Specifically, The Deleterious Effects of Illegal Immigrants on the US

What exactly are they? Aside from Trump’s rampant raping fantasy, what is the greatest harm done by having a large number of illegal aliens in the country? Stealing jobs? Sucking up welfare money? Spreading disease? What is the nature of the crisis?

In the UK at least, they are little actual problem for the average citizen. From the government’s point of view, they are a class of people with no official status. They cannot get jobs openly, so they end up being exploited (often by their own countrymen) and/or resorting to crime.

A bigger problem is those one step up - the immigrants with pending claims etc. They are a cost to society but their significance is quite possible more symbolic than actual. Daily Mail writers tend to blame all ills on them.

Of course we also have a large number of perfectly legal immigrants, ranging from the Poles, who by and large are industrious and hard working, often skills as well, to those from further East who are the ones we tend to notice, begging in the streets, picking pockets or skimming credit cards at ATMs.

There’s no way this is going to remain in GQ. Reporting for a move.

As long as we are in GQ, however, can you explain whether and how these illegal immigrants are getting welfare?

I’m looking for the answer- that’s why I posted. It’s just that “the immigration problem” is one of the biggest issues of this election cycle, but the nature of the problem is never fully explained.

Actually from the construction of the OP, Dewey Finn, I believe he is asking what is the evidence that they are doing so to a deleterious effect on the greater polity.

The non-GQ but still reasonably accurate answer is that many of the rabid anti-inmigrants indeed do believe, not based on a rational analysys of a preponderance of clear and convincing evidence but on their gut reaction to anecdote and propaganda that “sounds right”, that the irregular immigrants are doing all those things and doing so a lot. They believe it a truth self evident that irregular immigrants suck up vast welfare and social services resources while contributing nothing, that were it not for them uneducated native citizens would get living wages for menial labor, that they are bringing in a culture and patterns of behavior that are contrary to the civic ethic that made this land great, and that daggummit, they got in illegally, that makes them criminals what else do you need to hold against them?

Which is not to say that there aren’t real issues and problems with having a large undocumented population but the threat is not necessarily what the antis think it is.

Which leads to the same question that could be asked about marijuana: what problems of illegal immigrants couldn’t be solved by legalizing them?

If they’re being exploited, resort to crime, or can’t seek regular employment because they have no official status, then give them an official status. Then arrest the ones who commit crimes just as we arrest native-born criminals.

Let’s move this over to Great Debates.

General Questions Moderator

This is a hot issue mainly on the right. I suspect it resonates most with people who believe America is meant to be a country for white Christians, and often immigrants don’t fit one or both of those categories.

Now, legally, we can’t make America specifically for white people, or for any particular religion, either. Some people just want it that way. The anti-immigrant movement can’t explicitly base their ‘argument’ on those things, and so instead we see a lot of fictional accusations or just inarticulate rage.

Actually, all studies on the topic have found that non-European immigration to the UK has cost tens of billions of pounds so far. Non-European migrants also don’t support free speech, cripple the NHS through illnesses caused through inbreeding, and believe in large numbersthat killing in the name of Islam is acceptable, even for university students.

The problem with illegal immigrants? Where to begin?

First, they get exploited. They cannot really work legally without some fudging of the Social Security setup. So they work “under the table”. (Or, some do). This creates additional problems. Unlike home-grown minimum wage workers, they will work for less than minimum wage because it’s still better than back home in the mud hut. They can be intimidated into working harder and longer. If they are ripped off or cheated, or not given required health care packages, they cannot really complain to authorities. They cannot really complain about working conditions either - any threat is countered by the option that their employer call INS on them. So they lower the bar for everyone. The honest employers paying full minimum wage and payroll taxes have to compete with businesses with lower labour costs. Low-skill local workers have trouble finding jobs. Encouraging employers to be scoff-laws does not help either.

Worse yet, they take away options that legal low-skill immigrants might have been able to take, too. So they hinder the integration of real immigrants.

The same can be said of housing - if the landlord rips them off, or fails to repair the building, or the fire alarm doesn’t work - they can’t complain. They put up with more overcrowding (unsafe) because again, it’s better than back home. It encourages slums.

It also slows the economy. Not just making it harder for low-skilled locals to get jobs. For example… If a guy with 10 Mexicans can cut your grass cheaper, the gardener who spends a lot of money for a fast riding mower cannot compete. If a restaurant can hire a bunch of Hondurans to wash his dishes for less than minimum wage, it’s cheaper than installing that big fancy dishwashing machine. In a society where there’s a scarcity of people wanting to do menial jobs, automation takes over, creating better paying jobs in factories. Richer people have more money to put into 401K’s, creating financial sector jobs. And so on…

It’s already buggered the economy. Ten million illegal workers - if they all left tomorrow, many businesses would collapse. They’ve adapted to the cheap labour market, thus skewing the economy.

Why not make them legal? Well, there’s a huge line-up of people waiting to come legally to most western countries. Do you believe that giving the current crop a free pass to citizenship won’t encourage the next wave to come illegally in hopes of getting legalized in another 5 years?

On of the few intelligent things Donald Trump said was that he would fix the e-Verify system. Require employees to provide a valid SSN, and have the government confirm it. Employers who hire someone without a valid number, get fined. Employers who try to bypass the system, also get fined. The worst offenders get thrown in jail. The harder it is to find a job, the sooner illegals will start leaving - or at least stop coming.

In places like Norway or Sweden, Muslim immigrants (mostly from Africa) make up a disproportionate number of rapists compared to non-immigrants.

Immigrants may not have western culture values, or western understanding of medicine and that could bring crime, non-egalitarian and non-democratic values and disease into a nation.

However I don’t know if latino immigrants into the US really bring those things. I know you asked about the US, but I have no idea if latino immigrants bring much bad into the US. I get the impression most just come here to work for a few years, then go home. And I believe they pay more in taxes than they take out of the system.

A big problem though is that because illegal immigrants are more desperate, used to a lower standard of living and have to hide from the law they are easier for employers to abuse, which drives down other people’s living standards because they have to compete with them.

It doesn’t solve the economic issues of having millions of people willing to work for starvation wages here. Illegal (and legal) immigrants drive down wages at both the low and high end of the economic spectrum.

They do drive without licenses and get into a lot of car accidents.

Again, though, that can best be solved by legalizing. California is exploring driver licenses for everyone, which is the best way to get them to buy insurance too, so the problems are taken care of.

I thought the topic here was the US, not the UK.

Not exploring. It is law. It’s not like they were not going to drive anyway.

The concept of a sovereign nation is that you have borders and the people living there are citizens, with all the rights and responsibilities that we have as agreeable members of society. The whole “social contract” that is negotiated through our democratic system is undermined when people are living in that society outside of the purview of government.

Also, certain forms of welfare like emergency room care can be abused by people who are here illegally. If an illegal immigrant is shot, he or she still receives medical care paid for with tax dollars that he or she isn’t contributing to. Similarly, the various societal benefits we get from institutions like law enforcement are being afforded to people who aren’t engaged in the responsibilities (fiscal and otherwise) that contribute to these benefits.

And, as mentioned by others, the vast majority of illegal immigrants are low-skilled workers. Their willingness to work at below-legal wage scales lowers the overall wages received by the lower-and-middle classes. Oddly, those most hurt by a large influx of illegal immigrants are those who are already most vulnerable in our society: unskilled laborers who are typically from minority communities. Liberals want to fight for these people while also providing the “American Dream” opportunity, obtained illegally, to undocumented immigrants. These are countervailing forces in our society. The easiest way to see wage increases and an improved standard of living for the poor is to stop the influx of low-skilled immigrants who are not entering the country through our rationed, legal immigration system.

There is also the simple concept of fairness. America allows more permanent, legal immigrants into the country than all others combined. Our immigration system is widely considered to be open and generous. People have waited years and years to immigrate to the United States within the legal framework of its immigration system. It is patently unjust to those who follow the rules to allow others to skip that entire process and eventually be granted amnesty simply because there are so many of them here.

All along, my belief is that we should offer a graded path to citizenship for the 10+million illegal immigrants. They should learn our language, our history, our Constitutional foundation, and pay some level of back taxes that society missed out on. They are here to work hard, build an American life, and provide for their families. Immigrants are integral to America. Always have been, and always will be. But this does not mean that open borders is the logical end to this foundational principle of our country. It makes no sense for a government to allow anyone into its country without tracking and regulating who these people are. I believe we are already quite generous with our current legal system of immigration, which is measured and controlled.

Finally, of course, we need to enforce border security to stop the flow of illegal immigrants entering the country. Otherwise, the perverse incentive to subvert the system remains. It is not an impossible task, in the richest and most technologically-advanced country in the world, to monitor and secure our borders. We put a man on the moon. This is not beyond our scope.

By who? People on PCP? America is functionally closed to most of the world. Even the crazy longs odds of the diversity lottery won’t help most people, as the financial requirements for that are stringent and out of reach.

[Are these folks high on PCP:](Article: Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigr.. | migrationpolicy.org and Historical)

Restrictive immigration legislation in 1921 and 1924, coupled with the Great Depression and World War II, led to a sharp drop in new arrivals. As a result, the foreign-born share steadily declined between the 1930s and 1970s, reaching a record low of approximately 5 percent in 1970 (9.6 million). Since 1970, the share and number have increased rapidly, mainly as a result of large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia made possible by changes to admission rules adopted by Congress in 1965. Since 1970, the number of U.S. immigrants more than quadrupled as it grew from 9.6 million in 1970 to 41.3 million in 2013.

Seems we are, in fact, functionally more open to the world today than we have ever been. Immigration in the past 4 decades has largely come from the developing world. Do you contest that?