This essay has a total of 4295 words and 19 pages.

With millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States and at least half a
million being able to gain access into the country annually, it is no doubt that they have
an extensive effect on the country. It has been argued that illegal immigrants put a
strain on the economy of the country and can be a social nuisance. They also have a major
influence on the various decisions and policies that are made in the country. Whether the
net effect of illegal immigration is positive or negative is still subject to debate.

This paper shall begin by looking at the definition of illegal immigration. Then the
various effects that illegal immigration has on the United States of America (U.S.) will
be examined. These effects include social effects, economic effects, political effects,
environmental effects among others.

Illegal immigration can be defined as disobeying the immigration rules of a destined
country by disregarding the right protocol of moving into that country. It involves
crossing international political borders through water, land, and air improperly. Illegal
immigration can also include entering another country in the right manner but refusing to
leave after the expiry of one?s visa. Illegal immigrants are sometimes referred to as
aliens. Most of the illegal immigrants to the U.S have two popular ways of entering the
country. The first is through crossing the U.S Mexico border, the other is through over
staying their visas. Most of the illegal immigrants in the U.S are from Canada, Mexico,
Europe and Africa. The effects of immigration are felt more intensely in states where
large numbers of immigrants have settled in relation to others. Such states include New
Jersey and California. Illegal immigration impacts the Nation and the lives of the
natives in different ways and to different degrees depending on their social status and

Illegal immigrants engage in criminal activities which lead to increased crime rates. Some
of the criminal activities that are largely associated with illegal immigrants include
dealing with drugs such as heroin and marijuana. Also, there is stealing of identities.
When the government introduced new laws demanding employers not deliberately hire illegal
immigrants in 1986, illegal immigrants began stealing identification documents and social
security numbers from U.S citizens to enable them get work. The unique thing about
identity theft in comparison to other types of crimes is that it is usually not carried
out singly but in association with other crimes such as financial crimes like credit card
theft .Also, those who steal the documents utilize them to try and get permanent residency
and acquire other privileges that are due to U.S. citizens. The acceleration of identity
crime in the last couple of years has been attributed to the advancement in technology.
For instance the internet has increased the amount of personal information that can be
accessed illegally. However, in most instances crimes committed by illegal immigrants go

Social utilities
The government usually has to bear the costs of illegal immigrants when they utilize
social services. In relation to citizens, most illegal immigrants heavily rely on
government social services such as schools. On the other hand, they do not utilize other
government services as much such as health insurance. This is due to poverty and in trying
to avoid leaving behind a trail which can be followed by legal authorities. This could
lead to loss of lives in case of accidents according to (Smith, Edmonston 6) Trafficking
and exploitation

Some parts of the U.S border are very remote, and can sometimes be used by immigrants to
smuggle people and controlled substances into the U.S. state. About 50, 00 people are
smuggled into the U.S every year with most of them coming from Asia and former Soviet
Union. Since most illegal immigrants have no legal documents or have their papers and
identification documents taken by those who smuggle them in, they, especially women and
children, end up being exploited. They can be used as sex slaves or forced to do
physically demanding jobs with meager pay under appalling working conditions as argued by
(Miko, Park 6). The young children are commercially traded in the market for adoption with
Russian mafias coordinating the activities. A majority of the children are trafficked from
Mexico to be sold off to people who are not interested in going through the lengthy
process of legal adoption. Most of the trafficked people end up in larger cities such as
Carolina, California and New York.

Harsh Transit conditions
A number of illegal immigrants end up dying or seriously injured while on transit. This is
usually due to difficult conditions since they pass through places that are isolated in a
bid to avoid detection by legal authorities, and the nature of the journey which is
usually long. Also, they suffer from shortage of food, water, medicine and other supplies.
Illegal immigrants get deceived by coyotes who promise to get them safely into the U.S and
in some instances end up dumping them in harsh undesignated areas such as deserts. Often,
illegal immigrants travel in overcrowded vehicles which may be mechanically defective.
During the journey they stand the risk of being robbed, sexually abused, violently
assaulted and used as ?mules? to transport illegal substances into the U.S.

Because most illegal immigrants do not undergo the necessary medical testing, they end up
carrying illnesses into their host countries. For instance Malaria, which had been absent
in the U.S for a while showed up in certain states such as California, New Jersey and New
York. In the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S government and other Western countries had made
milestones in their public health systems (Lutton12). They had found vaccines for most
diseases and improved medical conditions so that they had been able to put under control
various diseases. Further, to keep diseases at bay, the government came up with health
requirements to be fulfilled by most immigrants coming into the country. Section 12 of the
Immigration and Nationality Act stated that admission was to be denied to immigrants
infected with certain diseases especially those that were contagious such as Tuberculosis,
leprosy and mental illnesses However, following the March 15 1980 request by the Attorney
General to lower the health standards and 1965 immigration Act, illegal immigrants entered
the country in large numbers. This saw the re-introduction of various diseases in the U.S
which were commonly found in third world countries as most of the immigrants crossed the
borders without being medically examined first. In September 1995, the National Science
and Technology Council (NSTC) released a report Infectious Disease, A Global Health Threat
which led to calls for a re-look at the public Health Policy due to the eminent dangers.
The white House formed a committee led by Al Gore- Committee on International Science,
Engineering and Technology (CISET) which confirmed that indeed HIV/AIDS, other infectious
and drug resistant TB had been introduced into the country. Other sources also confirmed
the incoming of foreign diseases such as the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in 1993 was
able to link Tuberculosis to immigration, with the highest infection rate being in
California with 61 percent of the infected not being natives. By 1995 the numerical growth
of those infected by TB rose by 55 percent between 1986 to 1995 as the number of illegal
immigrants increased in the country. In 2000 Centre for Disease Control stated that
majority of those infected were from the Philippines. Along the U.S Mexican Border,
investigations revealed that out of 17, 651 illegal immigrants apprehended at the border
in 1999 in Texas about forty nine percent of them had Tuberculosis bacteria. Furthermore,
sixteen percent of immigrants from the Hispanic region had Acquired Immunodeficiency
Syndrome (AIDS) infections. Dengue Fever also appeared in the 1990s along the U.S Mexican
Border. Other diseases that are also attributed to being spread by immigrants included
leprosy, Malaria, Hepatitis according to (Lutton 12, 14).

Economic Effects
Illegal immigrants provided competition to the U.S citizens on the few job opportunities
that were available. Considering the fact that illegal immigrants who had low skill levels
flooded the job market, this subsequently led to depreciating working conditions and
reduced compensation for legal immigrants and U.S citizens. This is because illegal
immigrants were usually willing to accept less than the required minimum compensation and
do without other benefits such as insurance cover. Going by the study done by Dr. Donald
Hudle in 1996, about seven hundred and thirty thousand Americans jobs were being taken
over by illegal immigrants every year according to (Restoring Common Sense). Subsequently,
illegal immigrants made U.S employers to develop a lax attitude towards their employees
and seriously limited future career growths of citizens. On the other hand, illegal
immigrants usually had the required job skills that are demanded by the market, making
industries to expand further. Moreover, illegal immigrants are expanding and diversifying
into other industries. While traditionally most of them were centered in the agricultural
industry they are now in the manufacturing, food and construction industries. Immigrants
lead to changes in the wages patterns of most U.S citizens with the estimate being that
between 1980and 2000 the wages of citizens decreased by up to three percent with low
skilled workers with less than a high school education falling by at least 9 percent
according to (Hanson 9, 20). Illegal Immigrants also cause competition for public services
due to their large population which causes overcrowding for instance in schools.

Unwanted Jobs
Illegal migrants do most of the work in the U.S economy that other citizens are not
willing to do. This means that the economy is dependent on them. Most immigrants do a
lot of work, thus end up contributing significantly to the gross domestic product of the
country. In addition, illegal immigrants are suitable for the labor market as they are
the most flexible and are willing to move to different locations as demanded by the labor
market. If there were no illegal immigrants, the labor force will be reduced by five
percent and low skilled U.S labor force by ten percent according to (Hanson 20). If this
labor is lost, the prices for goods and services will significantly increase, and the
income of employers and income of other citizens will reduce. Again, illegal immigrants
help in facilitating natives to join the work force. For example, women who did housework
are freed to join the main work force and pursue careers.

Border patrols

A lot of time and money has been spent in operating the U.S borders, especially the U.S.
-Mexico border. This is because in the last couple of years the number of illegal
immigrants has increased from five to twelve million. This led Congress to tighten
security measures along its southern border by increasing border patrols. The time spent
on patrol was increased by almost two and a half times between 1990 and 2005 according to
(Hanson 3, 10).

As of 2008, President George Bush had made a proposal to use 13 billion on to beef up
security at the borders including $1 billion more to construct fences to prevent further
illegal immigration using the U.S Mexican border. Since 2001 Congress has increasingly
increased the amount of finances budgeted for the U.S borders to try to seal them off.
The cost of curbing illegal immigration increased substantially. This cost includes
detention and deportation of large groups of immigrants, which could rise to about five
hundred thousand in a year.


Illegal immigrants tend to increase the economic costs of the country ?By lowering
domestic wages and raising expenditures on public services such as health care and
education? as stated by (Hanson 19). They also affect public expenditure and income tax
revenues. With those who have large families being the most heavily dependent on public
support systems hence creating a drain on public funds as they utilize public utilities
such as roads, and medical centers. This ends up affecting citizen taxpayers negatively.
As much as illegal immigrants pay taxes such as payroll, sales, property and withholding
taxes their use of the public such as health and education is significantly high with the
net effect being that they use more public funds than they pay out in taxes.

The Centre for Immigration Studies (CIS) estimated that the amount of money spent by the
state on illegal immigrants by 2002 was $10 billion dollars more than they received as
taxes from the immigrants, which were equal to 0.1 percent of the total Gross Domestic
Product for that year according to statistics by (Hanson 24). The arrival of highly
skilled immigrants has a minimal positive effect on the incomes of citizens of U.S while
increase in the number of low skilled immigrants has a minimal negative effect on the
incomes of the U.S citizens. The cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants rests with the
taxpayers. With the Federal Bureau of Prisons estimating that, about three tenths of
those in jail are illegal immigrants. Also, due to falsification of documents, some of
them are able to get welfare. With the estimated cost of supporting an illegal immigrant
after subtracting their tax payment is about 45 billion dollars.

Patricia Cotes found out that in those states with large immigrants experience a fall in
costs in areas such as housekeeping, gardening, and child care among others. It?s
difficult to estimate the net economic effect immigrants have on the economy as this will
require data about income and expenditure habits of illegal immigrants. This is usually
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