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Immigration in Usa

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Essay title: Immigration in Usa

Nick Molden

10/24 ENGG


As much as our country is hailed as the “melting pot” nation of the world, the United States seems to have a big problem when it comes to immigration. The ironic factor here is that the white people running our country are immigrants themselves. Europeans emigrated across the Atlantic in large numbers during the 1600’s to find a land promising freedom of worship and free destiny. It was a promise of no more discrimination for the Puritans, who were heavily persecuted in Europe. Upon landing, the Puritans managed to pass on the torch of persecution to the Native Americans. They managed to almost wipe out the Indian people in a span of 200 years. For a people teaching religious acceptance, they were not very accepting of any other non-white culture. The is how the United States came to be. The founders of our current society were racists and were hypocritical of their own values. They escaped Europe because of war, poverty, famine, or religious persecution, only to spread it onto the New Land, called America. Today, we are more accepting of other cultures but immigration still is looked at in a negative way. People complain of the many Mexicans living here that cannot speak English. People of Arab descent are racially profiled at airports when trying to enter the country. Some critics say that immigrants hurt our economy and that they should be denied the basic human rights guaranteed by our government. However, closer examination will show that immigrants boost our economy and help the working class white man get through his day more smoothly. Without the immigrants living in our country, America would crumble and cease to exist.

Before 1882, anybody was allowed to travel to America. It was new enough and large enough to harbor many different people. After this time, our country began enforcing immigration laws which were usually aimed at non-whites. Instead of focusing on keeping people from others countries out of America, our government focused on keeping any non-white out of our country. White Europeans were welcomed with open arms whereas the Chinese Exclusion Act stopped most immigration from China. Soon after, Americans even grew annoyed with the Irish and Welsh Europeans emigrating to mostly New York City and Philadelphia. In 1929, the National Origins Act was passed, which stated that 150,000 immigrants were allowed to come to America each year. This act also had a quota for each race in order to assure that mostly non-whites would not be allowed in. Immigration laws equaled racism laws. Is this the case today? About 1.2 million people emigrate into America each year, 300,000 of the being illegal immigrants. At the urge of the “silent majority” (working-class white Americans) Bill Clinton signed the Immigration Act in 1996 which focuses on the “problem” of illegal immigration. The new law seeks to keep out Mexican workers looking to cross the border and find jobs in America. The new law bolstered the boarder control force to 10,000 over five years and added double fences to the US-Mexico border, which is the main area of concern. The 1996 legislation’s main purpose was to keep Mexicans out of America. It is still racially motivated and has nothing to do with boosting our economy.

Perhaps the most debated subject over immigration is whether it helps the economy or hurts it. Immigration seems to support our economy more then hinder it. Immigrants pouring over the border from Mexico find situations not much different from the country they initially left. The majority of illegal Mexican immigrants in America work from day to day, barely able to provide for themselves and their family. They pick fruit, work farms, build cities, etc. And they do these high labor, low-skill jobs for very low pay. The average earning per hour of Mexican immigrants in California (where 40% of all illegal immigrants live) is just under three dollars. These jobs are paid in cash and offer no benefits. Benefits are non-existent for any illegal immigrant in America. Though free for any American, things such as social security and free public education are denied to the many Mexicans living and working in America. Many critics claim that illegal immigrants hurt our economy because they take away jobs that legal citizens could be working. This is true and also ridiculous. White people simply would not pick fruit for 14 hours a day, two dollars an hour. They would not work at extremely dangerous construction sites when the risk is great but the pay is little and benefits non-existent. Our country needs to realize that immigrants fill these gaps in our country. Without their hard work every day, our economy surely would fall into a recession. American citizens actual benefit

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