The Effect of Illegal Immigration on the American Economy

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Immigration is a contentious issue in America. It is a hotly debated topic by the citizens and they hold different views about immigrants. Statistics show that America has more than 10 million immigrants who are in the country illegally (Filindra & Pearson-Merkowitz, 2013). This has led to overpopulation in major cities because these people move to urban centers in search of a better living. Native Americans have divided opinions about the issue of immigrants. Some do not support amnesty, whereas others support it. However, the Obama government has made recommendable steps in solving the controversial issue about immigrants, which has led to both backlash, and lauding by the citizens. In this regard, the focus is to review the sources about the effects of illegal immigration on the American economy and determine whether the government should grant illegal immigrants amnesty or not.

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Dixon, P. B., Johnson, M., & Rimmer, M. T. (2011). Economy-Wide Effects of Reducing Illegal Immigrants in U.S. Employment. Contemporary Economic Policy, 29(1), 14-30.

The authors of the article explain the ways of reducing immigration into the United States. From their discussion, it is clear that immigration affects the American economy. The programs that they suggest include first, enhancing a tighter border security. Second, imposing taxes on employers. Third, prosecution of employers. Dixon, Johnson & Rimmer (2011) analyzed the macroeconomic industry and occupational effects and broke down the welfare effects for legal residents. This parts include; first, producer surplus and illegal wage rates. Second, skilled employment opportunities for natives. Third, aggregate capital. Fourth, aggregate legal employment. Fifth, terms of trade. Finally, the public expenditure.

According to Dixon, Johnson & Rimmer (2011), immigration affects producer surplus and illegal wage rates because when many people move into the United States, there will be increase in production which will lead to producer surplus. Further, employers will work on the wage rates to accommodate all workers. Consequently, there will be illegal wage rates in the country. On the employment issue, the illegal immigrants will fight for jobs with the skilled Native Americans, which will lead to increase in unemployment level for the natives. On the aggregate capital illegal immigration will cause capital flight. This is because the illegal immigrants will move money earned to their home countries which will result to capital flight. On the terms of trade, the authors state that illegal immigration affects the terms of trade because of the underground economy that develops. On the public expenditure, illegal immigrants cause an increase in the public expenditure. The government does not know the exact number of citizens to provide essential services. Therefore, there is need for the government to ensure that people who immigrate to the United States appear in the national registry.

Filindra, A., & Pearson-Merkowitz, S. (2013). Together in Good Times and Bad? How Economic Triggers Condition the Effects of Intergroup Threat. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 94(5), 1328-1345.

Filindra & Pearson-Merkowitz (2013) discusses the relationship between peoples perception and expectation for the future and immigration into the United States. According to the Filindra, A., & Pearson-Merkowitz (2013), immigration can have positive or negative effects to the American economy depending with the expectation of the people. If people expects the economy to grow, then it will grow. On the other hand, if people expect the economy to decline, then they will feel the effects.

Immigration contributes to diversity which positively contributes to the economy. People from different cultural backgrounds come to America. Human interaction shape individual experience, which change their perception about others. It makes people appreciate others for who they are. It cultivates cultural relativism because they learn that no culture is superior to the other. Therefore, they would judge the actions of others not based on their own culture, but the culture of that particular group. This would cultivate respect and promote peaceful coexistence. America is a nation that has people from different walks and life, and embracing diversity would reduce violence. Mass shooting and police violence result from failure to embrace cultural diversity. Therefore, government should accord amnesty because it promotes diversity. Furthermore, most illegal immigrants are law-abiding. They do not want to break any law because they are aware of the consequences that would befall them. To them, the most important thing is to stay on the right side of the law and work hard to change their fortunes. They do not have time for crime because what matters to them is the chance to lead a better life. Statistics show that most immigrants are law abiding and governments should not depot them. Instead, they should give them amnesty to reward their goodness.

Miller. D. (2010). Immigration. Detroit: Greenhaven Press/Gale Cengage Learning. Print.

In the book, Immigration, Miller (2010) examines two different perspective on the effect of immigration on the American economy; the positive side and the negative side. He explains that immigration is a threat to national security. Terrorism has become rampant in the world. America has many enemies who wait for the opportune moment to strike them. This means that allowing immigrants into the country would expose the country to terrorism. Moreover, it would make it difficult for homeland security to operate. It would be difficult for individuals to monitor their neighbors with high rate of immigrants (Miller, 2010). National security is very crucial to America and government should not compromise it by giving amnesty to illegal immigrants. It should put interests of its citizens and American land in front of those aliens. Therefore, it should never give amnesty, but instead it should deport those illegally cross American borders.

On the other hand, Miller (2010) examines the positive effects of immigration. He argue that it contributes to the economy. Illegal immigrants make huge contributions towards the economy. They contribute to GDP of the country. For instance, Mexican immigrants contribute 4% towards the GDP (Miller, 2010). Therefore, granting amnesty to them would lead to economic development. In addition, they pay taxes that help government to fiance its operations. Taxes are crucial because they help in financing government projects leading to increased standards of living. Therefore, it would do no harm to grant amnesty illegal immigrants to have the permission to stay in America. They make positive contribution to the economy, and government should put this into consideration when devising policies concerning them. Moreover, they provide cheap labor leading to industrial growth. This affects the economy positively because it leads to increased investment, which reduces unemployment level.

Perry, L. (2014). Overlooking/Looking Over Neoliberal Immigration: Amnesty Policy in the 'Nation of Immigrants'. Cultural Studies, 28(5/6), 844-868.

The article examines the role of the struggle for power in the immigration law. While some politicians advocate for amnesty towards the immigrants, some are against the issue of amnesty citing the effects of influx of illegal immigrants to the nation. Perry (2014) argue that amnesty increases influx of illegal immigrants in the country. In order to curb illegal immigration, government should enact strict measures against them. They should understand that when found they would face deportation, which would inflict fear on them, thus stop immigrants from flowing into the country. However, granting amnesty encourages illegal immigration. This is because individuals understand that even if illegal immigration amounts to breaking laws, they would receive forgiveness and nothing would happen to them. This would make the country a hotbed of immigrants. Therefore, government should not allow amnesty on lawbreakers. Having many immigrants is a threat to the wellbeing of the nation.

Amnesty defies the logic that society should punish illegal action, but not reward it. Illegal immigration is a crime that culprits should face the wrath of law for committing it. Logically, lawbreakers receive punishment in order to make them not repeat similar action. However, according illegal immigrants amnesty would defy this logic. Moreover, it would lead to deterioration of values of law and order. Individuals maintain law and order because they know that breaking law is a punishable offence. This implies that governments should never forgive a person acquitted of crime. Amnesty would also encourage individuals to commit illegal activities because they perceive law as lenient. Lastly, it translates to contempt of American values.

The Economics of Illegal Immigration. (2016). Trends Magazine, (154), 32-38.

According to the Trends Magazine, Immigration is costly to the nation. It increases government spending because it has to provide for their social welfare. It is true that not all immigrants secure jobs, and most of them do not end up rich. For instance, between the years 2011 to 2013, the government used over 40% in Medicaid in order to cater for immigrants. They have negative implications on the economy and according them amnesty would weaken economic growth. Therefore, instead of according them amnesty, government should deport them back to their countries. Additionally, they siphon wealth from America to their countries. Data collected by World Bank shows that America has the highest rate of remittance. For example, Indian immigrants sent about $61.8 billion back to their country. This means that they siphon American wealth to their countries leading to economic decline.

The article reports on the cost of taxpayers money on immigration. In the article, the authors state that the government spends much money to implement the immigration policy. Further, there are measures that must be put in place to ensure that people who immigrate into the United States comply with the established code of conduct. According to the researchers, the government should enact policies to reduce the level of immigration. Their argument is that the immigrants should not fight for jobs with the Native Americans. If it is a must that the immigrants must into the country, then they should work on inferior jobs to ensure that the Native Americans have a large share of the national cake.


In conclusion, government should grant illegal immigrants amnesty. This is because points in support outweigh those against it. They contribute to the economy because they work and pay taxes. In addition, amnesty would lead to a stronger nation as immigrants would feel that America is their country. It boosts diversity and gives them a second chance to change their lives. Proponents also hold that immigrants are not law-breakers and government should grant them amnesty. On the other hand, the opponents to immigration argue that immigrants cause a threat to national security and increase costs. However, these arguments against amnesty do not provide sufficient ground for government to fail to grant amnesty. Therefore, amnesty is the solution to the controversial issue about immigrants. The critics state that the government spends much money to implement the immigration policy. One of the goals of the national government is economic development and America was built by immigrants, for example, Albert Einstein, the great physicist was an immigrant who contributed much to the development of technology not only in the United States, but also in the whole world. T...

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