Immigration Into California, Research Paper Example
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Although undocumented immigration is problematic for the United States as a whole, this issue is particularly pertinent to the California local government. Since the Mexican border is close to the Southern border of the state, many individuals fleeing Mexico travel to California looking for work and living security. The residents of California have strongly opposing views of this occurrence (Public Policy Institute of California). Some Californians believe that it is important to let Mexican immigrants enter the United States and to welcome them into the state of California because many of them are fleeing from the poverty and political persecution that they experiencing in their homeland. These individuals believe that it is important to support their right to live and work in California because this supports their human rights. On the other hand, some Californians worry that having a loose border is the reason for a lot of the drug and human trafficking occurring in the state. Others are worried that Mexicans are taking American jobs (Myers & Lee 55). It is important to understand both sides of this controversial issue in order to form reasonable opinions that could direct policy in the state regarding immigration.
Illegal immigration from Mexico has become a concern primarily due to the negative consequences that many American citizens believe this activity could cause. While some of these concerns are reasonable, it is apparent that some of these beliefs have resulted as a consequence of racism and belief in stereotypes. One cause for concern is that allowing immigration from Mexico will result in greater domestic unemployment (Dagodag 2). The current economic standing of the country is such that jobs are not readily available for those who want them. As a consequence, many skilled workers are resorting to taking jobs that are not able to support their lifestyles. These individuals and those worried for this type of American worker are concerned that there are less of these jobs because employers prefer to hire illegal Mexican workers for these positions. Therefore, they claim that it is important to put a stop to illegal immigration to preserve American jobs.
While it is true that illegal Mexican immigrants do take many of the jobs that Americans used to hold, studies have shown that a majority of modern Americans do not wish to work these positions. In California, there are many farm jobs available that require heavy labor in the sun. Individuals that work these jobs have little opportunity to take breaks, do not wear the proper protective gear, and work long hours (Alvarex & Butterfield 1). As a consequence, such jobs have been viewed as generally dangerous or undesirable by American workers, who left to work other low paying jobs that were deemed to be more acceptable (Marcelli 1). Therefore, Mexican workers are filling this employment gap by gaining employment in positions that are no longer seen as viable by American citizens. These individuals regularly put themselves in great danger and engage in hard labor for a smaller amount of profit than even an unskilled American worker would make. Tortilla Curtain notes the fear that Americans have of Mexican workers by stating “The ones coming in through the Tortilla Curtain down there, those are the ones that are killing us. They’re peasants, my friend. No education, no resources, no skills – all they’ve got to offer is a strong back, and the irony is we need fewer and fewer strong backs every day because we’ve got robotics and computers and farm machinery that can do the labor of a hundred men at a fraction of the cost” (Boyle 101). However, it is clear that this fear is not a reality, as Mexican’s offer cheap labor but for positions that no Americans would want to work.
This demonstrates that while Californians are concerned that permitting Mexican immigration will remove the ability for California residents to gain employment, this is clearly not the case. Native Californians are not choosing to work the type of jobs that Mexican immigrants are, even though this type of job needs to be done. Many critics of immigration similarly argue that since these individuals are not paying taxes, they are damaging the state’s economy. However, it is likely that the state’s economy would falter if none of these workers were willing to work on farms because agriculture is one of California’s major forms of profit. Overall, it appears that these Mexican workers help support the agricultural industry, which in turn supports the economy of the state and provides food to people throughout the country. Many individuals that do not support the idea of Mexican’s living in the United States have this opinion as a consequence of racism. In Tortilla Curtain, one of the main characters hits a Mexican with a car and exclaims “I told you – he wasMexican” (Boyle 15). This line demonstrates an inherent racism that people feel towards Mexican’s purely because they are outsiders and not American born.
Many critics that oppose Mexican immigration are worried about diseases that these individuals may bring from their home country, which have potential to cause epidemics in the United States (Espenshade & Hempstead 1). Two of these health problems that generate a cause for concern include tuberculosis and typhoid fever. Studies have shown that approximately 16.5% of the Americans that have contracted tuberculosis in the past several years have been Mexican immigrants (Lobato & Cegielski 2). These same studies concluded that the prevalence of this illness is linked to the socioeconomic standing of the individuals that carried the illness. Because they are not able to access proper medical care in Mexico, they were more likely to not have access to the antibiotics that would treat this disease. Furthermore, the country does not invest in public health programs that would decrease the frequency of its ability to spread. Many individuals living in California are concerned about contracting tuberculosis from immigrants. However, this is because they do not understand much about the disease or that it has been virtually eradicated from the United States. When individuals contract tuberculosis, they are immediately put into quarantine and treated with a high dose combination treatment of antibiotics. In modern times, this treatment process has an almost 90% cure rate, so there is no cause for concern of this illness.
Furthermore, many Mexican immigrants have the potential to contract typhoid fever because the bacteria that causes the disease is highly prevalent in warm climates. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 5,700 causes of typhoid fever in the United States each year (CDC). This is a very small percentage of disease outbreak, as it affects approximately 21 million individuals in the world. It is clear that this illness is contained in this country. Individuals who contract the illness are treated with an antibiotics course similar to what is prescribed for patients with tuberculosis. In this country, individuals who have the disease are expected to experience a positive outcome, and the possibility for transmission is not considered a concern.
Overall, the concern that Mexican immigrants will bring foreign diseases to Mexico seems ridiculous. Tuberculosis and typhoid fever are prevalent in Mexico due to an enhanced climate for the growth of these pathogens in addition to different sanitary and regulatory health measures that are taken in Mexico compared to the United States. While there is a possibility that California could experience a local outbreak as a consequence of bacterial transmission, it would come quickly under control as residents receive antibiotic treatments to cure the infection. Many individuals who argue that Mexican immigration will increase disease do not understand public health principles that are necessary to make such claims.
Critics of Mexican immigration also argue that these individuals will make an unfair use of welfare services. In the United States as a whole, illegal Mexican immigrants do not generally make use of any of the support services that the country has to offer because they are worried that doing so will put them on the radar for deportation. While a majority of immigrant households would be eligible for food stamp, public housing, and Medicaid programs, applications to these services require the provision of personal information that could be used against the family that applies. Furthermore, many Mexican immigrants are even afraid to go to the hospital when they need treatment because they are worried that the services will be too expensive and that someone will notice their citizenship status.
Therefore, it is clear that California citizens should not be concerned about Mexican immigrants making use of welfare programs that were created using public funds. While many of these programs would help support these individuals and their families, they believe that they need to avoid this system in order to remain protected in the country. Thus, even though many Mexican workers work jobs that have a high rate of injury, these individuals refuse to make use of public services due to their worry. Instead, they find other ways to meet their needs or suffer from the inability to do so. It is therefore clear that the state of California is not wasting its public services funds on illegal immigrants, who may be deserving of this aid. Ultimately, these funds were meant to help the public, and it could be argued that any individual living in the state of California should have equal access to this help if they need it, whether or not they are a tax paying citizen.
Another concern against illegal immigration is that this will lead to an increase in the amount of legal drugs that enter the state. While drug trafficking is certainly a concern, it would happen whether or not illegal immigration occurred. The individuals who are responsible for the drugs entering the country have affiliations with people living in the United States who are legal citizens that make this drug exchange simpler. Many of the individuals who physically bring the drugs over from Mexico are Mexican citizens, but do not plan to visit the country for more than their drug business. Increasing the security of the borders may therefore contribute to a decrease in illegal drug trafficking, but this is unlikely to stop this business altogether.
It is important to consider that a majority of the Mexican immigrants that cross the border are not doing so to cause harm to the state of California or the United States. Rather, they are attempting to escape a life of poverty and create a future for their children in a new country. It is necessary for the residents of California to not paint a negative picture of Mexican immigrants due to the illegal activity that a small minority of them become involved in. Overall, it is important to consider that Mexican immigrants are human and need our help to thrive in this new nation. Rather than scorning them for their actions, we should commend them for wanting to enter a nation of freedom and for being brave enough to break their local laws to ensure that they would be able to have access to their freedom. Ultimately, there is nothing more American than this.
A statistical evaluation of the people who enter the state of California from Mexico indicated that “over 90% of the migrants were 40 years old or younger, and 92% were male” (Dagodag 2). This indicates that a majority of the people who enter the nation are young, working men. Many of these individuals enter the country in order to send money home to their families in Mexico, with the intent of either supporting their ability to eat, have shelter, and be clothed, or so that they may eventually enter the United States and live there permanently. It is clear that based on this statistic, residents of California may be concerned for the job availability in the state because of the number of working age men entering the state (Muller et al. 4). However, further statistical studies would benefit by demonstrating the types of jobs entered in addition to the amounts of these jobs that were available to depict a realistic picture of the Mexican worker’s impact on California living.
Furthermore, among the Mexican immigrants who successfully cross the border and enter California, “44% were seized at a checkpoint on entering California, and another 33% were arrested within 72 hours of crossing” (Dagodag 3). This demonstrates that the border is not as loose as many California citizens believe. A majority of the individuals who attempt to cross the border are stopped, while many more are caught after crossing the border (Wright 2). These figures do not consider the amount of individuals who are deported after this point, which is inevitable if a crime is committed or likely is information about the individual’s citizenship status is revealed. Therefore, only a small percentage of the individuals who cross the border into California even get to stay in the state, and it is likely that those who have not been caught have no criminal history and are simply living in the United States in order to get the right to liberty and happiness that they deserve.
The poverty of the individuals that enter the United States is emphasized by the fact that “Most aliens had an average of US $30 with them; average payments for being smuggled into California are $200” (Dagodag 2). These individuals typically spend almost all of the money they have to receive assistance in entering the country. They give up their former lives, home, and family in order to establish themselves in this new nation in order to support their ability to live without oppression from their native government. Overall, it is important that Californian’s recognize the sacrifice that these individuals are making to live here because it is an honorable action. The United States formed because many immigrant groups came together to form a nation. In order to respect the intention of the country, it is therefore important to respect the intentions of the individuals that enter the state of California in order to live a life worth living (Duignan & Gann 3).
In conclusion, while there are many critics of Mexican immigration into California, it is important for these individuals to consider the various impacts that such a movement has on the state and on the country. A majority of the claims that individuals who oppose Mexican immigration have are false, which indicates a need for these people to be educated about the truth of the situation. Ultimately, Mexican immigrants do not take American jobs, damage the economy, or bring terrible diseases to the state. Rather, they help boost the farming industry by working positions that the average American refuses to work, they do not benefit from our welfare systems due to a fear that this will cause them to be returned back to Mexico, and they do not bring tuberculosis or typhoid fever to the United States because the health care system is able to treat these illnesses. Overall, it is necessary for California residents to gain an understanding of how important Mexican immigrants are to the state. They are a part of the reason the economy is strong. Symbolically, they represent the soul of the nation. Mexican immigrants are willing to put everything at risk in order to achieve American freedom. It is important for California residents to respect this desire and to oppose the unethical treatment of Mexican workers in the state. Because they are not able to protect themselves against unfair treatment, it is necessary for us to step up and give them the help that they deserve. It’s the American way.
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