Is a ‘Path to Citizenship’ in the U. S.’s Economic Best Interest?





Is a ‘Path to Citizenship’ in the U. S.’s Economic Best Interest?

Immigration has initiated considerable debate as illustrated by the focus asserted on the issue in recent presidential campaigns. Indeed, it is impossible to ignore the significant extent to which the immigrant population within the past few years. Currently, there are 11 million unregistered immigrants residing in the United States. On one hand, the rise in immigrant populaces has been perceived as an opportunity for enabling America’s economic growth. This is based on the view that highly skilled yet cheap labor will drive the country’s production potential and ultimately, influence purchasing power among civilians. On the other hand, issues such as crime have been attributed to the presence of illegal immigrants within the country. As an outcome of softened perspectives regarding the issue, immigration reforms such as the Path to Citizenship have been established. Despite this, the respective reform is not in the country’s best interest.

On one side, the immigration reform is viewed as a viable economic strategy for the country. In the labor market, immigration has been represented as increased supply. This is based on the amplified population of workers that it provides to companies based in the country. In a more general view, the increased supply of labor associated with immigrants stands to boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the path to citizenship is integrated as part of the immigration reform. Accordingly, a path to citizenship will allow illegal immigrants to undergo registration. This will eventually provide them with a chance at being employed and filling the labor gap created by Americans who are unwilling to work. Moreover, immigration reform will facilitate increased pressure on the incomes of local and immigrant employees as argued in support.

Even though immigration reform is viewed in terms of the positive effects it may incur on the economy, it refuses to acknowledge the hostilities that may arise between American workers and immigrant laborers. Over the years, the United States has documented similar instances arising from the integration of registered immigrants into the labor segment via citizenship. For example, anti-immigrant movements were rife in the United States especially in the 19th century (Cooper 3). Such factions would engage in violence against immigrants hence causing a rift between the local and the immigrant worker population. In addition, with the economic recession of 2009 still posing negative effects on the economy’s stagnant growth, it is impossible to rule out the possibility of increased resentment between the immigrants and local workers within the contemporary American setting.

The support for a path to citizenship also raises issue on access to healthcare. Supporters of this part of the reform argue that registration of undocumented immigrants will grant easy access to healthcare. Moreover, since most unregistered immigrant families are uninsured due to the limitations of the Affordable Care Act, they are incapable of gaining legal employment. However, a path to citizenship will provide them with legal status. As an outcome, immigrant families will be capable of applying for the healthcare provisions offered by the Affordable Care Act. However, the respective reform will only cause further strain on the country’s economy. Presently, medical care insurance is incapable of catering to a large number of insured Americans. As such, adding immigrant populaces will only cause further stagnation on America’s projected economic growth.

In conclusion, the immigration reform is focused on enabling the registration of undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States with their families. Accordingly, a path to citizenship is viewed as imperative particularly in facilitating economic growth by enabling an increased labor supply and access to healthcare. However, the demerits of the reform seem to outweigh the advantages due to the strain that the registration of such populaces will impose on America’s recovering economy.

Work Cited

Cooper, Molly. “Immigration Reform.” 2015. Microsoft PowerPoint file.

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