Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

The Worker Next Door

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In the essay “The Worker Next Door” written by Dr. Chris Chiswick, the author addresses the illegal immigrant problem in America, and gives several questionable reasons how if the flow of illegal immigrants were deterred, jobs would still be filled, and life would go on as usual, or even better. Dr. Chiswick wrote a not too convincing essay, having many places where he could have improved or even left out certain parts of his essay that would have made this writing better, and more realistic to his audience.

I spotted a couple areas where the author went on a tangent of barely related areas to illegal immigration. Along with that, it doesn’t really seem like he tried to appeal to ethos too much, but gives some attention to logos and pathos early on in the essay and at the end. The first paragraph of this essay is a rhetorical question that asks how different life would be if illegal immigrants were not in the country doing low-class, low-skilled, and low-wage jobs that most Americans would not do.

This question is a good way to start the essay, making the reader think a little, and get more interested in the topic while also revealing the authors purpose; to persuade the reader into thinking that illegal immigration is not necessary for the American economy. This purpose is hinted throughout the course of the essay, but is most obvious in his thesis in paragraph eight. As the essay progresses, it becomes clearer that Chiswick’s audience is the American public who live in states with high illegal immigration, specifically from Mexico, as his title so subtly states.

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Not so subtle in his essay however, is his claim in the third to last paragraph, where he states that “Less frequent lawn mowing and washing of hotel sheets and towels would reduce air, noise, and water pollution in the bargain. ”. Chiswick can have all the Ph. D. s in the world, but its not going to make illegal immigration from Mexico a realistic strain on pollution in America. While the author may not do too well on appealing to ethos, he does make an attempt to make up for it on logos, when he gives data from the U. S. ensus, saying that 64% of lowskill jobs were done by native born Americans while only 36% were foreign born.

The problem that I had with this is that no where in this statistic does it mention illegal aliens, which this essay is supposedly about. If illegal immigration is such a big concern for this man, then why does he have to resort to a barely related statistic to get support from? This leaves us to the last appeal available, pathos. Chiswick used pathos most evidently and strongly in the last paragraph, with a hint of ethos, to give a final attempt in convincing his readers.

His entire essay up to this point is about how America would be far better off economically without illegal immigration from Mexico, but then he quickly turns from criticizing and blaming aliens to praising the genius of the American public and economy. If his strong attempt at the use of ethics by showing he knows a little American history does not impress a simple high school student, I can’t imagine what his informed, educated, and mature audience would think. Have you noticed how in this very essay, there doesn’t seem to be a nice flow between topics, and that things may at times, seem fairly irrelevant to the subject at hand?

This is how i felt while reading “The Worker Next Door”. Chiswicks organization is flawed, jumping from claim to claim without any real connection between the two. It might be just me, but I don’t really see the link between suggesting bad hygiene (“ Hotels and motels could reduce the frequency of changing sheets and towels... to every third day”) and how home owners could switch grass species. If Chiswick knew his audience properly, he would know that Americans are generally lazy, and we are getting lazier(CNN).

At first, I thought Chiswick was a reasonable guy. He pointed out how places with little to no illegal immigration still had groceries bagged, lawns cut, and hotel sheets changed. But what he failed to point out was that these places are usually small towns out in the middle of nowhere, where the standard of living is lower, and the local economy is stagnant. Not fully thinking his statement through hurt the credibility of his essay, and the ridiculous claim that illegal immigration contributes to our pollution is absurd.

Chiswick’s essay could have been much better than this. Someone who has a Ph. D. in economics and is writing a persuasive essay should have many more sources, facts, and realistic examples. The strongest case Chiswick could come up with is that immigration is driving down the living standards for low-skilled workers, as if he were writing his essay to help them out. But these workers aren’t immigrating to a lower standard of living. They’re immigrating to a country that has a much higher standard of living, even for low-income workers.

The Worker Next Door essay

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