’s Mexican immigration increased slowly but steadily. By 1970, the number of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. had reached 800,000. However, in a recent consensus in 2000, the number of Hispanic immigrants had increased by almost 7.2 million.


In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican government was unable to improve the lives of it’s citizens. By the late 1930’s, the crop fields in Mexico were harvesting smaller and smaller bounties, and employment became scarce. The Mexican peasant needed to look elsewhere for survival. World War 1 also fueled the fire of Mexican immigration, since Mexican workers performed well in the industry and service

fields working in trades such as machinists, mechanics, painters and plumbers. These years were ripe with employment opportunities for Mexicans because much of the U.S. labor force was over seas fighting the war.

Mexican immigrants benefit our country in a couple of ways. Mexican immigrants function as a main source of our economic growth. Over the past twenty years, immigration has contributed to at least one- quarter of the nations labor force growth (AILF, 8). Mexican immigrants account for 4% of the U.S workforce (Parel, 4).

The supply of Mexican workers has been critical for the expansion of the U.S. industry over the past decade. Even while absorbing 2.9 million Mexican workers in the 1990s, who represent 19 percent of all new workers joining the labor force in that period, the U.S. workforce overall saw it’s unemployment rate fall from 6.3 percent in 1990 to 3.9 percent in 2000 (Gajuin, 2000). Basically, Mexicans are a main asset to our countries economy and they help it tremendously.

Mexican immigrants are a large part of our nations diversity. People who are fans of diversity would believe that immigration is a good thing, as long as all requirements are meant. This is also another benefit that Mexican immigrants bring to the U.S. Those who believe Mexican immigrants are bad for our country believe this because they think the immigrants that are coming in are criminals. The typical illegal Mexican immigrant is an honest worker struggling for a better life for himself and his family, not a violent criminal (AILF, 8). The diversity and economic growth that Mexican immigrants bring are the two main advantages of immigration.

On a more negative note, Mexican immigration has some negative aspects to it also. First, Mexican immigrants and there U.S. born children account for 10.2 percent of people in poverty and 12.5 percent of those without health insurance (Scott 2). This is not surprising because Mexico is a very needy country. Almost two- thirds of adult Mexican immigrants have not completed high school and now account for 22 percent of all high school dropouts in the labor force ( Marcy, 3). These sad statistics leave the public with a negative view towards Mexican immigrants. Most Mexican immigrants are dropping out of school to work in the fields or another full time, low paying job. Recent surveys taken by the Center for Immigration Studies lead us to believe that about 34 percent of legal immigrant households and 25 percent of illegal Mexican immigrant households use at least one major welfare program. Most American citizens would look at these sad statistics and condemn any Mexican immigrants for coming here, but the irony lies in the fact that many of these immigrants included in these statistics would consider this life to be better than that in Mexico.

In addition, there are a couple other issues that governs the bad side of Mexican immigration. Looking at it from an average American’s point of view, a problem may be job availability because the Mexican immigrants come here and take up a lot of our jobs. This is ok because it helps our economy. On the contrary of problems with Mexican immigration, every year the United States spends billions of dollars on illegal aliens, a large chunk of which is used for public education. Congress is currently deciding whether or not a state should be allowed to dictate if illegals within their jurisdiction are entitled to free public education (Tienda, 2). All children should be entitled to go to school no matter were they are from. As a child, they have no say or choice in were they go or live because it is up to the parents. The parents can have limitations to certain things in their adopted country, but the children should not have to suffer for their parents. Mexican immigrants bring more bad than good but the reasons they come to America are justified reasons and they should have the right to make a better life for themselves.

Since immigration is high on the priority list of policy makers, many government policies surround this particular issue. One of the very first policies constructed became law on May 19, 1921. President Warren G. Harding approved what was then commonly called the First Quota Law or the Provisional Immigration Measure. The application of the bill seriously affected large-scale immigration. It was to bring Maltese emigration to the USA to a virtual standstill for some years.

Subsequently, in 1942, the United States was heading to war with the fascist powers of Europe. Labor was siphoned from all areas of United States industry and poured into those which supported the war efforts. During this year, the U.S. signed the Bracero Treaty which reopened the floodgates for legal immigration of Mexican laborers.

Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexicans were imported into the U.S. as “braceros” under the Bracero Program to work temporarily on contract to United States growers and ranchers. It was mainly by the Mexican hand that America became the most lush agricultural center of the world. Unfortunately, when the end of the World War II came around and the invention of the mechanical cotton harvester, it brought the Bracero Program to an end in 1964.

Next, The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of June 27, 1952, was a major revision of existing immigration and nationality law. It continued, with modifications, the essential elements of both the 1917 and 1924 Acts, as well as those provisions of the Internal Security Act of September 23, 1950, relating to the exclusion of Communists. In October of 1965, amendments to the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act repealed the national origins quota system. Under the old system, a foreign country was allowed 2 percent of its total population to immigrate to the United States. In light of these considerations of nationality and ethnicity, the 1965 amendments established a system based on reunification of families and needed skills. The amendments represent one of the most important revisions of immigration policy in the United States since the First
Quota Act of 1921(Krikorian, 1).

As far as solutions go for Mexican illegal and legal immigration, there are only ways to try and help prevent illegal aliens from entering the U.S. There should be a way for all Mexicans to come to this country in a legal way. We should make it so they don’t have to sneak over to America. There should be guidelines that allow Mexicans to cross the border and if they don’t meet those guidelines then they should be denied. Asolution that was implemented on October 1, 2001 are new biometric Mexican-border crossing cards known as laser visas (Wil, 1). These cards contain photos and machine- readable information, to better regulate entries at ports along the Mexican-U.S. border. In addition, on January 25, 2002, President Bush announced plans to develop a federal tracking system to monitor the arrival and departure of non-citizens from airports, ports, Mexican and Canadian border crossings (Jackson, 6). These are not merely solutions but ways to prevent illegal immigrants that may add to the hazard ness of our society.

There are many organizations involved with Mexican immigration. Some protest it and some back it up 100%. However, there are two main organizations that help the immigration process and the other hinders the ability for illegal immigrant to cross the border. First, in 1924, the U.S. Border Patrol was created, an event that had a significant impact on the lives of Mexican workers. The law states that undocumented workers are fugitives. The Border patrol guards the border, preventing any Mexicans from crossing the border illegally.

Although some immigrants know how to work the system or sneak around the border patrol, most don’t make it across.

In the midst of the Border Patrol, there is a government organization called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). This organization is what every legal immigrant goes through to get into the United States. They supply the green cards, visas, etc., and they try to monitor the immigrants as often as possible. Because there is so many immigrants from all over the world, it makes it hard for the INS to keep control.

There are many problems that the INS has to face, but hopefully some of the revision and funding from Congress can help the INS get a better hold on the immigration program.

The communities view on Mexican immigration lends authenticity to the issue. A Mexican community is obviously going to support Mexican immigration because somewhere along their family history was an immigrant. And most Mexican communities have a lot of immigrants. On the other hand, some American citizens that are so called “white” have different views. In a recent interview with a random American citizen, named Michele Savage, conducted by myself, she was asked what her view was on Mexican immigration. She feels they should not be able to cross the border freely but should only be let over under certain guidelines. In simpler terms, she feels that Mexican immigrants should not be provided with welfare with her tax paying dollars if they are not here legitimately. Basically, if they are here working and living here than they need to stay here and not take their money back to Mexico. This is just a normal “white” American citizen who probably has the same opinion of many other Caucasian American citizens.

The economic importance of Mexican workers will only continue to grow as job openings for unskilled and semi-skilled workers and the desire for a better life increases.

Some Americans’ first reaction to the September 11, understandably, is to create an impenetrable fortress of border guards around America, closing our doors to any newcomers. But such a response would not truly protect our nation. Our nation must not change immigration policy based on fear, but rather we should remain faithful to the fundamental values and principles that we cherish. Without Mexican immigration, our nation would not continue to grow and prosper. The United States must continue to welcome newcomers as we always have. These immigrants create jobs, add to the diversity and remind us all of the great sacrifices made by our own ancestors. America has always protected refugees fleeing religious persecution, war or famine, so there should be no problem protecting Mexican immigrants trying to better their life.

While the government agencies that administer our nation’s immigration laws need reform, immigrants continue to renew the United States, helping us to remain strong and vital in the 21st century (Meltzer, 42). Immigrants, in general, are a critical constituent that makes our nation the strongest in the world. Although there are the negative aspects to Mexican immigration, there are always ways to prevent them. It is with pride to teach our children that America is a nation of immigrants and our nation will continue to prosper with them.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Immigration topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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