Over the years the United States has been called a nation of immigrants. The fact that America is a melting pot for so many different cultures, races, and religions makes it unique in the world. The newcomers, both legal and illegal, fill labor shortages and provide new business opportunities. History shows they also bring ideas, vigor, and ambition. However, rising immigrant numbers and messy immigration policies have become a serious problem to gain control of.
Although immigrants have contributed to America, the government should reform current immigration policies and limit immigrants flow today because of the economics and the large population problem. Kofi Annan in her lecture on “International Flows of Humanity” states that we must approach the issues of immigration with the strong ethical compass.
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Jagdish Bhagwati asserts that while changing immigration policies we should seek benefits for all. I disagree with both of them.
American government should first of all seek benefits for native citizens and local economy; and there is no place for “ethical compass” in effective immigration policies that will benefit the economy and citizens. The new immigrants have caused economic problems in America today. Each decade of new immigrants has done worse than the last economically. According to a study released by the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, “The education levels of newly arriving immigrants have not kept pace with those of native-born Americans.
As careers that require advanced education continue to drive the job market, it is no surprise that many immigrants are finding it increasingly difficult to join the economic mainstream” (Camarota). The results of the lower education ripple effect do not bode well for recent immigrants. “Those who arrived in the 1980’s have remained at an economic disadvantage, and are still less likely to own homes or become citizens than the immigrants of the previous three decades,” says the study (Camarota).
Several decades ago, many immigrants entered America as skilled workers and filled the labor shortages; however, the majority of the immigrants today are unskilled workers, and the labor market is almost full because of the machine utilization and the network development. The problem is that current immigration policies give more consideration to those unskilled workers. For example, it is easier to get a visa through a family member than through an American employer. In fact, there are only 140,000 employment-based mmigrant visas given out each year, comparing to unlimited family-based visas (Visa Types for Immigrants). Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) data show that those new arrivals usually are from the developing countries, and most of them come to join close family members. Most of those new immigrants usually have to face many troubles such as language problems and cultural adjustments when they arrive in America. Social security has to pay benefits to them because of their low income.
Thus, the majority of them have low education there is no doubt that they will become a public burden. If the government does not change the messy immigration policies, the economic problem will get worse. So, I suggest that the American government should expand the number of employment-based immigrant visas. This will let more educated and determined people into the country, who will boost the economy by providing innovations in fields of science and technology.
Then, the government should limit the number of family-based visas, so those skilled immigrant workers wouldn’t be able to bring their unskilled relatives. Another economical problem that immigrants from developing countries bring is that they send large amounts of national wealth to their home countries. As Kofi Annan in her lecture on “International Flows of Humanity” states, “migrant workers in developed countries send at least $88 billion back to their countries of origin-more than those same developing countries received in official development aid” (Annan).
If American government won’t do anything about it, the numbers will grow faster with each year. I suggest that to compensate the loss of national wealth, American government should stop sending financial aid to developing countries. Unlimited immigration will cause a large population problem. The large population in India has caused increasing unemployment, unsafe environments, and a lack of resources. Following their experience, America should be on the alert that continued rising immigrant numbers will lead to a large population one day.
It is estimated that if immigration continues at a current levels, the nation’s population will increase from 301 million today to 468 million in 2060 – a 167 million (56 percent) increase (Camarota). Immigrants plus their descendents will account for 105 million (63 percent) of the increase (Camarota). Kofi Annan mentions in her article: “The more we try to deal with migration simply by clamping down on it with tighter border controls, the more we find that human rights are sacrificed-on the journey, at the border, and inside host countries. Such increase in the population will cause congestion, sprawl, traffic, pollution, loss of open spaces, and greenhouse gas emissions. So, tightening border controls will heart much less people than these problems. To do that America should focus on what kind of nation it wants to be: uneducated, dependent, and unmotivated or united, skilled, and progressive. Immigration policies that exist today People that come here as+ live in closed communities Kofi Anan addresses the issue of immigrants’ discrimination in U. S. a lot in her article.
But in my opinion United States is the most anti-discriminative country of all already. In fact the government focuses so much on minorities that if you belong to white race and don’t have any disabilities it is almost impossible to get a financial aid or any other kind of benefits.
Annan, Kofi. “Lecture on International Flows of Humanity” Camarota, Steven A. “The Slowing Progress of Immigrants. ” Center for Immigration Studies, March 2001, http://www. cis. org/articles/2001/back401. html “Visa Types for Immigrants. ” U. S. Department of State, October 6, 2008. http://travel. state. gov/visa/immigrants/types. html