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Emma Lea
Professor Carty
UWRT-1102-006
23 November 2014

Unwanted and Uninvited House Guests
As economies, cultures, and religions are being spread across the world’s borders,
so are people and their families. Through out the world there is estimated to be 191
million immigrants. Whether it is legal immigration or illegal immigration, all these
immigrants have their own stories. Some come here for work, and others come here for
their own safety.
There are many reasons for immigration but it always starts by crossing a border.
Here in the United States the process of border crossing is long and can be very
complicated. After entering a country, the next step is citizenship. In the United States it
can take over five months before citizenship and over six months in the United Kingdom.
The process is similar in most countries. The process always starts by crossing a border
and going through customs. One must always have a valid passport and valid form of
identification. If one is traveling to the United States, bags will also be checked and even
double checked to make sure illegal objects or hazardous items haven’t been stowed on
any persons. The citizenship process can be a pain but in the end it means legal
citizenship.
The other option to legal citizenship would be illegal immigration. Illegal
immigration means passing over borders without knowledge or permission of the

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country. H.L. Mencken says that, “There is always an easy solution to every human
problem-neat plausible, and wrong.” I think this reflects on why people would choose to
cross a border illegally. Crossing may be as simple as wading across the Rio Grande from
Mexico into the United States or being smuggled from Greece into France in a
compartment under a car seat for 4,000 Euros (Carr 4). Either way, it is illegal and
punishable by law. In 2013 the Department for Homeland Security in the U.S. reported
that a total of 662,483 aliens were apprehended. All but 29,681 of those apprehended
were Hispanic, the rest were from other countries or unknown. Ninety eight percent of
those apprehended were arrested along the Southwest border of the country. In Europe
there are seven known main points of illegal entry. In 2010 the Migration Policy Institute
reported only 90,000 apprehensions of external land crossing points. These statistics
show how many people are willing to risk their lives just to cross into another country
illegally.
I think it is important to look at both sides of a story, so I would like to touch on
reasons for illegal immigration. It seems that the most common reason for immigration to
the United States currently is safety concerns. Since October of last year over 52,000
unaccompanied minors have been taken into custody coming from Central America.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "Salvadoran and Honduran children ...
come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling
alone to the U.S. preferable to remaining at home." For reasons of fear, violence, and
extreme poverty, I agree that illegal immigration is one of the very few options for these
kids. Children can’t possibly afford to enter in the country illegally so they are wandering
across the United States border. Border Patrol picks up most of the children before being

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held for months or even years before a judge can see them. During this time, some are
even able to find a way to apply for citizenship.
Hundreds of thousands of people coming into a country can major effects
economically. The knee-jerk reaction is for people to assume more people means lowered
wages, but this has been found to be false. It is true that more people are fighting over
jobs, just not over the same jobs. When considering illegal immigration, this allows
farmers to hire workers for cheap and keeps prices of produce down which allows them
to compete with other countries produce prices. High skilled immigrants can greatly
impact our economy by helping American jobs run more efficiently and create
innovation. Low skilled immigrants also help make the high end of the market run more
efficient.
A higher amount of low skilled immigrants also means more job competition for
native-born low skilled workers. Typically, immigrants are more motivated to find jobs
than native-born citizens so immigration hurts these people significantly. A good
example would be if North Carolina needed more low skilled workers, the first people to
seek for these jobs would be those low skilled immigrants. While a native-born would be
reluctant and up root their family and move across the country, an immigrant with little to
no family would be much more willing to do so. Without these immigrants moving in for
these jobs, North Carolinas economy would slow up and therefore slow the job market.
The passing of people from country to country has many shapes and forms, and
must be studied to help our future generations accommodate all these people coming and
going. It would be easy to say illegal immigration should be stopped completely but I

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think our country should look at the root of the problem in other countries before putting
the hammer down on our borders.

Citations
Carr, Matthew. Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent. New York: New
Press, 2012. Print.
Greenblatt, Alan. "What's Causing The Latest Immigration Crisis? A Brief Explainer."
NPR. NPR, 9 July 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
Morehouse, Christal. Irregular Migration in Europe. Washington, DC: Migration Policy
Institute, 2011. PDF.
"The Economics of Immigration: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why | TIME.com."
Business Money The Economics of Immigration Who Wins Who Loses and Why
Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

United States. Department of Homeland Security. Immigration Enforcement Actions
2013. By John F. Simanski. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

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