Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis




Table ofContents

Background 3

Hypothesis/Argument 3

Analysis 3

Conclusion 5

References 6


Immigration intothe United States has long been a thorny issue in the public domain.Current immigration policy falls under the Immigration andNaturalization Act (INA). Annually, about 675,000 immigrants areallowed into the country as permanent residents (Miller, 2014).However, there are certain exceptions made on the basis of familyreunifications. The President and Congress have the mandate todetermine the number of refugee admissions into the country. Certainprinciples guide the immigration law into the US. Close familymembers are allowed to join US citizens and other lawful residentsinto the country. These immigrants could be parents, children, orspouses. American law also seeks to admit immigrants that possessskills required in the US economy. Furthermore, immigration law makesprovisions for the sake of promoting diversity within the citizenry.In dire circumstances, immigration into the US is permissible for thepurpose of protecting refugees (Migration Policy Institute, 2013).For example, displaced persons will be granted asylum in the countryas immigrants as they flee from oppressive regimes.


Various acts andsubsidiary laws have been enacted so as to regulate the immigrationpolicy and procedures. US immigration law recognizes the influentialrole played by immigrants in building the economy and infrastructureof the country (FitzGerald &amp Cook-Martin, 2015). Nevertheless,immigration laws need to be reviewed so as to reduce the number ofpermanent residents and immigrants into the country.


In recent years,the US has registered a record 42 million immigrants in the country(Miller, 2014). The high number of immigrants has hurt the US economyin various ways. For example, the rate of unemployment has hit recordhighs. Illegal immigrants into the country have created plenty ofcompetition for jobs. In many instances, American citizens havefailed to get jobs due to workers from abroad. In this regard, themost affected persons have been African Americans and minority groupssuch as persons with disability. Furthermore, the high number ofimmigrants has held down salaries and prevented low-income earnersfrom ascending the income ladder. The stagnation of salaries has hadwide-ranging effects on living standards, economic growth, and taxrevenue (Miller, 2014). Even working class Americans have sufferedgreatly due to the effect of immigrants tying down jobs within theeconomy.

Many immigrantsin the US are either low-income earners or living below the povertyline. Catering for such persons has heightened the costs associatedwith social security and welfare payments. The US has put in placehealth care programs that cater to the medical needs of low-incomeearners across the country. Poor people can now access health care atpublic hospitals without having to pay for expensive forms oftreatment. The government spends billions of dollars in subsidizingthe costs associated with medical drugs and equipment. Both permanentresidents and other immigrants into the country are entitled to thebenefits presented by such programs (Miller, 2014). Consequently,working Americans sacrifice significant portions of their incomes astaxes to fund these programs.

The same argumentapplies to housing, education, and welfare. Billions of dollars arespent in subsidizing housing costs for the sake of homelessindividuals and poor street families. Millions of immigrants benefitfrom social security welfare, a resource gathered from the pockets ofhardworking Americans. Consequently, the US economy seems imbalanceddue to supporting persons that do not contribute to the socialsecurity welfare in the first place. The increasing number ofimmigrants along with their dependents only serves to exacerbate thesituation. In many instances, some immigrants infiltrate the USborder so as to give birth to children on US soil. Such children aregranted automatic citizenry even if their parents are illegalimmigrants. In such a situation, the government has little else butto apply to the newborn all rights befitting of American citizens(Miller, 2014). The parent also claims residency on the basis ofbeing a close relative of the child. Such occurrences burden thetaxpayers striving to provide for their families.

The US economyalso suffers plenty of losses as a result of billions of remittancessent by immigrants to their families in foreign countries. Moneygenerated within the US goes towards building foreign economies. Suchremittances devalue the economy by portraying an understated view ofits performance. For example, Mexico has been cited as a major sourceof immigrants to the country. The US-Mexico border has been quiteporous to illegal immigrants seeking better tidings in the US.Mexican expatriates and other workers have perforated the Americanemployment network and restricted the jobs available to eligibleAmericans (Bacon, 2013). In the same vein, huge amounts are remittedannually back to Mexico.

A high number ofvisa overstays have contributed to the colossal number of immigrantsin the US. Various incidences of crime have been perpetrated byimmigrants living illegally in the country. Media stations arereplete with stories of immigrants with a long rap sheet of offenseswho commit atrocious crimes. Illegals have been shown to perpetuatetheir former way of life into the American system (Miller, 2014).Cases of drug trafficking have rocked the US owing to unduly foreigninfluence. For example, Mexican drug cartels have expanded theirmarkets and territories deep within the country. Illegals haveestablished an intricate network of drug smuggling into the US. Drugsdegrade the cultural values and health standards of Americans whodevelop drug addictions. Moreover, gang wars from Mexico have spilledover into the country and caused plenty of violent confrontations(Bacon, 2013). The US has not suffered the devastating effects causedby the negative influence of immigrants.

Somecounterarguments appear to support the proliferation of immigrationinto the US. The most prominent factor concerns American history. TheRed Indians were the original inhabitants of the US. Therefore, anyother persons lacking the Red Indian heritage could rightly be termedas an immigrant into the country. Only the original inhabitants wouldbe justified in decrying the high level of immigration (Spickard,2007). Furthermore, the US has always been lauded for its openborders policy. In fact, the US experienced an enormous rise in percapita income and living standards during the period when itexercised its policy of open borders (Haugen, 2014). Therefore, it isargued that acquiring other immigrants would only enhance thenation’s unprecedented prosperity.

Another argumenthas pointed to the exaggerated links between immigration, crime, andenhanced unemployment. Immigrants into the country are primarilyconcerned with securing steady, well-paying jobs. Securing socialwelfare benefits is the least concern of such immigrants. Themajority of immigrants are tax-compliant and law-abiding.Furthermore, freedom of movement is a fundamental human right allover the world. Therefore, restricting immigration would betantamount to violating crucial human liberty (Anderson, 2013). Theissue of collective property rights can also be used to present apro-immigration perspective. Unlike a private home, a country doesnot belong to any person in particular. Many areas in a country areopen and accessible to anyone without prior invitation. In thisregard, no one can rightly restrict other persons from accessingterritory he or she does not expressly own.

Restrictingimmigration into the country also lays the ground for theproliferation of evils such as corruption by customs officials(Anderson, 2013). The government has employed crude mechanisms inclassifying legal and illegal immigrants. Endeavoring to enforceanti-immigration laws would violate the rule of law. There are boundto be innocent persons that suffer as a result of unregulatedrestriction of immigrants (Anderson, 2013). Immigration can createplenty of benefits for highly developed nations. Such benefitsinclude cheap and highly-skilled labor. Cultural diversity is anotheradvantage accruing to the US due to the presence of multinationals inthe country. The US is universally recognized as the only countrywhere immigrants stand the chance to acquire full-fledgedcitizenship. It would be proper if the country maintained thisexcellent reputation (Haugen, 2014). As a developed nation, the UShas a knowledge-intensive economy that creates room for diversifiedforms of labor. A global market for American products helps to steerits universal appeal since it accepts immigrants from many countries.


The precedingdiscussion has juxtaposed the merits of permitting immigration to thebenefits of restricting foreigners into the country. The US hasestablished legal policies that regulate the level of immigrationfrom foreign countries. Such measures have sought to maintain theeconomic competitiveness of the nation while preserving the identityestablished by the founding fathers. As discussed, tighter laws needto be adopted in the regulation of immigration. The record number ofimmigrants into the country has caused plenty of instability in theeconomy. The rates of unemployment have skyrocketed (Miller, 2014).Moreover, salaries have stagnated and lowered the living standards ofAmerican citizens.

The highincidence of drug trafficking and crime has also been attributed tothe rising number of immigrants into the country. The Americangovernment has spent billions on social welfare, health, housing, andeducation costs. Immigrants have benefitted from such programsdespite their minimal contribution to the economy (Miller, 2014).American citizens have contributed federal taxes that have beenexpended on poor and homeless immigrants. Billions of dollars inremittances have denied the US government critical revenue to runneeded projects.

Proponents ofimmigration have cited the human right to freedom of movement as akey argument. Furthermore, figures and statistics highlighting theseeming connection between immigration and crime have been labeled asexaggerated (Anderson, 2013). The beneficial effects of cheap laborto the American economy have also been a factor to supportimmigration.


Anderson, B. (2013). Us and them?: The dangerous politics ofimmigration control. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Bacon, D. (2013). The right to stay home: How US policy drivesMexican migration. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press.

FitzGerald, D. &amp Cook-Martin, D. (2015). The Geopolitical Originsof the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965. Migration Policy Institute,February. Retrieved from:http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/geopolitical-origins-us-immigration-act-1965

Haugen, D. M. (2014). American values. Detroit, Michigan:Greenhaven Press.

Migration Policy Institute. (2013). Major U.S. Immigration Laws,1790-Present. March. Retrieved from:http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/timeline-1790

Miller, D. A. (2014). Immigration. Detroit, Michigan:Greenhaven Press.

Spickard, P. R. (2007). Almost all Aliens: Immigration, race, andcolonialism in American history and identity. New York, NY:Routledge.