Illegal Immigration Growing on the U.S.
In “Illegal Immigrants Do Not Harm America’s Economy,” Brian Grow and his colleagues, reporters for Business Week, argue that rather than damaging it, illegal immigrants actually help the economy by paying taxes and advancing general economic growth. The writers are responding to claims that illegal immigrants receive unwarranted negative attention for supposed drains on public services. They also address the fact that, despite possible legal ramifications, companies hire undocumented workers in higher numbers than ever before while the government seems to turn a blind eye. They speak of depressed wages, increased spending, and ambivalent government policies. Grow and the other writers try to persuade their readers, originally patrons of Business Week Online, to be more cognizant of illegal immigrants’ contributions to their local economies as well as the national economy. They use personal narratives, which may or may not convince the reader depending on his or her point of view and personal experience, and limited statistical data – evidence that is generally more influential to the objective reader – to make their case. Despite evidence that could be more concrete and objective, Brian Grow and his associates make a fairly convincing case that, as their numbers and spending power increase, illegal immigrants are fast becoming a crucial part of the United States economy.
The writers draw us in on a personal level by beginning their essay with the story of the Valenzuelas, a married illegal immigrant couple with two young girls. The writers, in calling the
Velenzuelas by name, give them a sense of tangibility and make it easier for the reader to relate to the family. The writers paint them in a favorable light by using phrases such as “puts in long hours” (46), “revenue well above... $43,000” (46), and “solidly middle class family that any U.S. consumer-products company would love to reach” (46). They speak in glowing terms about how the Valenzuelas contribute to the local economy through their business and family purchases.
After the reader feels a certain level of kinship with the Valenzuelas, the writers introduce the matricula consular, an identification card available to immigrants regardless of their legal status. This card makes them more able credit consumers and is intended to lower the crime rate as illegal immigrants are able to use banks and, therefore, not carry large sums of cash. The writers attempt to sway the readers’ opinions by showing the Valenzuelas and many others like them are eager consumers who are now able to contribute to the economy in their area through car loans, mortgages, and cell phones. They cite...