Since today is Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day, I have decided to provide a brief history of immigration and it's implications in the United States:
America is a country of immigrants. America would be nothing without immigration. The first “Americans” were immigrants from England seeking religious freedom (“The Pilgrims”), because they could have been prosecuted for being radical, and extremely conservative. This country has been a safe haven for those who are not safe in their own countries for whatever reason. Because of immigration, America has had some of the greatest innovators in history, but it has also caused much tension. For example, in the 1870s a depression hit the U.S. and caused tensions between white Americans and Chinese immigrants. According to the California Senate Special Committee on Chinese Immigration, “in 1877, a labor rally in San Francisco degenerated into an anti-Chinese riot” (Belmont, 456). Immigrants come to this country to seek refuge from their home countries or to seek a better life for them and their families. For example, revolutions in countries such as Russia, China, Vietnam, Mexico, and the most contemporary of these revolutions, Egypt. These immigrants bring with them special skills, education, and a boost to the U.S. economy. Their skills allow them to contribute to education and the economy through employment opportunities in schools, colleges, universities and industrial jobs. Through these jobs, immigrants distribute their knowledge to Americans and the workforce, allowing the U.S. to advance or keep pace with the rest of the industrialized world. They also contribute to the economy by building new businesses and creating new jobs for both Americans and immigrants.
American economy also benefits from immigration. Since “many immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, [they] establish[ing]
companies, create[ing] jobs, and drive[ing] innovation,” (Bandow). By doing so,
immigrants expand the job market, allowing for more Americans and immigrants
alike to have a job. When people have employment, they tend to spend. This
pours money into the economy and keeps the economy flowing smoothly. “Immigration
makes a more innovative, flexible, and productive economy, leading to new and
better jobs” (Bandow) causing a larger labor force. Immigrants also add to the
economy not just by their entrepreneurship, but through their own spending when
they first arrive. When immigrants arrive, they need a place to live, food to
eat, and clothes to wear. This adds to the general economy because they buy or
rent homes or apartments, buy food, and buy clothes (in addition to what have
brought with them from their home countries).
There are many arguments against immigration including that
immigrants “have displaced white laborers by [asking for] low wages and cheap
living, and that their presence discourages and retards white immigration…”
(Lee, 460) and that “immigrants are mostly criminals” (Lee, 460). These
arguments are not true (well, every country has its criminals, but most
immigrants have to go through a long and pricy process to get into this country
[from personal experience]). The process of immigration starts with an
application for a visa, then a processing period, and then the person is told
if the visa is granted to them or not. This process is long and can disgruntle
many from trying to come to this country. Even then, increased “immigration to the U.S. actually drove up wages for
native-born Americans” (Millstein), showing that immigrants do not cause the
wages of white Americans to decrease.
In conclusion, immigration is beneficial to the U.S. This is because immigrants are educated with a better education system, which allows them to advance technologically and industrially. Since these countries’ education systems are more advanced, the level of skill those people are higher than most in the U.S. The U.S. education system slows advancement in the U.S. economy, industry, and technology. The skills immigrants have allows the U.S. to advance in both its domestic market and global market and other industries. Since immigrants are better educated and have better skills, they are able to create their own businesses, therefore creating jobs. When jobs are created, people have the tendency to spend more, adding more money to the economy. Immigrants change America for the better. Restricting immigration impedes America’s advancement in skills, education, and economy. Without immigration, America would be nothing.
Bandow, Doug. “Immigration Benefits The U.S., So Let’s Legalize All Work.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2013/09/16/immigration-benefits-the-u-s-so-lets-legalize-all-work/>.
Lee, Yan P. “Yan Phou Lee, “The Chinese Must Stay”” 1889. Speaking of America. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Boston: Wadsworth, 2007. 459-61.Print.
Millstein, Seth. "Against Reform, Debunked." Bustle. 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.bustle.com/articles/20180-why-immigration-is-good-7-common-arguments-against-reform-debunked>.
Ryan, Julia. "American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. <http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/american-schools-vs-the-world expensive-unequal-bad-at-math/281983/>.
"The Pilgrims." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/pilgrims>.