Immigration Reform


At this time, the United States has allowed more immigrants to enter the
country than at any time in its history. Over a million legal and illegal
immigrants take up residence in the United States each year. Immigration at its
current magnitude is not fulfilling the interests or demands of this country.
With the country struggling to support the huge intake of new comers, life in
America has been suffering tremendously. The excessive stress put upon the
welfare system, overuse of the family reunification laws, and the exploitation
of employment based immigration in the computer industry are reasons for
immigration reform.

The United States welfare system has difficulties supporting the huge
numbers of immigrants coming into the country each year. A majority of the
immigrants are from poor countries and come to the U.S. looking for work. A
research organization called Urban Institute revealed that immigrants use more
welfare and earn lower incomes than natives, which results in immigrants paying
less taxes. The Urban Institute is a non-profit organization that investigates
the social and economic problems of this country. Statistics from a Federation
for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) newsletter shows, “. . . the share of
immigrant households below the poverty line (29 percent) is much higher than the
share of native households that are poor (14 percent)--more than twice as high.”
Due to the large numbers of poverty stricken immigrants, they are more likely to
take part in means-tested programs such as AFDC.

Family reunification laws generally do not serve the purpose implied by
their name. These laws create a problem that researchers call chain migration.
According to the FAIR organization, “because of chain migration--one immigrant
sponsors several family members as immigrants, who then sponsor several others
themselves, and so on. Since chain migration began in the mid 1960s, annual
immigration has tripled.” Many sponsors have not met those they have helped, or
much less have the desire to be reunited with them. The laws are often used to
further economic goals rather than joining families. People migrate to the
United States with pipe dreams of financial securities. The high rates of
family sponsored immigration from poor countries such as China and the
Philippines rival those of richer countries such as Japan.

Immigration reform not only has a strong following but an equally large
opposition as well. The opposition argues that immigrants create job and do not
take jobs from U.S. citizens. Several studies demonstrate that there is a
positive relationship between states who admit immigrants and employment. One
study found between 1970-1980 Mexican immigration to Los Angeles County was
responsible for 78,000 new jobs. They claim that the U.S. work force,
especially the computer industry, will suffer from the withdrawl of highly
skilled workers. The current unemployment rates are blamed on the relocation of
multinational companies overseas to countries like Ireland and India.

Many big computer companies claim that employment based immigration is
vital for the survival of our economy. They feed upon the myth that the U.S.
computer industry depends on immigrants for its technological edge. In reality,
a majority of advances in the computer field have been made by the U.S. For
example:

...of the 56 awards given for American industrial advances
in software and hardware by the Association for Computing
Machinery, only one recipient has been an immigrant. Similarly,
of 115 computer-related awards given to U.S. engineers by the
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, only
nine recipents have been immmigrants.

Employers state that they need to go search other countries to find new talent
but the statistics show that their interest lies in finding bargain priced labor.
UCLA professor Paul Ong performed a statistical analysis in 1990 which
determined that the average salaries for foreign born computer professionals
were almost $7,000 lower than American born workers of the level of education.

Immigration is not to blame for the all the country's problems but they
are increasing the effects and making them harder to solve. At the present time
the numbers are too high, creating difficulties for natives and immigrants a
like. With logical policies and better planned numbers, immigration is a good
thing. Policy improvements will help this country regain control of its borders
and better provide for the people. Modest reductions in our immigration
policies are both are fair and ethical. Too much of a good thing does more harm
than good.