Illegal immigration remains one of the most controversial issues in the world and specifically, in the United States. The political, social, and economic elements are at the centre of illegal immigration (Ngai 71). Some of the citizens and politicians of the host country may feel that the illegal immigrants are out to take away their jobs, in effect denying them their economic empowerment. The essay shall endevor to explore the issue of illegal immigrations with regard to the facts and causes related to it, the disadvantages of illegal immigrations, as well as the various stakeholders involved.
The growth of illegal immigrants in the United States seems to have stabilized in recent years. As of 2000, the number of undocumented individuals living in the United States was estimated at 8.4 million. The highest recorded figure of unauthorized immigrants n the United States was 12.2 million, in 2007. This accounted for 4% of the total U.S population. By 2012, this has reduced to 11.2 million while in 2013, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S was estimated at 11.3 million (Krostad & Pasel n.p.). Over half (52%) of ll illegal immigrants in the U.S are Mexicans. In 2012, some 5.9 million illegal immigrants form Mexico lived in the U.S. The highest figure of unauthorized Mexican immigrants in the U.S was recorded in 2009, at 6.4 million. However, there has been a slight increase in the number of illegal immigrants from the Caribbean, Central America, and Asia, during the same period. 60 % of all illegal immigrants in the U.S are to be found in six states alone namely, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, California, and Illinois.
Over the past decade, there has been a significant rise in the number of foreign-born population in the United States. For example, between 2000 and 2012, the foreign-born population increased by a whopping 31.2 percent (Center for American Progress n.p.). There was also a significant growth in the number of the immigrant population from 31.1 million in 2000 to 40.8 million in 2012. by 2012, some 40.7 million people in the United States were foreigners. Of these, 21.2 million were non citizens, while 18.6 million were naturalized U.S citizens. Majority of the non citizens (nearly 13.3 million) were permanent residents who were in the country legally, but a further 11.3 were unauthorized immigrants.
There are varied reasons why illegal immigrants come to the United States. However, most illegal immigrants come to the United states for economic reasons in the hope of finding better employment opportunities (Inda 89). This is because the wages earned by illegal immigrants in the U.S are substantially higher in comparison to what they are likely to earn back at home. This is with a view to improving their livelihoods and that of their families. In addition, other illegal immigrants come to the United States in search of an enhanced degree of freedom. Accordingly, they seek to run away to political and/or religious oppression in their home country. Others wish to connect with their loved ones (Ngai 74). Moreover, some illegal immigrants come to the U.S in search of medical and educational services benefits.
There are various stakeholders who are affected by the issue of illegal immigrants, including the migrants themselves, educators, the police, politicians, and the government. First, the migrants are forced to remain vigilante always because they know that they are in a foreign country illegally. They are also likely to be exploited by their employers on account of their being in the country illegally. Secondly, educators have to contend with an influx in the number of school going children in public schools.
The addition of immigrants children into the educational system overstretch the resources that had been budgeted for. In addition, educators are faced with the challenge of having to accommodate these foreigners into their education curriculum. On the other hand, the police have to contend with the increased cases of crime in certain neighbourhoods, as well as the likely crimes committed against illegal immigrants. This impacts on the justice system (Camorata 8). Politicians and governments have tread carefully when dealing with illegal immigrants to avoid a likely backlash from other countries. They are also careful not to make and implement draconian laws that will be seen to infringe on the rights of the illegal immigrants, and yet they have to balance the plight of the citizens and other legal migrants as well.
In sum, the issue of illegal immigrant has been very contentious issue. This is because there are a lot of legal, social, economic,a and political issues involved. The number of illegal immigrants into the United States has been on the increase over the past decade, reaching its peak in 2007. However, the recent global financial crisis seems to have somewhat slowed down the number of individuals coming into the U.S illegally. Mexicans accounts for over half of all illegal immigrants in the U.S. The issue of illegal immigrants affects various stakeholders including the justice system, the education system, the immigration department, as well as the those in government, especially the lawmakers and politicians.
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