The Pros And Cons Of Immigration

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Immigration is an issue that is a fiercely debated topic in the United States. Some believe that it is detrimental to the economy as a whole and affects our overall wages in a negative way. Others argue that it actually keeps the economy moving in a positive direction and increases wages over time for people in the United States. On Thursday April 17, 2014 we debated this topic in class in order to shed light on both sides of the argument. Both sides used case studies, articles, quotes and data to prove their case. The United States has been historically a country of immigrants. Since the first British settlers landed on the shores of the eastern United States in the 1600’s, there has been a strong and steady influx of immigrants to North America. They were driven by the promise of a new and better life for themselves and for their families. Over the last 400 years there have been successive waves of immigration that have risen and fallen over time. Historically most immigration has come from the European nations with waves coming to the United States by region and specific countries. In the 1800’s there was a mass migration of Irish, German, British, and French Immigrants. The largest group, the Irish, was escaping the Potato Famine that left Ireland in an awful state of poverty and famine. These groups sought a better life from the poor economic and social times of Europe and were lured to the United States by the hope of land, freedom, opportunity, and jobs. Later improvements in technology in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s led to lower transatlantic fares. Many Slavic people, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles and over 4 million European Jews came over during this time in search of a better quality life, better jobs, and more oppor... ... middle of paper ... ...use the jobs are too physically demanding and tedious, such as field hands, factory workers, or landscaping, or because they just don’t pay enough for the average American. This base of low paid workers is imperative for the economic growth of our country. Many restaurants would not exist if it weren’t for the cheap labor of the people in the kitchen. The fertile California valley would be less productive and more expensive to run if it weren’t for cheap immigrant labor. Wages have been found to decrease slightly for native-born workers in the very short term for specific demographics, but in the long term overall immigration is a net benefit to the economy and to all of the people in it, native born and non-native born alike. It provides the solid foundation needed for a strong and prosperous economy, creating a positive net gain on native wages over the long term.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that immigration is a fiercely debated topic in the united states. some believe it is detrimental to the economy, while others argue that it increases wages over time.
  • Explains that the united states has been a country of immigrants since the 1600's. they were driven by the promise of better life for themselves and their families.
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