Essay: Illegal immigrants in the USA

As Americans, we like to believe that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world. There is more freedom, protection, and benefits that are ideal for someone who is looking to improve their life. However, our country is not perfect and there is one issue that has become quite controversial over the last few years: immigration. More specifically, immigration into Texas. The concept of immigration should not be looked upon as a problem. Our country was founded on immigration so it is not something that we aren’t familiar with. It is when people cross into the U.S. illegally that is the problem and one that should not be taken lightly.
 
According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are approximately 1,470,000 adult illegal immigrants living in Texas (Source 2) as well as approximately 588,000 children of illegal immigrants making a grand total of 2.06 million illegal immigrants living in Texas. (Source 1) With such a vast amount of illegals within the state, it makes a dramatic impact on Texas’s economy. Illegal immigrants, and their children, cost Texans a net $12.36 billion a year. That works out to roughly $6,000 per immigrant. (Source 1) It is also estimated that the fiscal cost of educating the children of illegal immigrants in Texas’s public school systems cost taxpayers about $7.4 billion each year. (Source 9) However, it doesn’t stop there. Texas also provides healthcare for illegal immigrants, which costs roughly $1.86 billion per year.

Despite the high number in illegal immigrants currently in the country, it is also important to note that the amount of apprehensions per year has steadily decreased within the last few decades. According to The Institute for Defense Analyses, about 200,000 people made it across in 2015as opposed to an estimated 2 million entries in 2000. (Source 3)

In attempts to dealing with the issue of immigration, President Donald Trump has proposed to build a giant “wall” along the border between Mexico and the U.S. This was actually a major component for his presidential campaign. However, not everyone is in favor of such an idea. A poll conducted in August by Pew Research found that 61 percent of Americans are opposed to building a wall along the entire border with Mexico while only 36 percent favor it. (Source 12) Not only will building such a wall cost around $20 billion and several years to make, it also won’t stop immigrants who fly into the country legally and overstay their visas.

If it were up to me, I would direct the state government to put more money towards boarder security. As it is, Texas lawmakers are already planning to spend another $800 million for state border security efforts for the next two fiscal years to hopefully help with the situation. (Source 6) This increase in spending will include more hours for officers statewide as well as additional troopers.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants, legal and illegal, cross the border and come into the United States. However, not everyone that travels into Texas and into the US crosses in hopes of establishing themselves here. A large part of them actually flee their homes in order to escape the violence that has erupted within their countries.(Source 5) As long as the violence continues in Mexico and Central America, people will continue to flee to the Texas. Bigger border walls will not be able to stop this. However, ending the drug war will. It will also undoubtedly decrease the amount of drugs that enter into our country as well.

Whether it may have positive effects or negative ones, there’s no question that illegal immigration is an issue that cannot be ignored. And the problem isn’t necessarily finding a solution to help slow or prevent illegal immigration. It’s figuring out which solution will work the best for us. We will always encourage foreigners to come to our country, just as long as the proper steps are taken to do so.

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