5 billion per year. "(Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers)
In most cases, studies show that the central areas of expenditure are related to immigration are education, health care and incarceration resulting from illegal immigration. (Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers) Education is of particular concern. In New York, more than $4.3 billion annually is spent on education for the children of illegal immigrants. The number of K-12 public school students in New York who are illegal aliens is also high at 11.7%. (Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers)
Healthcare and expenditure of taxpayer's funds spent on illegal aliens is also a bone of contention. In the case of New York "...unreimbursed medical outlays for health care provided to the state's illegal alien population amount to an estimated $690 million a year." (Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers)
The cost of incarceration in the case of illegal aliens is also an expense that has to be considered. In New York the 'uncompensated cost' of incarcerating deportable illegal aliens has been estimated at as much at $165 million a year. (Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers)
This figure refers only to prison costs and does not take into account various other costs relate to detention; such as law enforcement and judicial expenditures.
One of the more obvious solutions to the problem is stricter control. One of the ways that this can be achieved is through more control of identification information. Stewart Baker, assistant Homeland Security secretary for policy, has said that, "Using that information, the department said it could better target its enforcement of immigration laws."
Feds Want Stiffer Penalties for Firms Hiring Illegal Aliens)
However access to this information has been prevented to a large extent by laws which are in place to protect the privacy of taxpayer information. These legal structures "...prevent the Homeland Security Department from getting some information about employees and employers." (Feds Want Stiffer Penalties for Firms Hiring Illegal Aliens)
There is also a move to dissuade illegal immigration by making it more difficult to obtain work in the United Sates. As Baker states, "until we can persuade people that it's not easy to get a job in the United States just by making up a Social Security number..." (Feds Want Stiffer Penalties for Firms Hiring Illegal Aliens)
One of the areas of dissatisfaction is that laws intended to penalize those who hire illegal labor are often not implemented. In an article entitled Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized by Spencer S. Hsu and Kari Lydersen (2006), the authors state that that while the government has promised to crackdown on the many companies who use illegal migrant labor, this initiative has to all intents and purposes been abandoned. (Hiring Is Rarely Penalized) This is borne out by various statistics. "While In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies...In 2004, it issued fine notices to three." (Hiring Is Rarely Penalized)
This particular issue has made many experts skeptical about the governments will to remove the incentives for illegal immigration and is a view that is supported by many studies. It is claimed that there has also been a focus rather on removing illegal or unauthorized employees rather than fining or taking steps against the employers.
Hiring Is Rarely Penalized)
Another view that has been proposed is the idea of amnesty and guest worker programs. This was a proposal put forward by President Bush in 2004. The temporary worker program was suggested to "...match willing foreign workers with willing U.S. employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. The program would be open to new foreign workers, and to the undocumented men and women currently employed in the U.S. "(Fact Sheet: Fair and Secure Immigration Reform) This would allow illegal workers to "come out form hiding and take part legally in the economy.
However the guest worker program has received a large degree of criticism. One of the assertions against this proposal is that, "...Inviting foreigners to come to America as guest workers is equivalent to sending the message: You people are only fit to do menial jobs that Americans think they are too good to do. We will let you come into our country for a few years to work low-paid jobs, but you have no hope of rising up the economic and social ladder."
Guest-Worker/Amnesty Is Immoral).
In other words, the idea of amnesty and quest workers is seen by many to be unethical and demeaning and reduces the immigrants top the status of an underclass. Once again this refers to the argument that sees immigration as part of American culture and heritage. This also suggest that a more direct and forceful approach is the best policy.
From one point-of-view there is a strong case for the reduce of immigration controls and this is also a view that is more in line with the American values of freedom and independence. This view is also supported by the negative way in which the border controls have often been reportedly implemented in the country.
On the other hand there are the various economic and employment factors to consider and many Americans feel that the illegal immigrant problem is directly impacting on their livelihood.
In essence there is at present uncertainty about how to deal with the issue of immigration reform. However there is general agreement that steps are necessary to deal with this issue. On the other hand there is disagreement on the way that reforms should be implemented and whether the solution lies in increasing border controls and security or in the enforcement of more stringent legal restrictions in the workplace. There are many issues that need to be taken into account and, as the above discussion suggests, a more balanced and integrative approach is needed that deals with the major issues as well as with the ethical and economic factors.
Isbister, J. (1996). Are Immigration Controls Ethical? Social Justice, 23(3), 54+.
The above article provides a crucial and important overview of the ethical factors involve din the issue of immigration. This article argues that many of us are in a "...ethically fraught position with respect to immigration." Importantly it also reviews some of the most important reason for immigration control and weights this up against moral considerations
Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers. Retrieved October 26, 2006, at http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_nycosts
This is a short but informative article which outlines the cost of immigration to the region in terms of the three main items of expenditure. The article also provides a valuable insight into the actual effects of immigration in a specific region.
Fact Sheet: Fair and Secure Immigration Reform. Retrieved October 26, 2006, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040107-1.html
This is an official statement which outlines the Government's view and succinctly presents the main points in relation to the wider issues at stake.
Feds Want Stiffer Penalties for Firms Hiring Illegal Aliens. Retrieved October 26, 2006 at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185267,00.html
The case for access to information in combating illegal immigration is one of the issues addressed in this article. The article is concise but presents a number of pertinent facts that relate to the central issues in immigration. This is an important point-of-view that adds to out insight into the complexity of the problem.
Guest-Worker/Amnesty Is Immoral. (2006) Retrieved October 26, 2006 at http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2006/jan06/psrjan06.html strongly intentioned and direct article which outlines the view that the government's proposal is unethical and immoral. The argument is well written and carries some important implication and views for the issue as a whole.
Illegal immigration undermines American spirit. Retrieved October 26, 2006, at http://www.therightreport.com/bothwell/2005/03/illegal_immigra.html
This is an article that shows the difference between illegal and legal immigration and the important distinction between these two types. The article also presents a concise overview of the pro-stance with regard to the ethics of immigration in America.
Ivins M. (2006) Immigration 101. Retrieved October 25, 2006, at http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/34256/?comments=view&cID=102119&pID=102117
This well written and concise piece provides an important view of the practical nature and benefits of illegal immigration. It offers a slightly cynical view which states basically that the reality of illegal immigration and the use of migrant labor are beneficial to both parties and will therefore continue.
Martin, Philip (2006)
The Battle Over Unauthorized Immigration to the United States. Retrieved October 25, 2006, at http://www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Section=PRB&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=13774
This is a very comprehensive overview which presents up-to-date views and data on the issues in the immigration debate. The article also provides clear outlines the various options that are being discussed in an effort to find a solution to the problem of illegal aliens.
Hsu Spencer S. And Lydersen Kari. (2006) Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized. Retrieved October 28, 2006, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/18/AR2006061800613_3.html short but to the point article, which clearly outlines one of the main contentions in the debate. The article also presents the economic and statistical implications of this point-of-view.