Illegal Immigration in the United States

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The Decline in Illegal Immigration

The total number of illegal immigrants reported in 2016 in the United States was lower unlike any other time since 2004. The decline has been attributed to the reduced new unauthorized immigrants particularly from Mexico into the U.S. Also, the origin countries of the illegal immigrants have also sifted within this period, with the number from Mexico decreasing while those from other regions such as Central America increasing. Determining the economic impacts of illegal immigrants in the country is complicated to quantify and is termed to be politically contentious.

Impact on Wages and Cost of Production

One of the significant impacts of illegal immigrants in the U.S is that they led to lower wages and increased the cost of production. The outcome is based on the fact that an increase in the total population due to undocumented immigrants would lead to more immigrants seeking employment. As a result, the labor market becomes flooded and highly competitive among the low-skilled local workers, which would lead to low wages for the domestic low-skilled laborers. Consequently, an increase in the supply of unskilled illegal immigrants could offset the technological developments which would reduce the country’s economic, competitive status in the international market.

Massive Influx and its Negative Impacts

In 2006, the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington reported that more than 10 million illegal immigrants lived in the U.S, with 57 percent from Mexico (Crowe, & Lucas-Vergona, 2007). Even though the massive influx of the illegal immigrants from Mexico led to cultural diversity and the provision of inexpensive labor alternatives, it is had some negative economic, political and social impacts in the country. For instance, American cities became overpopulated and put stress on the social services. Moreover, the immigrants have led a growing tension to the US citizens and other immigrants that have persevered through the system and legally reside in the country.

Complex Problems and Language Barriers

Illegal immigration presents the host country with a wide range of problems, for instance, cultural differences and language barriers. Some of these problems are not easy to address and resolve and often lead to hostilities. Majority of the illegal immigrants in the United States are under the less-educated, low income demographic. The financial impact of such a demographic population in a country is based on the taxes paid excluding the costs created. It is difficult for the net economy to increase featuring less educated and low-income levels. Therefore, illegal immigrants in the country led to a net fiscal drain in the United States.

High-Security Threats

Another major disadvantage associated with illegal immigration is high-security threats. Reports indicate that illegal immigration provides a platform and opportunity that facilitates terrorism activates. Even though majority of the illegal immigrants may follow and abide by the U.S laws, some may still defy them. In the United States, about 27 percent of the total population of federal prisoners are illegal immigrants (Massey 25). In 2003, more than 50,000 illegal settlers were detained having committed over 500,000 criminal offenses (Vaughan 13; Bloom).

Impact on Employment and Economy

The U.S economy is described as a free market economy, which depends on supply and demand for appraising wages. However, illegal immigration changes the employment dynamics and structure of the economy leading to a shortage and lack of skilled labor which increases the wages. In a market where there is an influx of the same product, then the price of the product is set to decrease. Illegal migrants are associated with cheap and unskilled labor. Therefore, their presence in the free market economy more workers are available that the market can accommodate. More workers are associated with low wages which implies that the value of work is priced lower. The American market does not have enough jobs for the current population that is the domestic-native citizens. Therefore, more illegal immigrants create the problem of job competition. The arrival of illegal immigrants in the U.S creates an opportunity for the black-market to prevail in the free market economy. The development of black markets presents a great challenge to the economic and fiscal status of the country because they are not regulated or taxed by the federal government, implying that the good and services offered and traded do not contribute to the tax base.

Proposed Solutions

The U.S federal government should consider restricting and limiting the number of immigrants in its boundaries as a mean of protecting the levels of prosperity that most domestic citizens enjoy. Most illegal immigrants lack sufficient and required skills to find a job and end up relying on the welfare of the American taxpayers. Illegal immigrants are documented to work for lower wages, for that reason, domestic workers take advantage of the situation to either use or protect the new revenue. Consequently, the gross outcome can be determined by the net of the economies of scale.

Population Dynamics and Car Insurance Rates

Population dynamics is set to change rapidly due to illegal immigration. For instance in California, more than half of the students joining school are either immigrants or a child of immigrants. The increase in the number of students in the available schools exceeds the capacity causing overcrowding. About 15 percent of schools in the U.S surpass the student limit by at least 6 percent (Pastor, & Rhonda 3).

The car insurance rates may increase because of the new population. That is because some states have enforced laws that restricted undocumented workers are getting a driver’s license. The findings of a recent study indicated that drivers in those states are often subjected to high car insurance rates because of the high number of illegal immigrants and uninsured motorists in the region. Financial problems may arise because of excess amounts of emigration. Such trends may eventually destabilize the United States reducing its ability to export goods. In 2010, it was reported that illegal immigrant household received more than $25,000 in the form of government benefits which was lower than their taxes of $11,000. The variation was attributed to the fact that some of them do not file for their taxes given their undocumented status in the country. The difference generated an average annual fiscal deficit amounting to more than $13,600 per household. The deficit amount had to be covered by the domestic U.S taxpayers. The current law on illegal immigrant households requires them to have an annual aggregate deficit of about $54 billion (Rector & Jason).

Government Action

A proposal to address the problem of illegal immigration in the country would be co-sponsoring various immigration reform bills by various individuals under the immigration reform caucus. One of the acts that would have a significant influence would be the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act. The SAVE Act would present the country’s task force responsible for dealing with illegal immigrants with a three-phase plan. The plan designed to reduce illegal immigration would consist of enhanced border security, verifying every worker’s legal status and increasing the execution of the existing laws. New additional border patrol agent and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents should be deployed to increase border security.

Moreover, the three-phased plan provides necessary tools that would help the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents and department protect the borders through the provision of additional vehicles, better infrastructure, and weapons. The SAVE Act would lead to an expansion of the E-verify and increased its availability and accessibility for use by every employer for not less than three years. Through the use of this system, employers would be able to determine whether or not employers are legally sanctioned to work in the country. The national government should work towards enforcing and passing legislations such as the SAVE Act to reduce illegal immigration and its negative impacts in the United States.


Illegal immigration possesses a significant threat to the national security in the U.S, which is considered to be costly and a liability to the taxpayers. Moreover, there is an ongoing state debate regarding what should be done with the over 10 million illegal immigrants. Consequently, the federal government should focus on developing and implementing an inclusive resolution to the problem of illegal immigration that would start by safeguarding the borders. Considering the current illegal immigration status in the U.S and its associated effects on the economic, social, environment and political status, any proposed course of action should be examined and implemented wisely.

Work Cited

Bloom, James S. The use of state and local law enforcement for immigration enforcement under Federal Authority 287 (G): A case study analysis. Diss. Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2009.

Crowe, S., & Lucas-Vergona, J. (2007). What should be done about the illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States?. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 46(7-8), 1115-1129.

Massey, Douglas S., and Karen A. Pren. "Unintended consequences of US immigration policy: Explaining the post‐1965 surge from Latin America." Population and Development Review 38.1 (2012): 1-29.

Pastor, Manuel, and Rhonda Ortiz. "Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles." (2009): 3.

Rector, Robert, and Jason Richwine. The fiscal cost of unlawful immigrants and amnesty to the US taxpayer. Heritage Foundation, 2013.

Vaughan, Jessica M. "Deportation numbers unwrapped: Raw statistics reveal the real story of ICE enforcement in decline." Center for Immigration Studies

(2013): 1-16.

November 13, 2023

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