Immigration is a key part of our economic success

Steven Grigereit, Opinion editor

When  Donald J. Trump was elected into office, his supporters elected him with three focus points.

  1. a “better” economy.
  2. Even less gun restrictions
  3. They wanted a country without illegal immigrants or any immigrants depending how far right on the political spectrum the person was.

The first two goals  have already been affected by Trump and will have disastrous short and long-term affects . The third is currently one of the most debated issues in this country.

In Trump’s campaign, he talked about “building a wall” and getting rid of the “illegals” in the country, so before Trump makes a move that is catastrophic and cause further divide, what should he do?

First, he needs to realize what this country is built on immigration. Immigrants founded this country and continue to be the driving force behind our very successful country. To stop this influx of immigrants would be tragic to our economy.

According to CNN Money, immigrants make up 12 percent of our workforce. Most of these jobs are labor intensive and can be seen as the backbone of the country. Another 5 percent of our workforce are illegal immigrants, who are typically hired because they are cheaper and in many cases harder working than others.

This 5 percent of workers is a vital part of our country. Of this, 26 percent of the illegal immigrants work in agriculture and  another 16 percent work in construction. These are the types of jobs that are the most labor intensive and draining, yet these immigrants are willing to work the same amount of time for less money. 

The opposition may say that this 5 percent of the workforce could be Americans, rather than illegals immigrants. This could be true, but right now in many states, such as California, laborers are hard to come by. According to an article by LA Times, many of the farm owners are raising the wage their workers receive because the workers are so far and few to come by.     

Why would we kick these people out? These people are already in our country, they are already working, and they are already improving our country. Yet they don’t have a say and risk being thrown out at any second. The only way to protect these people is with a green card.

The wait for the chance to get a green card can be years and isn’t a guarantee. Most green cards go to the “educated”, who are sponsored by a company or someone with power. And still only a small portion of these people get in.

As of now, the US gives out around 1 million green cards per year. This may sound like a massive number, but it really isn’t. Most of the green cards are given to the immigrants that are already in the US, so the odds for an influx of new working immigrants to get into our country is very small.

Another guarantee for these people is giving them citizenship. As of now, the process for citizenship takes years and if there is any question whatsoever the person is declined (as they should be) and must go through the process once again.

A person is also more likely to be granted citizenship if he or she is educated or are “professionals” – a major flaw in our system. We bring in a select few. While the backbone, the laborers, are left out and forced to illegally enter our country because they are trying to make their lives better and many times a family’s life better. Not only this but many business owners need people- laborers. The illegal immigrants can generally provide that cheap labor and therefore the jobs that need to get filled get filled.

The people of America need to stop seeing immigration as a problem and start embracing the fact that people are willing to die to come to America or to work at a price which is considered illegal in the US. While we certainly must be careful about who we admit, we should help companies that can not find labor by making this process easier for them.