Summary: The Great Immigration Debate

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The Great Immigration Debate In America today, there is one giant debate that weasels its way onto our television screens year after year: immigration. Specifically illegal immigration policy governing immigration between the United States of America and Mexico, and its effects on America. Although there are three main points of discussion on this topic, the one that people focus on is the effects illegal immigration has on the economy. There are three different perspectives on this issue: the American perspective, the Mexican perspective, and the perspective of professional economists. On one side of the fence, the American side, “[public] opinion polls indicate that many Americans think we have a serious immigration problem” (George Leef,…show more content…
Many on this side agree that America is the place to be: it generally pays better wages so immigrants can send money back to their families allowing them to eventually immigrate to America. Even if it is illegal, many south of the border still view America as “the land of opportunity.” If they move, they can easily get a job as they are generally worth more than the average American worker. A demonstration of this can be seen in Adam Davidson’s interview with an immigrant man. The immigrant told him that his boss “…no longer had to pay a highly skilled worker to perform basic tasks. That lowered the overall cost of construction.”(Adam Davidson, 2013). This means that the economy can surge as business owners push production and goods at a fraction of the price. What’s more even if the other side doesn’t greet them with smiles, the immigrants are still glad to go, as the opportunity is ripe and the money’s…show more content…
The perspective of the economist attempts to fully evaluate both perspectives, taking into account push and pull factors as well the overall effect upon the economy. In general, economists say that Mexican immigrants have a good effect on the American economy, although they do agree that some effects are negative. In the book Economics of Immigration by Orn B. Bodvarsson and Hendrik Van Den Berg, they explain that “…most economists tend to view immigration more favorably than the overall populations in the US, Europe, or other immigrant destinations.” For starters, they see that when Mexicans emigrate they tend to only do so if they are in dire need to. The Mexican culture is one of the push factors to move as they tend to value family much more. One also notes that when the Mexican people take jobs they are generally the hard labor jobs that most Americans don’t want, filling up the empty spaces not “stealing jobs.” Also they need to have credit to buy a decent mode of transportation and a place to live, illegal immigrants register tend to register with the IRS. This in turn means that not only are the immigrants paying for taxes, but it costs less to employ them as they have very little

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