In the United States, the problem of illegal immigration needs no introduction. Basically, it refers to the violation of US immigration policies and other related laws by a foreign national either when entering the US territory, or residing here.
According to the statistics compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies, the total number of illegal immigrants in the country was a whopping 11 million as of 2008. (There also exist sources which put this number at 20 million.) Even though it is very difficult to find the exact number of illegal immigrants in the United States, the impacts of this practice have become quite obvious over the time.
Illegal Immigration Impacts
Any given concept has its positive aspects as well as negative aspects; illegal immigration is no exception. Perhaps we stress more on the problems that directly affect us and therefore, fail to see its positive attributes. This, however, doesn't mean that illegal immigration does no good for the nation. Though its negative impacts clearly overshadow its positive impacts, one cannot deny the fact that there do exist some positive attributes of the same.
As we mentioned earlier, the negative effects of illegal immigration are always in the spotlight as they tend to affect the people directly. Considering that as many as 11 million people are staying in the United States illegally, the chances of untoward incidents cannot be ruled out. There exist numerous economic impacts, but equally important is perhaps the fact that the locals are deprived of their rights and opportunities. States are allocated resources on the basis of their population. When these population studies are undertaken, illegal immigrant population is not taken into consideration. As a result of this, the allocated resources are never enough to fulfill the requirements of overall population. Such deprivation of rights and opportunities are seen in almost all the sectors, right from education to employment. For every illegal immigrant who is working in the United States at this point of time, one legal resident is deprived of his opportunity.
Besides this, illegal immigration also alters the demographics of the nation. Large-scale influx of immigrants from various backgrounds gives a dent to the age-old culture and traditions that are practiced in the nation. While such impact is seldom seen in major cities, small cities do bear the brunt of this issue. In major cities, on the other hand, illegal immigration and crime seem to go hand in hand. Numerous studies have revealed that illegal immigrants are at the forefront when it comes to criminal activities like drug trafficking and human trafficking. In legal immigration, foreigners entering the country are screened for various health problems. However, the same cannot be done when it comes to illegal immigration. This, in turn, increases the chances of disease outbreak.
Can some illegal activity have positive impacts? That's one question which has been making quite a buzz in the United States of late. Those in support of this concept on humanitarian grounds argue that there exist quite a few economic impacts of illegal immigration which work in favor of these migrants as well as the nation. They cite that these migrants contribute to the US economy by paying various taxes. They also highlight the fact that immigrant population ensures a balance in the society, as the demand for labor is fulfilled. On the social front, those in support of these immigrants argue that tough illegal, the migration of these individuals to a developed country improves their standard of life.
Some politicians and NGOs are often heard saying that these immigrants only take up those jobs which the locals don't want, but statistics have a totally different tale to tell. If you try to weigh the pros and cons of this practice, you are bound to notice that its cons far exceed its pros, which, in itself, highlights the fact that immigration reforms is the need of this hour.