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Illegal Immigrants


According to Migration Policy Institute (2003), Jeff Passel of the Urban Institute in an analysis estimated that the number of unauthorized immigrants was about 9.0 million in 2003. The report from Migration Policy Institute also stated that the states that had the largest unauthorized immigrants in 2000 were California (2.2 million) and Texas (1.0 million). Illegal immigrants are considered as a major problem for such prosperous country like the United States, as everyone is eager for the land of “American Dream” where they can have better life. But still not everyone can enter the United States, they have to qualify many kinds of standards; and this has caused an increasing number of “uninvited guests” to the United States. Hipsman & Meissner (2013) noted that illegal immigrants or unauthorized immigrants enter the United States by crossing the land border without being screened between formal ports of entry, using fake documents for admission at a port of entry, or overstaying a valid temporary visa.

Department of Homeland Security estimates that 59 percent of unauthorized residents are Mexican born. El Salvador accounts for 6 percent, Guatemala 5 percent, Honduras 3 percent, and China 2 percent. The ten leading countries of origin also include the Philippines, India, Korea, Ecuador, and Vietnam, which represented 85 percent of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2011. Loopholes in the U.S. immigration policy from the end of 20th to the beginning of 21st century has led to the fact of an exceeding 500,000 illegal immigrants to the America each year, according to Passel & Cohn (2011). The estimation from the U.S. Census Bureau has pointed out that there are about 8 million people living illegally in the U.S. in 2000, mostly in California, Texas and New York. According to Grieco (2003), Mexicans took the largest proportion, at about 8 million, which was 69% of all the illegal immigrants. From 1990 to 2000, the number of unauthorized Mexican residents staying in the U.S. had increased by 140% - from 2 million to 5 million people.

Social welfare problems arose due to this situation. Illegal immigrants tent to use services and preferential treatment as equal as the Americans; however, national budget has to carry a big burden every year due to their lack of taxpaying. According to Camarota (2004), it was estimated, in 2002, that illegal immigrated households have spent $26.3 billion USD of the federal government, but paid just $16 billion USD of tax. This has created a great net budget deficit up to $10.4 billion USD. The largest payments of the federal budget belonged to Medicaid program, which cost $2.5 billion USD; medical treatment for health insurers accounted for $2.2 billion USD; food aid programs such as food tickets or free lunch for schools took up to $1.9 billion USD; costs for federal prisons and court system were about $1.6 billion USD…

A large part of illegal immigrants are uneducated labors, which are living in poverty. A third of illegal immigrants in the U.S. at the age of 25 and older have not finished their high school. One in four immigrants has not finished grade 9, while this rate among Americans is just one in twenty. This has led to a high unemployment rate among immigrants: 5.4% of all the working aged immigrants. The number of unauthorized residents working in service area is greater than natives, and they receive less income than natives. This situation can be referred that once illegal immigrants have no or little income, they seem to have no ability to pay their tax because they have spent all of their income to afford their families or themselves, which may lead to a big loss in federal budget, a greater burden to public service because illegal immigrants, who cannot pay their taxes, receive the same public treatment as those who have paid taxes. This also leads to a greater burden to public service area, and thus creates an unstable society with violence, robbery, smuggling, etc.





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