Illegal Immigration: An American Problem
Illegal immigration is a very problematic issue in our country, both in terms of economic and societal concerns. We are a nation of immigrants, our borders created by purchase and conquest. For most of our history we welcomed immigrants but, due to the current world situation, we can no longer have an open door.
Illegal immigration has distorted our economy. Having a large labor pool willing to work for minimum or sub-minimum pay has kept wages artificially low for non-skilled and semi-skilled workers. When instituted in 1938 the minimum wage was intended to provide the American worker with a living wage. It has not kept pace with inflation and can no longer sustain an individual, much less a family. The fruit of this illegal labor distorts the market with cheap food and consumer goods.
The laws of supply and demand illustrate this beautifully, having a labor surplus drives down wages. This drives citizens out of the labor market in many sectors of the economy and sends employers looking for illegal immigrants to provide their work force. This trend has a collateral damage effect on American workers as well. Businesses can offer lower wages, fewer benefits and poorer working conditions for citizens as well due to this labor surplus. Productivity has risen 200% since the 1970s but, real wages have stagnated. In increasing numbers the single provider/wage earner with a stay-at-home spouse is no longer a viable option for American families. However, with labor in demand wages rise and so would consumer prices. Is the American public willing to pay $7 or $8 for a head of lettuce?
Are we, as a nation of immigrants and/or their descendants, being hypocritical by denying others the American Dream?
A lifeboat can only hold a certain number of passengers safely, too many and the boat sinks. With ever increasing populations many nations have become failed states, dependent upon other nations for assistance. The Roman Empire fell because wave after wave of immigrants entered their territories, didn’t share their values and didn’t assimilate into their culture. The first rule of being a rescuer is not to become a victim. As citizens we have a duty to our country, ourselves and future generations to safeguard the nation. Past policies have allowed millions of illegal aliens into this country. Current policies are calling for their removal and steps to control future immigration. This is necessary to preserve our safety, economy, society and culture.