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Illegal Immigration Controversy

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A hot topic in the 2016 presidential debates has been about illegal immigration, a subject of controversy in the U.S.; although this issue is not new. During the 1920s this issue concerned immigrants from Eastern Europe, while today it concerns immigrants of Central American and Middle Eastern descent. During the early 20th century, many felt that the new immigrants from Eastern Europe should be deported back to their home country as they feared they were bringing communist ideals with them. There was also fear the Catholics and Jews would interfere with the enforcement of prohibition (The 1920s: Introduction). Laws were eventually passed by congress to restrict immigration from that area, and soon businesses felt the effects of increased…show more content…
Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, stated, "undocumented workers contribute about $15 billion a year to Social Security through payroll taxes" (Davidson). This means illegal immigrants are helping the economy immensely. If all of the immigrants are repatriated it will be a huge loss to the American economy. For example, in 2011 Arizona passed a law to deport all illegal immigrants in the state and the effects were detrimental. Gordon Hanson, an economist at the University of California at San Diego commented, "'the Arizona economy will be weighed down by slower growth and by less export production in traditional industries' such as agriculture where illegal immigrants play a big role" (Davis). He states that because of the repatriation of the undocumented immigrants, Arizona's economy will fall behind due to the lack of cheap labor while the rest of the United States' economy prospers. Thus, it is evident that if the U.S. repatriated the 11 million illegal immigrants, the economy would be in great danger. Besides the fact that illegal immigrants contribute greatly to the economy, the costs to actually send them back home are…show more content…
Many supporters of repatriation think that, "With at least 8 million illegal aliens living in the United States and nearly one million new aliens arriving each year, the potential for terrorists entering the United States undetected is high."(ProCon.org). Many think all immigrants should be deported due to their threat to society, but this is not true. A study in California concluded, "The foreign-born, who make up roughly 35% of California's adult population, constitute 17% of the state prison population." (Riley). Thus, it is evident that illegal immigrants do not pose an immediate threat to safety. Furthermore, repatriation will not solve the issue concerning the connection between immigration and crime. There will always be avenues for criminals to smuggle illegal contraband into the country, thus it would be more effective and practical to secure the borders. This way it would be easier to find potential terrorists and criminals, and still allow other immigrants to contribute to the workforce. Therefore, there is no need to deport the millions of innocent immigrants looking for a better life due to the possibility of criminals or
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