21 Sep 2022


The Pros and Cons of Immigration in the United States

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Immigration has been a subject of concern in the United States. Immigration refers to the act of leaving one’s country and going to a foreign one. People abandon their nations due to various reasons. Some flee from their countries for adventure, to escape hardships, or to avoid starving. Nevertheless, a majority of them are driven by a quest for economic opportunities. They hold that the United States is a land of opportunities. The colonists in 1600s started the first wave of immigration. The second wave was in early 1820’s and lasted in the 1870s. The fourth wave began in 1965, and it is still continuing. In each year, more than one million immigrants move to the United States, which have an impact on many aspects of the American life. According to the Census Bureau, the previous year recorded high percentage of the US immigrants in the American history. The Bureau stated that the new immigrants and the births of these immigrants increased the US population with 22 million people. Thus, many population of the United States is composed of the immigrants. The last year’s population was eighty percent of the total population growth. The immigrants, together with their children, have brought a lot of challenges in the health care system and the educational sector. The advantages of immigration are quite numerous as compared to the disadvantages. Therefore, immigrants should be allowed the US because of the numerous benefits they bring to the nation. 

Benefits of Immigration 

Leads to Economic Growth 

To begin with, the immigrants have an impact on the economy. Research has shown that for a nation to experience growth, immigration plays a vital role. According to the economists, in the 1950s and 60s, there was an economic boom, and this was driven by immigration. In the early 1920S, many immigrants were shifting to Ireland, New York and Italy. By then 98 percent of the immigrants like those from Ellis Island were absorbed in the US. During that time, the rates of immigration were not strict. The only people who were not allowed to the nation were the criminals and the mentally challenged. The high arrivals of the immigrants transformed the New York City. On the contrary, the economic decline in 1930 was due to the restriction of immigration by the immigration act of the 1924 (Borjas, 1994). The immigrants provide labor to the economy at a low cost for the companies in the United States. Therefore, the local businesses can compete with the affordable imports from the cheap labor industries. In the absence of the immigrants, many firms in the United States would collapse. The immigrants often work in low-wage positions that many Americans reject. In short, people from different nations often possess unique skills which many Americans may not be possessing. Studies indicate that many health practitioners living in the US are from countries like India and China. The professional attend school in America before they become medical doctors. They bring new skills to the nation which leads to the creation of many businesses. 

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The immigrants started some of the companies like Google, Nvidia, and Yahoo, US steel, among others. Thus, millions of the US citizens were employed in these companies hence reducing the unemployment rates. These companies bring a lot of income to the economy. This is a clear example of the benefits of immigration. If the immigrants’ were restricted to start these firms in the nation, they would have started them in other places. Therefore, United States would have lost this kind of development. This aspect can convince people on the benefits of immigration in the USA. Other facts can still convince people on benefits of immigration. For instance, a quarter of the engineering firms were started by the immigrants and more than a half of the Silicon Valley companies were introduced by non-US citizens. The economy of the United States would not have expanded if they sent these organizations to their home nations. 

Immigration Leads to Diversity and Culture 

In addition to economic growth, immigration brings a diversity of cultures in the United States. The diversity builds the reputation of the United States to other countries. Therefore, in case it wishes to expand its businesses to other countries, it will be easier to trade with them. If the United States restricted immigration since way back, many of its citizens would be destitute. Additionally, the food countries that are in the nation would not have been there if the immigrants did not start them. These immigrants bring their culture to the country which benefits the economy because when new foods are introduced in the USA that could not be found anywhere else, new restaurants can be opened up to cater for the new products. More employment opportunities will also be available (Millman, 1997). Food is among the examples of what culture can bring in a country. There are many other advantages of embracing cultural diversity. 

The Immigrants Help in Spreading Values 

Immigrants assist in the spread of values of the Americans to many areas across the globe. When the immigrants go to American, the first things they do is learning the values of the people living there. They pass the values to their people back at home. When their people back at home who are living in poverty see how good they are progressing, they start liking USA mad many of them may start embracing the American values. In 1989, many students in Beijing, particularly in Tiananmen Square protested for freedom from the government. The Chinese government was angered by this act and thus, they sent their army to take control. Around three thousand protestors were murdered. Much Chinese saw this and still cherish the values of the American values even when they are in China. This is a clear instance of the spread of the American values being spread to other nations because the learners who started the protest were ones who were studying in America and had learned the American values. When the students went back to their country China, they were denied doing things that they could comfortably do in the United States. If communism and socialism were restricted in other parts of the globe, there could be no good way to spread the values of the Americans and democracy than to allow individuals migrate to US and know the truth of what their governments have been telling them. Although the incident led to the death of many Chinese citizens, some people argue that they deserved death and slowed the growth of communist values (Millman, 1997). 

Contributing Money to the US Government 

Moreover, immigrants also have an effect to the entire economy and more so to the employer and the government this is, as a result, of cheap labor and contribution of income taxes to the government. Therefore, immigration cannot be termed as a social problem. The immigrants pay a lot of dollars to the social security than they can never collect. Besides, they also pay property taxes, income, and sales and they receive very few benefits from that. According to the Orange County Task Force, the immigrants pay eighty-three million dollars annually, and they only get medical benefits of 2.7 million per year. Most of them hope for better jobs rather than the benefits they get from the nation. When their job prospects fail, the majority of them go back to their home countries (Johnson, 1994). 

Disadvantages of Immigration 


Despite the benefits which the immigrants are bringing to the United States, there are still other people who claim that they should not be allowed because they bring negative impacts to the nation. One of the reasons for this claim is that many individuals state the immigrants, whether legal or legal take away a lot of jobs from the American citizens. Some of the American citizens are left jobless due to this issue. The majority of them go to look for jobs so that they can support their families but at the end of the day, they go home empty handed. Many think that there are illegal immigrants in the United States holding some job positions that would be otherwise occupied by the American citizens (Portes, 1995). It is argued that the influx of the unauthorized individuals in the US is causing many of the Americans to become unemployed because many employers prefer these immigrants over the American citizens because they provide cheap labor and often work for long. 

Threat of Crimes and Terrorism 

Other antagonists of illegal immigration say that the act has been a threat to many crimes and terrorism. They say that in the past decade, American has been faced with issues of terrorism and crimes. It has been said that it is not all terrorists who are bad because there are some people who go to the US to do illegal activities such as drug trafficking. Many reports have indicated that numerous cases of crimes are committed by the illegal immigrants, and therefore, they should not be allowed to the country (Bjorklund, 2012). 

Illegal Immigration is Costly. 

The opponents of immigration further argue that a lot of money is spent on deportation and border security. This is one of the reasons why the opponents are against illegal immigration. They also claim that the government pays the medical expenses of the illegal immigrants which come from the taxpayer’s money. When the illegal immigrants give birth while they are in America, they get medical care at the expense of the taxpayer’s money. The immigrants get benefits which they have not paid for. Such people are not taxpayers, and therefore, they do not help in dealing with the problems facing the Americans. They further argue that many companies hire the illegal immigrants and thus, the problem will never end. 

Overcrowding in the Nation 

The growth of population has been an area of concern in many nations. Immigration has accounted for seventy percent of the US population. The US population grows by one percent on a yearly basis. The people who are against immigration complain that the illegal immigration is increasing in the United States, and thus, it is leading to overcrowding in bus stops, educational institutions, among others. This large population leads to the high demand for houses. Besides, it calls for the expansion of medical and educational facilities which is very costly. Many people believe that if the issue of immigration is not addressed well, the US population will grow at a faster rate due to the enormous immigration into the nation but not due to births. Further, they also believe that immigration will pose a serious problem to the USA if stricter rules are not imposed to curb overpopulation (Bjorklund, 2012). 

Illegal Immigration Violates the Law 

Some opponents assert that amnesty is given to the illegal immigrants which is an act that should be prohibited under all circumstances. Such people stay in the United States illegally and therefore, they should not remain in the nation for an extended period (Bjorklund, 2012). Such people violate the law and therefore if they continue staying in the country, they are encouraged to do a lot of illegal activities. 


In conclusion, immigration increases the rates of unemployment, violates a law, brings overcrowding in the United States, is costly, and is a threat to terrorism and crimes. Despite these disadvantages, the act has caused a lot of benefits to the United States. For instance, it has led to its economic growth, spread of the American values, contributes money to the US government, and leads to the cultural diversity that is of benefit to the US especially in the restaurant sector. Therefore, immigrants regardless of whether they are legal or illegal should be allowed in the United States. The American government should ensure that all the people who are struggling to make their lives better get a chance so that they can fulfill their dreams. 


Bjorklund, R. (2012). Immigration: New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark. 

Borjas, G. J. (1994). The economic benefits from immigration: National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Johnson, K. R. (1994). Public benefits and immigration: The intersection of immigration status, ethnicity, gender, and class. Ucla L. Rev., 42, 1509. 

Millman, J. (1997). The other Americans: how immigrants renew our country our economy and our values. 

Portes, A. (1995). The economic sociology of immigration: New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 29, 11-12. 

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