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Wisnu Raja

Honors English 10, Ms. Fine

Period 7
The Solution to Illegal Immigration in America
In a visit to Mexico Pope Francis said, "We cannot deny the humanitarian crisis which
in recent years has meant the migration of thousands of people. This crisis, which can be
measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with stories and
families"(Partlow). This is vital to understanding the issue of illegal immigration, it is divided
and while there are some people who pose the danger of criminal activities; the mistake lies
on seeing that it is predominantly a criminal problem. Illegal immigration is at a scale where
it is financially and physically impossible to deport all immigrants; the solution is to first
distinguish the criminals from immigrants who are seeking opportunity to go through a point
base system on a path to citizenship and those seeking refugee status a path to residency
equally distributed in the Americas.
The current plan for illegal immigration under president Obamas administration is to
have a stronger border, providing 4.3 million immigrants the chance for deferred action and
to deport felons, not families (Wolf). It is a step in the right direction in solving the issue,
however it still does not provide a full immigration reform in the long run. The number of
illegal immigrants in 2006 stood at 12.2 million. It declined in 2014, when The US
Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are more then 11.3 million illegal
immigrants in the United States" (Markon), but what has increased is the number of refugees
from Central America, specifically children (Rose). It is unrealistic to deport all 11.3 million
illegal immigrants because in 2014, the US immigration and customs enforcement report
shows that the US spent $5 billion in deporting 393,000 people (Hunt). This is just a

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fraction compared to the actual number of illegal immigrants; it is not worth the time, effort
and money in something impractical.
The most reasonable policy would be to set undocumented immigrants on a long-term
path to citizenship or residency, provided they meet certain requirements. There are different
reasons to why immigrants are entering illegally; so when solving the problem there should
be different programs suited to a particular situation. Illegal immigrants should first have an
opportunity to recognize themselves first; the next step is to divide the population of illegal
immigrants into three categories. First, economic emigrants looking for opportunities and a
better job should go through the point base system. The program would assign immigrants
with credits if they have certain qualifications, for example, level of education, work
experience or language proficiency. A goal for citizenship could be seventy points, the
qualification they have such as a high school degree could be eight points, and being able to
speak English could be ten points. If someone does not achieve the required points for
citizenship, they could be provided with a visa or temporary residency; giving them the
opportunity to work on getting the required points. This system has been used in other
countries and proves to be effective, the four highest profile systems are those of Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (Wasem). Furthermore, it benefits the
Unites States by adjusting the point values to favor admissions of immigrants with skill sets
that are in highest demand, the point systems rooted in classical economic theory might aim
to maximize the probability that the migrant will be a net contributor to the countrys
economy (Wasem). The second category is refugees, who are forced to leave their own
country for fear of their lives. The United States should be a leader in a coalition to provide
refugees with residency alongside the combined efforts of the Americas. It is international
law to accept refugees and the United Nations argues, "The people who have passed through
its doors are survivors of human atrocities of nearly every kind--religious and political

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persecution kidnapping and mass murders. They come because home is no longer safe
countries like the United States should respond to each asylum-seeker on a case-by-case
basis, knowing that deporting all these people means sending some of them back to a place
where they face the threat of death--or worse" (Rose). The solution to refugees is an equal
distribution. Forming a coalition of countries with the help of the UN should include the US,
Canada, Mexico and other industrialized countries in South America like Brazil, Argentina
and Peru. These countries that are able to host refugees should take an equal number so that
no one nation carries the burden. There should be a campaign in Central America informing
anyone who is about to take the dangerous journey to cross the border. To instead flee to the
nearest refugee camp, where they will be relocated to another country. For the refugees
already in the US, should be distributed equally to out all states with a residential status until
further notice that they could go back to their country; if they want to be a citizen then they
have to follow the point base system.
The category of economic migrants and refugees are the solution to the humanitarian
crises of illegal immigration. The third category being the solution to the criminal problem is
to deport all offenders by conducting a strategic investigation in states with the highest
number of illegal immigrants. States like California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey
and Illinois accounted for 60% of unauthorized immigrants in 2012 (Hunt), and should be
first priority when it comes to investigation. Migrants with misdemeanors should face due
process in their own country, whiles felon should face due process in the US but be
imprisoned in their own country; with this idea accounted the cost of deporting would be
much reasonable. This is because a research in 2014 by University of Massachusetts shows
that foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across
their life course (Bersani), for this reason there would not be a large scale of people to
deport. For the three programs to work there has to be strong border that is industrially and

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technologically advanced, where immigrants can be stopped and processed. Finally, the
United States is built on immigrants and democracy, the peoples opinions on politics and
policies plays a crucial role in deciding what an immigration reform should look like. In a
recent poll by the Pew Research Center shows that 74 percent of Americans said
undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the country, with slightly less than
half of respondents supporting full citizenship." (Markon)
One might object here that providing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship would
lead to higher crime rates. Often the claim is backed by case studies; for example, Arizona
in 2000 had the highest per capita rate of illegal aliens in the country and also ranked at the
top of a number of crime indexes. It had the nation's highest per capita rate of property
crimes, the highest rate of vehicle theft, and the 2nd highest rate in the country of larceny
theft. For burglaries, it ranked 5th, for murders 9th, and for robberies and aggravated assaults
it ranked 15th in the country"(Martin). However, this claim violates the fundamental rule of
statistics, it is false to assume that correlation results in causation; there are too many lurking
and confounding variables to make such a claim. Moreover, what proves that the claim is
statistically incorrect is that in an updated case study by center for Trade Policy Studies at the
Cato Institute shows that "According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the violent crime rate
in Arizona in 2008 was the lowest it has been since 1971; the property crime rate fell to its
lowest point since 1966. The rate of violent crime in Phoenix and the entire state fell by more
than 20 percent, a steeper drop than in the overall U.S. crime rate" (Anderson) while the
number of illegal immigrants are still steady. Secondly, It might seem that the solution would
disrupt the economy; an example that is usually referred to is that they drive down wages.
Often citing a case study, one conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated
that as a result of the growth of undocumented workers, the annual earnings of documented
workers in Georgia in 2007 were $960 lower than they were in 2000 (Kirsanow). However,

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professors of economics suggests that the solution of a point base system shows that
"Legalization and citizenship facilitate the labor-market mobility, which boosts wages and
improves economic efficiency [and] promote investment in the education and training of
immigrants that eventually pays off in the form of higher wages and output." (Lynch).
To conclude, a solution to illegal immigration is to provide certain immigrants a path
to citizenship through the point base system. Refugees with residential status equally
distributed in a coalition of the Americas. Whiles, offenders in certain cases should be
deported and prosecuted in their own country. This solution goes back to what Pope Francis
said; it is first to address the humanitarian crises and how it reflects the economy followed by
enforcement of the law, while maintaining the progress.

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Works cited
Anderson, Stuart. "It Is a Myth That Illegal Immigration Leads to Higher Crime
Rates." Illegal Immigration. Ed. Nol Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press,
2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Immigrants and Crime: Perception
vs. Reality." Immigration Reform Bulletin. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8
Feb. 2016
Hunt, Albert R. "Facing the Facts on Illegal Immigration." New York Times. 20
July 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Kirsanow, Peter. "Immigration Reform Will Harm American Workers." Migrant
Workers. Ed. Roman Espejo. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press,
2015. At Issue. Rpt. from "Immigration Reform Hurts US Workers."
Baltimoresun. 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 16
Feb. 2016.
Lynch, Robert and Patrick Oakford. "Granting Illegal Immigrants a Path to
Citizenship Would Boost US and State Economies." Immigration. Ed. Debra A.
Miller. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2014. Current
Controversies. Rpt. from "National and State-by-State Economic Benefits of
Immigration Reform." Center for American Progress. 2013. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
Markon, Jerry "What Americans Think Should be Done on Illegal Immigration." Washington
Post 11 Oct. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Martin, Jack. "Illegal Immigration Leads to Higher Crime Rates." Illegal
Immigration. Ed. Nol Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current
Controversies. Rpt. from "Illegal Aliens and Crime Incidence: Illegal
Aliens Represent a Disproportionately High Share of the Prison Population."

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Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), 2007. Opposing
Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
Partlow, Joshua, and Gabriela Martinez. "Pope Francis Begins Mexico Tour That
Will Likely Address Immigration and Violence." Washington Post 13 Feb.
2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.
Rose, Ananda. "Seeking Refuge Life & Death at the Border." Commonweal 142.1
2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
Wasem, Ruth and Chad C. Haddal. United States. Cong. Point Systems for Immigrant
Selection Options and Issues. Cong. Doc. RL34030. Washington, D.C.: Congressional
Research Service, Library of Congress, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8
Feb. 2016.
Wolf, Richard. "Justices Will Rule on Immigration Plan." USA Today 20 Jan. 2016:
01A. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.