The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The economic importance of illegal immigrants

Although everyone deserves an education, some deserve it more than others. This is certainly the case when it comes to prison inmates. Before the program was cut in 1994, prisoners received $36 million in Pell grants, which are federal financial aid given to low-income college students.

Immigration is one of the many issues that American citizens need to understand before they vote this November.

The problem with immigration versus the way it is covered by national media is that there are many dimensions to immigration. There is no way the issue can be explained fully through just one or two 500-word news stories. What we often hear about immigration barely goes beyond political rhetoric.

In our current economic state, immigration is vital to our country. And as voting Americans we should elect people that pursue immigration policies that do not harm our nation.

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Immigration is a very hotly-debated subject, and the recent GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz., brought this issue to the national level again for a short period of time.

Illegal immigration, in itself, is more controversial.

When looking at where many illegal immigrants work, it turns out a lot of them are employed in labor-intensive areas like the agriculture industry (although they are not limited to this type of work).

The jobs they get paid low wages to do are ones that hardly any other person in the country would actually be willing to perform.

Farmers have tried to cut their dependency on illegal immigrants by raising wages, recruiting in inner cities where unemployment is particularly high and offering other benefits. However, no one wants to take these jobs, and the same goes for different areas where they work.

What this means is that the skill level of these immigrants do not match the skill level of the native population.

This is just a fancy way of saying most Americans are qualified for different types of work and would rather keep looking for jobs other than in those particular areas.

It can be shown through economic models that when immigrants enter an economy, and their average skill level doesn’t match the native population skill level, the native laborers aren’t affected by the lowering of wages and increased competition in the labor market. In fact, many native workers may benefit from this.

But this result hasn’t always been the case in our history: The first Great Migration brought us millions of Irish immigrants who were looking for any job they could get. These jobs were often what are considered low-skilled jobs.

But there was already a group of people in the native population working those jobs, so the incoming low-skilled workers created some serious conflicts with the native low-skilled laborers.

The case we are dealing with currently is by no means the exact same as the aforementioned example.

In fact, the agriculture industry as well as other related fields have really come to rely on the labor supply of these low-skilled workers.

If the United States creates a policy to get rid of these laborers, the consequences would be dire.

With the economic importance of these illegal immigrants in the U.S., problems can be found on both sides of the political aisle whendealing with the topic.

President Obama has increased the amount of deportations to levels higher than any other administration while failing to effectively create reforms to combat the fundamental problems of the issue.

I’m not about to argue that we should let all illegal immigrants freely waltz into this country and receive tax-free wages, but trying to solve the problem by arresting and deporting them all is an impossible and financially-wasteful task.

What’s more disturbing are what the Republican candidates are suggesting, especially Mitt Romney.

Romney supports a policy known as “self-deportation.” The aims of this policy are to essentially make the lives of illegals so miserable that they leave on their own.

The policy sounds not only as equally unrealistic as massive deportation but also incredibly inhuman.

In fact, self-deportation policy is such a terrible idea that even Newt Gingrich (the moon man) scoffs at it for being unrealistic.

We’ve only just scratched the surface on this small sub-category in the broader issue of immigration, which is one of many issues deserving of national attention. Nonetheless, it is important that the public goes beyond partisan talking points and rid itself of ignorance on this topic.

We can’t continue to champion policies of xenophobia, and we must look for fact-based strategies that will best benefit this nation.

The labor offered by immigrants, legal or illegal, is one service we can’t afford to export.

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The economic importance of illegal immigrants