Illegal immigration not problem some claim

Tristan Allen, Reporter

The PEW Research Center reports that about 11.1 million undocumented immigrants lived in the United States in 2014, but according to the Washington Post, the population has actually been on the decline since 2008.

There are quite a few illegal immigrants in America, but those who see that population as a problem have blown it out of proportion.

Illegal immigration will be unlikely to stop because according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, several factors for immigration, such as poverty and violence, are too strong of motivators for border patrol to intimidate immigrants from Mexico and other Central American nations.

Also, the supposed “flood” of illegal immigrants has been reduced in recent years. In 2016, the U.S. Congress approved $750 million to support and aid Central America. This support has helped to improve conditions in Central America; hence, fewer are looking to leave.

We should not be afraid of these people or think of them as criminals; many of them are trying to escape violence. The belief held by some Americans that illegal immigrants bring crime is not really valid. These immigrants are not looking to do bad things.

The PEW Research Center in 2015 found that the crime rate of first-generation immigrants was significantly lower than the overall crime rate. The Washington Post used that data to conclude that “since undocumented immigrants are more than a quarter of the immigrant population, it’s nearly impossible that the overall immigrant crime rate could be so much lower if the undocumented immigrant crime rates were significantly higher.”

Also, the American Immigration Council’s 2015 report found that although from 1990 to 2013 illegal immigration rates nearly tripled, violent and property crime rates decreased 48 percent and 41 percent respectively.

It is also not quite accurate to claim that illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans. Unauthorized immigrants only make up about 5 percent of the American workforce. Additionally, most of these unauthorized immigrants worked in low-skilled occupations, and, according to the PEW Research Center, these occupations are not wanted by Americans.

So, do we need a wall to keep illegal immigrants out? Maybe not if it would be excessively expensive—and not really needed.

For example, the wall proposed by Donald Trump, president-elect, is estimated to cost around $8-$12 billion. A report issued by Bernstein Research concluded that the wall would actually cost around $15-$24 billion and that total does not include maintenance expenses.

People do not want to deport illegal immigrants; a report released by PEW Research Center in 2015 shows that 72 percent of Americans believe that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay.

Illegal immigration is on a decline and a majority of Americans believe those immigrants should stay, so while it is wrong that people enter the country illegally, it might not be that big of a problem.