In light of 9/11, the ten Russian spies that were recently discovered living in the United States, and with all the current controversy over illegal immigration, there seems to be a lot of debate as to whether the United States benefits from allowing legal immigrants to migrate here. Majority of people still feel that legal immigration is a good thing and helps the U.S. in many ways. But there's still some people who are against it and feel that visas and green cards should not be given out anymore to qualified people. This type of isolationist thinking is what can eventually destroy America, because people who think like this usually do not understand the full effects of what would happen if the United States put a stop to all immigration. The effects would be catastrophic for the economy, and would probably affect the USA worse than anything before. It could literally cause our rich and developed first world country to revert back into a third world county. So why should immigrants be allowed to live in the U.S. you ask? Well there's plenty of good reasons, and they greatly outweigh any negative effects from terrorists or Russian spies.
If you've ever seen the movie Gangs of New York, then you caught a glimpse of what New York was like during the early 1920's, when immigrants first began pouring into the city from countries like Ireland and Italy. Back then, 98% of people who arrived on Ellis Island from other countries were admitted into the United States. The restrictions for immigrating here weren't as strict, and the ones who were denied were generally criminals or people with serious mental disorders. The large influx of immigrants into New York helped build the city to what it is now. The influx of people, meant an influx in skills. People from all different countries bring many unique skills that may not already be found in America. If you lived on a tiny island, for example, and only had a few residents, there's only so many skills that could be found on that island. The more people from different places that arrive on the island, the more skills that arrive. Maybe you have a doctor who specializes in skin disorders, but you suddenly develop a heart problem. The more people that end up on your island, the better chances you have of a doctor arriving who specializes in heart conditions. Many of our best doctors in this country came from places like India and China, and attended school here before going on to become medical doctors. Because of immigrants and the innovations and skills they brought to this country, many billion dollar businesses and stocks were created, which helped employ many Americans and make other Americans very rich so they could go on to employ others. Companies like Google, Pfizer, Carnival Corporation, DuPont Paint, Ebay, Intel, Nvidia, Yahoo, Procter & Gamble, and U.S. Steel were all created by immigrants and all help to employ a combined total of millions and millions of Americans. In addition to this, these companies bring billions of dollars into the U.S. Economy. If we had restricted these people from coming here to start these companies, they would have started them somewhere else and USA would have lost much of it's competitive edge. If that doesn't convince you that immigrants play a major role in our economy, then consider these two facts: 25% of technology and engineering companies were founded by immigrants, and over half of Silicon Valley companies were created by people who were born outside of the United States. Now imagine what consequences there would be for our economy if we sent half of Silicon Valley businesses or 25% of our technology and engineering companies back overseas.
Diversity and Culture
In addition to skills and innovations, immigrants also bring diversity and different cultures to this country, which helps promote a better image of the U.S. to other countries and expands business and trade with them. If we were an isolationist country like North Korea, most of our citizens would be poor like them because they would be unable to trade and grow their businesses. We also wouldn't have all these good foods in our country if someone didn't originally bring them here. I don't know about you, but I love my mexican food and my pizza. Apple Pie is a nice treat, but I wouldn't want to be eating every single day. The culture they bring with them also helps our economy, because if a new type of food arrives in the USA that you couldn't find anywhere else previously, new restaurants can open up to cater to that food and new products can be created around that food. This, in turn, helps to employ more Americans and gives us more opportunities for places to work. Food is just one example, as there are many things a new culture can bring into an economy. Besides, I like the fact that I can walk down the street and eat chinese food one day or eat indian food the next day. This is just a small freedom that many people in the Land of the Free take for granted and they would probably miss if it were to ever go away.
Help Spread Our Values
Another one of the benefits of immigration is that it helps to spread our values across the world. Remember when the U.S. Government told us that we were going to be invading Vietnam, because the threat of Communism was growing and could spread, like a domino effect, to other countries? Well many Americans had no problem supporting the war for that particular reason, and it eventually cost our country close to 60,000 American lives and around $686 billion (adjusted for inflation), and we had nothing to show for it when the smoke settled. Well think of immigration as something similar to that, but without the loss of lives and without all the ridiculous spending. When immigrants come here, they learn our culture and help pass it on to their relatives and friends back home. When their family members in poorer countries see how well they are doing here, in many cases, they will start to like our country and also start to embrace American values. In 1989, hundreds of thousands of students in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China protested and demanded that their government give them more freedoms. They erected a clay statue in the middle of the square, which they dubbed "Lady of Liberty". It was a small replica of America's own Statue of Liberty, which many of the students in the protest made, in order to send a message to the rest of their people. The Chinese government was angered and eventually grew tired of the protest and sent their army in to take back control of the area. Over 3,000 protesters were killed as a result. But many Chinese saw this, and still cherish American values, even while they are still in China. This is just one example of American values being spread to other countries, because the initial students who started the protest were ones who had studied in America and learned our values and way of life. They went back to China and saw that they were restricted from doing many things that they could do in the United States. If somebody were against modern day Communism or Socialism in other parts of the world where it's become somewhat oppressive, there is probably no better way to spread American values and democracy, than to allow people to immigrate here and see for themselves that it's not as bad as their governments have told them. Though that incident ended up costing thousands of Chinese citizens their lives, some will say that it was a better cause to die for than the Vietnam War and probably more effective in slowing the spread of Communist values as well.
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