Table of Contents
History of illegal immigration to the U.S
The origin of illegal immigration in the U.S has its roots in the enactment of Hart-Cellar Immigration Act of 1965 and the abolishment of the bracer program by the U.S Congress in the same year. The menace of the illegal immigrant or undocumented migrants, therefore, can be attributed to the two policies. The entire migrants from Latin America and Mexico whose entry into the United States would have legal before 1965 abruptly became illegal. Besides, many immigrants who desired to enter in the U.S as braceros had to do it illegally and farmers continued to hire them not as guest workers but as illegal workers. The surging numbers of the illegal immigrant have become a significant challenge to the subsequent governments of the United States since 1965. As a result, Donald Trump administration has vowed to deal firmly with unauthorized immigrants (Hong, John)
We can do it today.
Donald Trump and illegal immigration
On February 21st this year President Donald Trump appended signature on an executive order authorizing the government to target illegal immigrants for deportation. The executive order does not only target criminals but all unauthorized immigrants. Besides, Trump administration seek to change the current provision that only illegal immigrant arrested within 161km of the border and have been in the U.S for less that 14 days can be deported without a court hearing. Trump administration want the provision to be, all unauthorized immigrants in the United States for less than two years to be deported without a hearing. Furthermore, President Trump has signed another executive decree titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” (Posner, Eric). The decree demands that the Secretary of Homeland Security should make a comprehensive list of all crimes committed by the immigrants within the United States. It is, therefore, explicit from the two executive orders that Trump administration is committed to making the U.S free of illegal immigrants.
What America would look like without illegal immigrants
There are 12 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. Deporting all of them will translate to removing more than 8.1 million workers from the United States labor force. Such a move will be detrimental to the economy considering there are no enough human resources to fill the entire vacancies unauthorized immigrant would leave (Warren, Robert, and Donald Kerwin). Besides, service occupations would be much affected this because the majority of illegal immigrants work as cooks, ground keepers, maids, and in construction and farming sites (Steigleder, Quinn, and Chad Sparber). Moreover, illegal immigrants contribute more than $13 billion in taxes in the form of disability, old age, and survivor insurance. Social Security Administration report in 2013 indicated that American economy would lose close to $13 billion if unauthorized immigrants were deported (Hanson, Gordon Howard). The American economy will, therefore, deteriorate if all undocumented immigrants were to go. Equally, the mass deportation of illegal immigrants will be contrary to American values.
Deporting illegal immigrants violates the tenet of America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Mass deportation of all illegal immigrants violates the tent of America “the land of the free and the home of the brave?” This because evicting people who have fled unbearable living conditions for a better and promising future with the full force of the state is a crime against humanity. America has a history of human face and advocacy of human rights hence deporting hard working immigrants who work tirelessly to sustain their families is a violation of American principles. The majority of undocumented immigrants escape conflict zones, wars and deplorable human living conditions (Cervantes, Lilia, et al.). Hence, making illegal immigrant live in constant fear of deportation or deporting them will be a violation of the American principle that it is “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
- Cervantes, Lilia, et al. “The Illness Experience of Undocumented Immigrants with End-stage Renal Disease.” JAMA Internal Medicine (2017).
- Hanson, Gordon Howard. The economic logic of illegal immigration. New York, NY: Council on Foreign Relations, 2007.\
- Hong, John. “The Law That Created Illegal Immigration”. Los Angelas Times, 2015.
- Posner, Eric A. “Can It Happen Here?: Donald Trump and the Paradox of Populist Government.” (2017).
- Steigleder, Quinn, and Chad Sparber. “The effect of legal status on immigrant wages and occupational skills.” Applied Economics Letters 24.2 (2017): 80-84.
- Warren, Robert, and Donald Kerwin. “Mass Deportations Would Impoverish US Families and Create Immense Social Costs.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5.1 (2017).