Illegal Immigration Essay

2031 words - 8 pages

The subject of illegal immigration seems to be a very hot-button topic for many Americans. The subject seems to lose public outcry on either side at any given moment, then suddenly cause tremendous tremors on our social conscious. The subject of illegal immigration has many sub-issues, but one of the most problematic is that illegal immigrants are a financial drain on the American economy.
Ellis Island is the location where European immigrants passed through and were documented. According to June F. Tyler, “Before 1890 each state handled immigration according to its own rules. After that date the federal government assumed this responsibility. Ellis Island became the first immigration station, opening for business in 1892.”(1) Information obtained through the website ellisisland.org stated that:
1921 560,971 immigrants came to our borders and passed through Ellis Island. In the same year the U.S. Congress passed the first Immigration Quota Law. The total number of immigrants that were allowed entry was set at nearly 358,000. The Immigration Act of 1924 further restricted immigration, and reduced the annual quota to approximately 164,000. This marked the end of mass immigration to America. The Immigration Act also provided for the examination and qualification of immigrants at U.S. consulates overseas.” (1)
It is very important to note that every immigrant was examined for any potential physical or mental disease and a determination was made if the immigrant was able to fend for himself without becoming a burden to the public.
There is no way to know that exact number of illegal aliens in our country at any given moment, but in a study done by the Department of Homeland Security, “there were an estimated 11.6 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States as of January 2006. Nearly 4.2 million had entered in 2000 or later. An estimated 6.6 million of the 11.6 million unauthorized residents were from Mexico.” (1) These numbers are staggering, and common sense tells us that something is wrong with our system. The term “illegal immigrant” is now politically incorrect and the sympathizers are trying soften the image by coining the term “undocumented worker”. The term undocumented “worker” states exactly what they are here to do, work. But this is not as simple and noble as it appears. When the first wave of immigrants to the United States came via Ellis Island, they were primarily from Europe and came with skills that helped shape our nation. Some were tradesman, seamstress, architects, etc. As noted by Steve Malanga, the early immigrants that came to the United States came for different reasons “Though fleeing persecution or economic stagnation in their homelands, that era's immigrants brought important skills that fit easily into the American economy and helped supercharge the work force.” (1) Today’s massive wave of illegal immigrants simply do not possess those types of skills. Many are here to do menial jobs at...

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