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Economics Of Immigration

.. free-rider problem applies to the situation of illegal immigration since these immigrants make use of public goods while not paying income taxes. One major problem of illegal immigration involves the fact that illegal immigrants do not spread out evenly across the nation. They concentrate in certain areas, and the destination states that they choose, like California, pay a heavy toll. U.S. households, in general, end up paying an enormous amount of money because of illegal aliens. A study has found that illegal immigrants drain about 2 billion dollars a year for incarceration, schooling, and Medicaid from destination states such as Texas, California, and Florida.

In California for example, approximately 1.7 billion dollars was spent entirely on educating the children of illegals in 1993. These students make up about 10% of the total student population. These addition students in the public school system causes problems for the schools in terms taking up scarce resources, and they can influence individual households with regards to public vs. private schooling. In addition to the costs of schooling, health care for illegals costs about 400 million dollars.

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A tremendous loophole exists in welfare availability when it comes to illegal immigrants. All an illegal has to do to get welfare from the US is give birth on American soil. It does not matter where the child was conceived, nor does it matter that the parents are committing a crime against the United States and its citizens. Once an illegal immigrant gives birth on American soil, the child incredulously becomes a citizen, the parents pick up the money and benefits that their citizen baby is entitled, and then the illegal has a foothold in the US that costs the taxpayers money. It is very unlikely that someone is going to deport the parents of a thirteen-month-old baby.

Knowing this, the best course of action might be to change the law, no matter who made it, so that children of illegals are illegal, and children of citizens and legal aliens are citizens. Broad anti-illegal immigration sentiments have grown steadily over the years, especially in destination states, causing the passage of radical bills such as California proposition 187. Its purpose is to deny all government programs except emergency medical care to illegals. One of the problems with the proposition is that it probably would not keep illegals from coming. It would only make their lives here harder.

They would not go home. Without education, the illegal children would be forced into the streets where they would have to turn to crime or very harsh, low paying, and often inhumane, jobs. Health care to illegals is addressed by the Surgeon General, Penny Sylan: ?If people are forced to wait until an illness has progressed to an advanced stage before they seek medical care, infectious disease will spread throughout communities and recovery rates will plummet.? Instead of legislation like proposition 187, more effective patrol of the borders, and the future implementation of a national verification database might more effectively control and lessen the number of illegals residing in and commuting to the United States. The US has lost control of its borders. Two-thirds of the births in Los Angeles County are to illegal mothers, and San Diego border patrol agents estimate that they stop one out of every three illegals, or thirty three percent.

With increased number of border patrol officers, and increased technology, the US might be able to better control its southern border. Such initiatives have already shown positive results. Operation Gatekeeper has proven that better forces can have a positive affect on the number of illegals that successfully get across the border. Through more agents, better sensors and detection devices, and barriers like three-tiered fences and ditches, the US can make it almost impossible for people to come across the border. While denying education and health care services would only make their lives harder, the establishment of a national verification database and strategic placement of identification checks could make it impossible for illegals to function at all in the United States, and thus it might deter some from trying. The ID would let employers check on the background of potential employees, and it could make it impossible for illegals to get Driver?s Licenses or other legal documents.

In order for the identification system to be effective, it must be coupled with very strict and severe laws against employers who would knowingly hire illegals. Arguments against an ID system say that it would infringe on privacy, inconvenience legal aliens and citizens if glitches and problems in hardware occur, and cost a great deal of money to implement. The best course of action probably is to wait a few years until technology would be widely available to allow bio-metric identification systems, such as the scanning of fingerprints, to be implemented. The technology is available now, but by waiting a few years, it would be much more cost effective, as well as more accurate. These systems could be perfectly accurate and impossible to forge.

Immigration should be available to those who wish to come to the United States to work, contribute, and be self-sufficient. The needs of U.S. businesses and the best interests of American households should be the goal of policy. By not reducing the number of working-age, legal immigrants, and by giving preference to skilled workers, the United States can maximize the economic rewards of immigration. Through making families responsible for their older relatives, refusing to accept refugees, and working harder to expel illegals, the US can minimize its immigration expenses. Immigration has been one of the cornerstones of US history, contributing greatly to the wealth of the nation. With a few adaptations in policy, it can once again be greatly beneficial to the nation and its citizens.

Bibliography Bibliography George Borjas, Friends or Strangers, (New York: Basic Books, 1990 ) pp. 34-35. George Borjas and Stephen Trejo, ?Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System,? Industrial and Labor Relations Review, January 1991, p. 210. George Borjas, ?Know the Flow,? National Review, April 17, 1995.

p. 45. George Borjas, ?The Case for Choosing More Skilled Immigrants,? American Enterprise, December 2000, p. 30. Peter Brimelow, Alien Nation, (New York: Random House, 1995) p.

149. Steven Camarota, ?Our New Immigration Predicament,? American Enterprise, December 2000, p. 26. Peter Cassidy, ?We Have Your Number,? The Progressive, December 1994. p.

29. Joe Cobb, ?Immigration,? The Heritage Foundation, 1996. Susan Dentzer, ?Adding and Subtracting: Beneath the debate on immigration lies an unanswerable question: Are immigrants a plus or a minus for the American economy?? U.S. News and World Report, April 29, 1996, p. 38. ?Empower America?s William Bennet and Jack Kemp ?Correct the Record? with a New Study of Legal Immigration,? February 28, 1996.

Michael Fix, Jeffrey Passel, and Wendy Zimmerman, ?The Use of SSI and Other Welfare Programs by Immigrants,? The Urban Institute. February 6, 1996. Nancy Gibbs, ?Keep out, You Tired, You Poor,? Time, October 3, 1994. John Greenwald, ?Cutting off the Brains,? Time, February 5, 1996. ?Immigration Battle Lines,? National Review, July 11, 1994.

p. 12. Michael J. Mandel, ?It?s Really Two Immigrant Economies,? Business Week, June 20, 1994, p. 78. Elizabeth Moore and Debbie Notkin, ?Illegal Immigrants Barred From Receiving Public Aid,? News of the Nation, October 18, 1996. Robert Rector and William Lauber, ?Elderly Non-Citizens on Welfare will cost the American Taxpayer $328 Billion over the Next Decade,? The Heritage Foundation, March 23, 1995.

Julian L. Simon, ?Public Expenditures on Immigrants to the United States, Past and Present,? Population and Development Review, March 1996. p. 108. Economics Essays.


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