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Immigrants living in Poverty and Children of Immigrant parents.
The United States was built by immigrants, it’s often referred as the Promised Land, land of the free and home of the brave and the greatest country in the world. Immigrants migrating to the U.S. is nothing new, immigrants have been migrating to the U.S. ever since the Europeans step foot on this land. We owe a lot to immigrants since they were responsible for building our railroads, buildings and paved the way for this great nation. Immigration has changed over the last century from Europeans settling in the U.S. to immigrants from Eastern countries, South and Central America to our border neighbors of Mexico. The majority of immigrants migrating into the U.S. are simply seeking a better opportunity for themselves and their families, many are fleeing persecution from their own countries and America has always accepted immigrants, but that all changed in the past year. Since 2017 when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, one of his primary objectives has been immigration reform, much of his campaign was based on immigration reform and building a border wall between the United States and Mexico to stop illegal border crossings. President Trump often criticized illegal immigrants as murderers, rapists who not only bring their diseases, but their drugs too. President Trump wants to end the birthright citizenship, which will end automatic citizenship to children who’re born to illegal immigrants in the United States. He also wants to set limits on the amount of immigrants who enter the United States legally and those who’re here on working visas. Although Trump supporters believe his administration’s immigration policy will help shape the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and increase border security, the administration’s policy will be detrimental and have a negative effect on the livelihood of immigrants living in poverty, and children of immigrant’s parents who live in fear that their parents will be deported.
On the other hand, some people agree with President Trump’s immigration policy and believe his strategy is the safest way to ease the chaos at the borders and who is entering the United States, many who’re Republicans and Trump supporters. These supporters of the Presidents immigration reform claim that immigrants will take away all the jobs from the American public. In her article “The Great Immigration Debate,” Patricia Smith explains how “Trump has stepped up arrests and deportations of immigrants here illegally, including high-profile raids on 7-Eleven stores” President Trump claims that all Muslims are terrorist and wants to issue a travel ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. and he also claimed that immigrants abuse the welfare system, immigrants are dangerous criminals, and that it’s very easy for immigrants to migrate to the United States. President Trump campaigned on the claim that illegal immigrants are voting which is a federal offense for voting fraud. The president proposed that a massive border wall be built between the United States and Mexico border which will stop the entry of illegal immigrants and drugs. President Trump made the claim that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world, but has the worst immigration laws.
I concede that the current immigration policy of the United States is broken and requires immigration reform, and that people who support President Trump on his immigration policies have their hearts in the right place, but their claim is wrong. I agree that some illegal immigrants who cross the border are not good people, unfortunately some might be criminals or have some sort of criminal background who fall through the cracks of the immigration system, but they’re wrong that every immigrant who crosses the border is criminal or terrorist whose primary focus is to cause harm to Americans. Immigrants who migrate to the United States are not crossing over just to commit voter fraud, immigrants are crossing the border to seek a better opportunity for themselves and for their families. Americans are misinformed about immigrants stealing all the jobs, immigrants are taking the jobs that many Americans are too embarrassed to take because they have too much pride, like farming where migrants work in the blistering heat for low wages. Some Americans believe a multi-billion dollar border wall is going to fix the illegal border crossings and drugs entering the U.S., but the fact is immigrants often swim the Rio Grande to cross and drugs are smuggled in bulk through tractor trailers and underground tunnels built by the Mexican cartels and a whether a wall is built, immigrants will still find a way around it, whether that’s over it or under it, but a wall is not going to stop anyone or anything from crossing over. The assumption that the U.S. allows every immigrant to stay in the U.S. illegally is false, they’re allowed to apply for asylum if they’re in danger or are facing persecution in their native country, but immigrants who’re caught must face an immigration judge to determine their faith in a formal removal proceedings.
One way President Trump’s immigration policy is detrimental to immigrants is how working immigrants are forced into poverty and low wages. The younger generation of immigrants are often low skilled workers who’re willing to work, but these low skilled workers affect the older generation of immigrants. Poverty for immigrants have increased drastically because these low skilled workers are being forced into working long hours for low wages which forces them into low income cities and neighborhoods which have higher rates of poverty. In her article “Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality,” Jamie Goodwin illustrates that “decomposition analysis shows immigrant poverty increased as the most disadvantaged immigrants sorted into lower waged cities pressed into higher poverty by the Great Recession” My question focuses on the effect of poverty on immigrants, and Goodwin-White illustrates how low skilled immigrants are forced into low wages which digs them deeper into the poverty level, forcing these migrants to live in low income neighborhoods. Goodwin-White writes “the poorer immigrant households and children emerged from two decades’ worth of increasing limitations on immigrants’ access to social welfare” Although these immigrants might’ve entered the United States illegally, they came with good intentions of working and seeking a better life for themselves and their families, but they were limited due to their skills so they earned low wages, poor housing, and they were forced into poverty, they weren’t even offered some sort of public assistance, although many of them paid their taxes just like every other U.S. born worker.
Another way that President Trump’s immigration policy is detrimental to immigrants is the fact that the United States already has a high poverty rate, but immigrants are at a higher rate and risk of being in poverty and we must do something to help break that cycle. The U.S. must help provide these immigrants some sort of job training skills so they can help the economy grow, but also help lower the poverty rate. In his article “Immigration and Poverty,” Jared Bernstein explains how immigrants are usually poorer than naturalized citizens and that the poverty rate for immigrants is roughly 5% higher than naturalized citizens. Bernstein believes we need some sort of immigration reform, by allowing a certain amount of immigrants into the United States each year or by capping the amount of immigrants allowed into the U.S. each year. People will always find a way to migrate to the United States, whether legally or illegally, but Bernstein suggests that the best way to reduce the poverty rate is to focus on improving the earning capacity of immigrants. If immigrants are going to be in the U.S., we must help provide some sort of skill trade so they can contribute to the economy by obtaining a decent paying job and should not be based on whether or not they’re here legally or illegally. The article illustrates that “not unlike the analysis of single parents and poverty, too much analysis of this question basically argues that since immigrants, especially non-citizens (i.e., not naturalized) tend to be poorer than natives.” People have been migrating to the United States for hundreds of years and it’s only gotten worse, especially since the Trump administration came into office and we need to focus on job skills and not worry about their immigration status. Yes, immigrants are at a higher rate of poverty so something must be done about it. The U.S. will always have people migrating here so we might as well help them and in return we are also helping ourselves and especially or economy. If we can help provide training skills for immigrants, they will earn higher wages which means they will pay higher taxes, they will move out of poverty and our poverty rate will decrease.
In addition to being detrimental, President Trump’s immigration policy has a negative effect on immigrants, especially on how our economy is affected by immigration and the low skills these immigrants bring to the U.S. economy. Immigration reform is needed to fix this problem, which will help make these immigrants citizens, and provide the necessary skills to succeed. In the article “Immigration, Poverty and Low-Wage Earners: The Harmful Effects of Unskilled Immigrants on American Workers,” it examines how our current immigration system is broken, only a few employers sponsor immigrants via the H-1B visa program. As it is the United States already has a lot of low skilled workers and a high poverty rate, so when you add more low skilled immigrants to the situation, which makes the job market tougher and lowers wages since people become desperate. The U.S. economy is running low on skilled workers and it shows the effect of it by looking at the poverty rate continuing to grow higher each year and workers are taking lower paying jobs since the job market is so competitive nowadays. Immigration reform is needed to fix our current immigration and poverty problem, by providing permanent status of immigrants, provide job training and perhaps a tax break for those employers who hire these immigrants. The article illustrates that “America’s massive low-skill labor force and illegal alien population allow employers to offer low pay and deplorable conditions” since we have such a large immigrant community, many employers are taking advantage of these low skilled immigrant workers, but paying them very low wages, and in some of the worse working conditions. Since immigrants are already low skilled, they tend to take these low paying jobs because they need to survive and provide for their families and that only raises our poverty level and lowers wages for all Americans, whether they’re legal or not. We need immigration reform and although it seems to be high topic during elections, no one seems to really tackle this task of immigration reform. We need to find a way to help immigrants which in return will help our economy and poverty level.
President Trump’s anti-immigration policy is destructive to the immigrants who’re seeking work and a better opportunity, but is especially destructive for the children of immigrant parents. In the article “The migrant caravan Trump calls a national emergency” the publication examines how our border policy seems to be catch and release policy, where they deport these immigrants back to their native country, but “the real pressure on the border has come from families with children fleeing extreme poverty and gang violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.” The children of these immigrants are the ones who’re suffering the most, they’re starving, dehydrated and exhausted from taking the long journey to America from their native country. Many of these children are fleeing their country because their parents are either being persecuted or simply cannot find work to feed their families, some of the children don’t even have a jacket as they try to cross the desert where temperatures drop to the low 30’s. These immigrant parents and children are not criminals, but human beings who’re seeking a safe haven and a place to call home. It doesn’t matter whether they’re Middle Eastern, Salvadorian, Guatemalan or Mexican, they’re human beings who need our help and we cannot turn our back to them. In the article “Why are Families being separated at the U.S. Border”
- Bernstein, Jared. “Immigration and Poverty.” The Huffington Post, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/jared-bernstein/immigration-and-poverty_b_4650580.html
- Eaton, Susan E. Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees, and America at its Best. New Press, 2016.
- Goodwin, White, Jamie. “Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality.” Journal of Regional Science, vol. 56, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 182–184. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/jors.12247.
- Holpuch, Amanda, and Lauren Gambino. “Why are Families being separated at the US Border?”The Guardian, Jun 20, 2018, pp. 23. ProQuest, https://login.ezp.pasadena.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2057255888?accountid=28371.
- “Immigration, Poverty and Low-Wage Earners: The Harmful Effects of Unskilled Immigrants on American Workers.” Federation for American Immigration Reform,www.fairus.org/issue /workforce-economy/immigration-poverty-and-low-wage-earners-harmful-effects-unskilled. Accessed 20 Nov. 2018
- Smith, Patricia. “The Great Immigration Debate.” Junior Scholastic, vol. 120, no. 9, Feb. 2018, p. 10. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.pasadena.edu/login?url=https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.pasadena.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=128112186&site=ehost-live.
- “The Migrant Caravan Trump Calls a “National Emergency”.” The Week, no. 1200, Nov 03, 2018, pp. 17. ProQuest, https://login.ezp.pasadena.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest. com/docview/2136833869?accountid=28371.
- Eaton, Susan E. Integration Nation : Immigrants, Refugees, and America at Its Best. New Press, 2016.
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