Immigration Reform is
Another Step Towards
Equality In America
By Mariah Ekart
Immigration has been an issue in America since She was
People have been excluding certain people from entering
the country based on looks and ideas for a couple
The Irish were discriminated against in the mid-1800’s
because they were generally poor and Catholic. They
lived in tight quarters and worked in dangerous
The Chinese had their own Chinese Exclusion Act for
merely looking different. They worked on the
transcontinental railway for less money than the average
citizen and many died.
Skipping to the events of 9/11, the Islamic
people living in America have been
discriminated against ever since. America
has a certain idea for what a terrorist looks
The main immigration issue faced is on the
southern border. Millions of illegal
immigrants have crossed the border from
Central and South America and are now
living in the United States.
While many Americans do not support
illegal immigrants being allowed to
stay in the country, there are many
benefits for the United States by
allowing them to do so. A revision of
the immigration policy is needed for
beneficial changes to be made in
order to better the process of people
gaining citizenship and improving the
relationship between American
citizens and the immigrants.
Common Assumptions About
They do not pay taxes and
therefore hurt the economy.
They are taking American
jobs from American citizens.
The people of America are
paying for them to live here.
They bring violence and
crime to the cities.
They are all gang members
that are involved with drugs.
They are destroying
None of them want to
conform to American ways.
In 1990 around 3.5 million illegal immigrants were living in
America. Today, it is presumed there are around 11.9 million illegal
immigrants living in the United States.
About 76% of these illegal immigrants are Latino and 59% of them
California has the most illegal immigrants in the country at over
2,500,000 and nearly 10% of the workforce.
Nevada and Texas are close behind California.
Kansas has 65,000 illegal immigrants, making them a total of about
2.5% of Kansas’ population.
Office (CBO) reported
more in taxes than the
costs of providing
services at the federal
We are spending more
money on securing,
finding, and deporting
illegal immigrants than
they are taking from the
economy. A new bill was
passed that will be adding
20,000 more border
patrol agents and 700
more miles of fencing that
will cost around $40
Illegal immigrants work mainly labor intensive, dangerous jobs that
most Americans do not want for less money. They work in careers such
as roofing, in slaughter houses, in construction, and in road work.
These jobs are typically hot, messy, and even dangerous. This opens up
better jobs for American citizens.
All crime rates amongst illegal immigrants lowered in the 1990’s and
2000’s when the number of illegal immigrants was actually rising in the
United States. The crime rates dropped from 34% to 26%. Even in
urban areas there is evidence suggesting that illegal immigration is
lowering the crime rates.
The Facts Continued
Gang violence is much more prevalent in some of the
southern countries than in America.
Gang membership per 100,000 people was calculated
as: Belize 36, Panama 43, Costa Rica 62, Nicaragua 81,
Guatemala 111, El Salvador 152 and Honduras 500.
Illegal immigrants are fleeing from their violent
countries to America so they can provide a safe place to
raise their families without living in constant fear.
The Facts Continued
As for illegal immigrants
ruining American traditions, the
United States was a country
built on immigrants.
The beauty of America is that
we are peoples of every race,
religion, and language that can
coexist together as one. We
may have different ideas and
different opinions, but we can
all live, work, and interact, for
the most part, without killing
The only true natives to the
country are the Native
Perhaps one of the reasons they come into the country
illegally is because gaining citizenship is too difficult.
One must be eighteen years old, have a green card and
lived in the U.S. for five years and be present for a certain
number of days, take two tests over American history, take
a test for reading, writing, and speaking English, and be
evaluated on a good moral standing to become an American
There are few exceptions and the process could be
dangerous because ff the person filing for naturalization has
helped anyone cross the border, lied about anything to
obtain a green card, and a variety of other offenses, they
may be denied citizenship indefinitely and deported back to
A reform could help these illegal immigrants become legal
The real reason for all of the discrimination and hate is
People fear what they do not understand. It is natural
for people to lash out when they are afraid.
For better relationships between immigrants and
Americans, it is essential that this fear is eliminated.
Knowledge and solid facts make the unknown, known
and allow the fear to be washed away.
People in America should be
more informed for any positive
changes to occur between its
citizens and its new citizens.
America was founded so that everyone could have a
right to freedom. The immigrants who come here simply
want the same freedoms that American citizens possess.
The government should not deny these people those
Arnold, Kathleen R. Ed. Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical
Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California: (Greenwood), 2011. Print.
Becerra, David, et al. “Fear vs. Facts: Examining the Economic Impact of
Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.” Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare (1
Dec. 2012): 111-135. EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.
Cheng, Gracye. “Gang persecution as grounds for asylum in the US.” Forced
Review 37 (1 March 2011): 50-51. EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.
Chirot, Daniel. “Is a Rational Solution Possible?” Society 47 (12 Feb. 2010):
EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.
CitizenshipWorks. Immigration Advocates Network. Web. 28 June 2013.
“Most Say Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, But Citizenship Is
Divisive.” people-press.org. 28 March 2013. Web. 28 June 2013.
Preston, Julia and Parker, Ashley. “Bill to expand U.S. Database to Verify Hires.”
nytimes.com. 26 June 2013. Web. 28 June 2013.
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