The Immigration Problem

The question is have we given up on turning our immigrants into Americans
(Brimelow 30). Undoubtedly, all the hipped-up controversial rhetoric will deter
the immigrant population from becoming legal. It has become such a hassle to go
through the process that many people choose to cross the border without
permission. Before 1960, eighty percent of the immigration to America came from
Europe. Since 1960, however, eighty percent has come from places other than
Europe (Wishard 153). As a result, immigrant laws have become less accepting of
the immigrant community. Long ago, European immigrants were given a job, shelter,
and food. Soon, the new immigrants were granted citizenship and voting
privileges (Hernandez A1). Today, immigrants are lucky to cross the boarder
without being shot--God forbid they become citizens.

Contrary to what many believe, many immigrants are not here to become citizens.
Many wish to stay for a short time and then return to their home. In fact, many
immigrants are reluctant to become legal. Many harbor hopes and dreams of
eventually returning to their friends and family back home. Then there are the
distinct few who do not wish to decide, and would like have "dual citizenship."
To be loyal to more than one country, to vote in both countries, and to travel
back and forth easily (Limon).

To understand the affects of immigration one must study the state where it is
more rampant. California is a magnet for immigrants. As a result, many claim
that immigrants are a great economic burden. California does, however, benefit
from its porous borders. The succession of immigrant groups has brought the
state unparalleled ethnic diversity (Gerston 9). Besides ethnic diversity,
California has one of the most diverse economies in the world. Despite its
problems, California prevails in agriculture, mining, manufacture,
transportation, communication, electronics, construction, and defense. These
industries contain a high percentage of immigrants. If California were an
independent nation, with a 695.3 billion dollar economy, it would rank eighth in
the world (Gerston 8). California\'s dense population is a direct result of
immigration, which accounts for California\'s great political and economic
strength.

The unregulated movement of goods, services, and people throughout the states is
what makes this country economically stable and productive. NAFTA (North
American Free Trade Agreement) and GATT (General Agreement on Trades and
Tariffs) are examples of successful agreements between neighboring countries.
These agreements have resulted in the unparalleled betterment of the economies
involved. Open markets in banking, insurance, agriculture, telecommunications,
construction, tourism, advertising, etc. are essential to a capitalist economy.
We cannot, in a world economy, close our doors to the rest of the world
(Limbaugh). The Clinton Administration is committed to reducing illegal
immigration, and agreements like NAFTA are critical to that effort (Christopher
785).

Laws do little or nothing to curb the illegal immigration problem. Everyone
claims to be against immigration, but those same people love the low-cost
agricultural products they purchase from the supermarket. No one seems to
protest the inexpensive fruits and vegetables cultivated and grown by
undocumented workers. Politicians who claim to be adamantly against illegal
immigration turn around and hire illegal aliens. Pete Wilson, Dianne Feinstein,
and Michael Huffington have all contributed to the "nannygate" problem. It is
actually no big deal, but it shows how honest and forthright our politicians are.


Everyone contributes to the problem, but no one will face reality. Let\'s face it,
we all reep the benefits of illegal immigration. Let\'s forget about all the
useless rhetoric, and cut a deal with Mexico and other countries that will
benefit everyone (Olmo B7). If politicians are serious about curbing immigration
they should try to strengthen the world economy. Mexico\'s average salary is one-
sixth ours (Gore). Can we expect immigrants to stay out?

Recent, controversial debates have struck a fuse in many Americans. Americans
who have been laid off or who can\'t seem to get ahead in our capitalist market
seem to be infuriated by the influx of illegal aliens. They feel that they
cannot compete with low-wage workers. To show for this is the countless anti-
immigrant legislation being proposed to congress. There are grass-roots
initiatives out there proposing to amend the constitution to limit American
citizenship solely to children born of U.S. citizens only (McDonnel A1). A
significant number of people wish to eradicate the rights foreign nationals have
acquired through the years. Americans have proven to be very competitive in the
world market. Especiall those who have a good education.

Many feel that immigrants do not deserve an education because they have not
contributed to the well being of the community. Already, undocumented students
are the least likely to be given financial help, and they