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Illegal Immigration

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Many illegal immigrants are pouring into the United States. Pro-immigration rallies and anti-immigration rallies alternated with equal fervor this spring, while the number of illegal people living in the country continues to grow the census tells us that is close to 10 million people. A pending amendment to the constitution threatens to make illegal passage a felony; any person that tries to cross the border illegally will be place in jail and sent back to their country. As a form to control illegal passage the government is trying to build a wall across the southern border. The Minutemen Project is a group of armed civilians that patrols the border to draw attention to the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States. A few southwestern talk radio stations voice their shrill support for the Minutemen. Illegal immigration is present and it is growing very rapidly. Many Americans believe that illegal immigrates possess a threat to our economy or better yet to our security.

The arguments can be confusing. Anti-immigration groups ask us to consider our self-interest as Americans, claiming that illegal immigrants are stealing jobs and benefits from citizens. Pro-immigration groups, by default, concede the question of self-interest to their opponents. They ask Americans to consider the broken homes deported immigrants leave behind, and the tragedy of those who die crossing the desert, mountains and river from Mexico. So which is it? Should we protect our jobs and our taxes, or be moved by the predicament of those who seek refuge while we allow our country to be overrun?

It’s a trick question. In one respect, the anti-immigration groups are correct: Americans should consider their self-interest when deciding where they stand on immigration. But they are wrong that illegal immigrants are a drain or a scourge. Immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are a gain to the United States. Consider the arguments to the contrary. The claim that illegal immigrants hurt the economy boils down to two allegations. The first is that immigrants steal jobs from Americans. The second is that they suck up welfare or benefits without paying enough taxes to cover these benefits. The reality is that immigrant as soon as they can, and yes, they’re willing to work cheaply. But they don’t steal jobs. For example, if you’re paying a teenager who baby-sits your children for $15 an hour, and someone else tells you, “I’ll do it for $10,” has that new person really stolen the baby sitter’s job? Of course not, It’s your money and you decide whom you want to hire. You have no obligation to pay a higher salary, if you can get cheap labor. That doesn’t have to change just because that new baby sitter happens to be Mexican. It’s easy to see that employers, and entrepreneurs are doing the same exact thing, they want to hire, the cheapest labor that they can possibly find. By doing this there are some potential benefits. What everyone seems happy to ignore is that the other person whose labor is more expensive, the person whose job was “stolen” from him also benefits. He benefits from living in a society in which jobs are given to the most competitive and qualified job seekers. He benefits because when goods can be produced at a cheaper price, the savings are passed along to consumers, and consumers are able to spend more, which helps stimuli economic growth. Another benefit is that the owner of a company saves on labor has more money to open new stores, hires twice the workers he employed before. It also, allows the company to save more money, allowing the bank to give small loans to new industries giving an opportunity for small companies to open new businesses. By hiring and opening new business most likely the money that the workers earn will be spend, contributing to the growth of the economy, and helping the country to be a better place to live in.

Ask yourself: would you rather be out of a job in the land of opportunity, or guaranteed a job for the rest of your life in a communist Country or modern-day Cuba? That’s the choice. There’s no middle ground. The citizens of the United States are free to spend their income as they choose. The benefits of living in a country, in which people are free to seek the best product for their money, overwhelmingly outweigh the short-term inconvenience of losing one job and finding another. The result of that freedom is America: a country where your property and life are protected. Immigrants don’t “steal” jobs. In fact, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NRC) found that immigrants indirectly raise



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