Unit 2 Op-ed
Positive Impacts Immigrants Have on America
Today in America’s society I think the government looks at immigration in a negative light, however they don’t look at how immigrants can benefit America. I think this topic needs to be addressed because of the way the government and news sources perceive immigration. Most people only see one side of a story that is published by news sources. Immigrants start businesses which increases capitalism, immigration increases the total number of people therfore increasing consumption levels and making a higher demand for more production, and they pay taxes towards the government. What would happen if you removed immigrants altogether, what kind of negative impacts would that have on this society.
Imagine being born into a lifestyle of poverty, danger and violence. These people live with these life threatening issues everyday just because they were born into that environment. A natural instinct would be to leave the things that are causing that pain and unhappiness in one’s life. So when these hurt and broken people hear about a place that has freedom and equal opportunity, they want to go. Everybody wants to succeed and America is the place where free and equal opportunity is given no matter what their viewpoints. These immigrants are willing to risk their lives to escape their homes, families and the only place they are familiar with. The viewpoint from immigrants is that moving to America is the only option for a better and safer lifestyle.
How to enter the United States legally is a long and complicated process, hence why many people take the risk and enter illegally. To simplify it the visas are either meant for immigrants who become resident aliens or legal permanent residents, and obtain their green cards or return to their country when their trip for education is completed. For immigrants living outside the United States and applying for a visa there are a few main components. Someone, usually from the United States, must “sponsor” an immigrant or file an immigrant petition for them. Once the petition is approved, and there is a visa available in your category, the immigrant will then have to apply for an immigrant visa. Once they have made it that far, which is not as often as others, they will have to undergo a medical exam and interview. Once those main steps are completed they will have to await for a response on their application. All these steps take enormous amounts of time, visas do not happen overnight. Typically once an immigrant holds a visa they start the process of naturalization to become a United States citizen.
Immigrants typically start businesses when they come to the United States, which increases capitalism. America is the land of opportunity and freedom giving immigrants the opportunity to own their own businesses. When the presence of a new business is in a neighborhood it increases the interest for others to explore, therefore giving all business a free chance at success. When immigrants start businesses they are also creating more job opportunities for others. Immigrant-owned businesses generated more than $775 billion in revenue for the U.S. economy in 2010. In 2010, 28% of all new U.S. (Grenier)
Immigration increases the total number of people increasing consumption levels and making a higher demand for more production. A higher population level increases demands which requires more jobs to meet those necessities. High immigration levels also increase cultural diversity opening new view points and knowledge. Immigrants offer a wider aspect of traits that will better the pool of knowledge which can create positive outcomes for the overall society.
With a high population of tax paying citizens, this will in turn increase the tax base allowing more support for the elderly and healthcare. What most people don’t realize is that undocumented immigrants living in the United States still pay taxes through sales tax and filing income tax returns. Undocumented immigrants in the United States paid an estimated $11.7 billion in combined state and local taxes in 2014. (Bellows, Department of Treasury) Immigrants paying taxes add to funds for programs like Social Security and Medicare. Tax paying immigrants are supporting their local, state, federal governments.
The actual process of moving all illegal immigrants back to their countries would cost America billions. The Department of Homeland Security is planning on hiring thousands of extra immigration enforcement agents. If this was to happen it would require some kind of funding. This funding would most likely have to come out of your own pocket by paying higher tax rates. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates the total fiscal drain for the entire illegal population is $746.3 billion. The goal of doing so is to detain or deport immigrants coming into the United States undocumented. This was outlined in two draft memos issued by the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly. This agency would make the removal of immigrants a priority, speed up the deportation process and enlist law enforcement to make arrests.
What kind of negative impacts would removing all immigrants do to America’s society? If all immigrants were to be removed from America’s society the economy would suffer a severe negative impact. There would be a loss in many different occupations and industries, although some Americans could fill this void it would not be enough to make up for the loss. Immigrants earned nearly $224 billion in federal taxes in 2014. (Grenier) There are multiple examples of great companies driving the United States economy, and if immigrants were removed there would not be these driving forces to continue. Apple was co-founded by Steve Jobs whose father was a Syrian refugee. This major company has a strong hand in the United States economy and removing all immigrants would abolish the possibility of another strong force like Apple to contribute to America.
Immigrants have a positive impact on America’s society, however not everyone is informed enough to know that. It is hard to think of immigrants in a positive light when all a person hears about are immigrants taking Americans jobs and causing violence. However, immigrants start businesses, increase consumption levels, making a higher demand for more production, and they pay taxes towards the government. Immigrants are currently being looked down upon because of the way they are being portrayed in the news. These immigrants have friends, family and life just like every other United States citizen.
Grenier, Amy. “Immigration Impact.” Immigration Impact, 2018, immigrationimpact.com/.
Owens, Stacey. “How to Enter the U.S.” How to Enter the United States | USAGov, 2018,
Varas, Jacqueline. “How Immigration Helps U.S. Workers and the Economy.” AAF, 2018,
Summary and Analysis of Sources
The source I used was the American Immigration Councils Immigration Impact website. This article provides information on facts about immigration in the United States. DACA and other modern day issues are discussed in this article. The facts and numbers stated on this website are related to economy, workers, and taxes.
The source I used is the usa.gov website to help me understand the immigration process. This website explains how to apply for a visa, refugees of asylum, and presidential proclamation. This website explains the different types of visas and how to go about obtaining one. The website has information of what documents to have if you are immigrating to the United States from Mexico, Canada and Bermuda.
The American Action Forum is a website that I used for a source. This website goes over how immigration helps United States workers and the economy. This website talks about recent issues involving Trump, recent studies and laws passed with immigration. This website contains information on the series of immigration laws that have been passed throughout history.