America is sometimes referred to as a "nation of immigrants" because of our largely open-door policy toward accepting foreigners pursuing their vision of the American Dream. Recently, there has been a clamor by some politicians and citizens toward creating a predominantly closed-door policy on immigration, arguing that immigrants "threaten" American life by creating unemployment by taking jobs from American workers, using much-needed social services, and encroaching on the "American way of life." While these arguments may seem valid to many, they are almost overwhelmingly false, and more than likely confused with the subject of illegal immigration. In fact, immigrants actually enhance American life by creating, not taking jobs, bolster social service funds through tax payments, and bring valuable technical knowledge and skills to our country. If we are to continue to excel as a nation, the traditionalists who fear an encroachment of foreign-born Americans must learn to accept that we achieved our greatness as a result of being "a nation of immigrants."
A common argument among those opposing further immigration is that foreigners take U.S. jobs and cause unemployment among the displaced American workers. In the July 13, 1992 edition of Business Week , a poll states that sixty-two percent of non-blacks and sixty-three percent of blacks agree that "new immigrants take jobs away from American workers." This is a widely held, if erroneous belief, among Americans. However, Julian L. Simon, author of The Economic Consequences of Immigration , states:
immigration does not exacerbate unemployment...Immigrants not only take jobs, but also create them. Their purchases increas...
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...cent more likely...to have post-graduate educations" than Americans, according to Simon. The traditionalists opposing immigration must recognize our lives are enhanced by their knowledge and education, and that in order to "preserve our nation", they must realize we are a "nation of immigrants" and let others prove their worth.
The issue of immigration must be dealt with rationally, not emotionally. Facts, figures, and statistics must be studied by both sides in order to reach a decision most beneficial to our nation. Our lives are enhanced by the new jobs created by immigrants, the social service funds bolstered by their tax payments, and the valuable technical skills and knowledge brought with them. These benefits far outweigh any negative effects and prove the value of immigrants as they pursue the American Dream in our "nation of immigrants."
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