Friday, December 11, 2009

Illegal Immigration

Classmate Katie Elliott writes about illegal immigration. She argues that illegal immigration is bad for the security and the economy of the United States, and that we should resolve it by enforcing our laws, deporting illegal immigrants, and fining their employers.

The basic argument is that illegal immigration should be prevented, but it relies too heavily on the assumption that illegal immigrants pose a security risk, and that it's an issue easily solved by government. Why do illegal immigrants pose a security risk? Some elaboration would be helpful here. I suppose the idea is that terrorists can migrate into the United States, but terrorists can just as well be citizens, so I wouldn't call it a particularly strong security risk. The economic standpoint may be a little more valid, although she argues that they increase costs in the medical and education systems. It's not like they don't have to pay for medical help or education -- illegal immigrants work and pay money just like citizens, and there are taxes(sales, income) that aren't really avoidable.

She argues that we should resolve illegal immigration by enforcing laws, deporting illegal immigrants, and fining their employers. The problem with illegal immigrants is that they're... well... illegal. It's not easy to catch them entering the country, it's not easy to find them within our country, and transportation outside the country isn't exactly free. Fighting illegal immigration would not be a cheap easy task. I wouldn't say that illegal immigration is good for us, but it seems to me that the costs of preventing it entirely would be worse than the problems we face.

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