To what extent should illegal immigration be regarded as a significant problem in our country?To what extent should illegal immigration be regarded as a significant problem in our country?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends on what kind of problem you are talking about.  Economically, I would argue that it is not a problem.  In terms of security, it is something of a problem.  In terms of culture, I don't think it's a problem.  Morally, it might be a real problem.  In terms of how it makes many Americans feel about people of color, I think it's a real problem.

As you can see, there are many facets to this issue.  Some brief points:

  • Economically, studies are mixed as to the impact of illegal immigration.  Illegals use services, but they also tend to pay payroll (Social Security and Medicare) taxes without being eligible to benefit.  They also free Americans up to do higher-skilled jobs.
  • If illegals can come over the border in such numbers, terrorists presumably could too.  So the illegals themselves may not be a problem, but the fact that they can get in is.
  • Some people worry that America will lose its "Americanness."  They worry about the whole "Press 1 for English" thing.  I don't think that's an issue because illegals assimilate too.
  • Morally, having all these people breaking the law by being here may be a problem.
  • Finally, this creates ill-will between white Americans and Hispanics.  Each side views the other with suspicion.  That is really a bad thing for our country.  This is where I see the major problem with illegal immigration.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
There is a distinctly anti-immigration mindset in our country now, and it extends mostly from illegal immigration. There's a significant amount of prejudice toward Hispanics and other immigrant groups that are often illegal. But it is a problem. Our infrastructure and social programs are stretched as it is. Schools, welfare and other programs don't have the funding they need, and are overextended helping illegal immigrants.