Should Illegal Immigrants be Made Legal Citizens?

Table of Contents


The term or phrase illegal immigrant is used to describe people who enter a country without government’s legal permission. On the other hand, the term illegal immigrant can be used to describe people who have lived in a country beyond the period indicated in their visa. The term can also be used to describe people who live in a country without the proper documents.

These definitions vary from one country to the other and the illegality of immigrants varies from one country to the other. In addition to that, some countries are more attractive to illegal immigrants than others and therefore view illegal immigration as a problem and a disaster while others do not have any problem with illegal immigrants. In particular, the United States is one of the countries that view illegal immigrants as a major threat.

In the same countries, illegal immigrants are referred to as aliens to demonstrate how the group is unwanted in the country. Studies by Center for Immigration Studies have shown that the number of illegal immigrants in the US dropped from 12.5 million in 2008 to 11 million in 2007.

The studies also goes on to show that Mexican immigrants constitute 56% of the total immigrants and the Latin Americans and Africans form the remaining fraction with the Latin America forming the majority (Hoffmeier web).

The presence of illegal immigrants in the united state is often described as a major problem to the country and the entire American continent. The illegal immigrants continue to cost the United States billions of dollars annually and therefore it is an economic as well as a social problem (Yoshida 19).

History shows that, America has the culture of allowing workers cross into their boundary to work and live in the country without any restrictions. In particular, the United States allowed immigrants from Mexico to work in the country when the country was at the height of building its roads and railway networks.

Although most of these Mexican immigrants entered the United States illegally, they continued to work unrestricted (Kesselman, Krieger, and Joseph 510). This statement clearly demonstrates that there is a variation in the illegality of illegal immigrants. The statement also demonstrates that there are some illegal immigrants who are illegal than others.

This paper therefore focuses on the factors that make a person to be described as an alien or illegal immigrant in United States and analyzes the variations on immigration laws in the country.

The paper also looks at how the issue of illegal immigrants is handled by the government by analyzing whether there is biasness in the determination of illegal immigrants in the country. Finally, there is the fairness in the issue by examining whether the illegal immigrants should be allowed to be legal citizens.

All Are Illegal Immigrants

There is no one particular country in the world that does not have illegal immigrants and in most cases the immigrants contributes equally to the country’s development as other citizens (Chiswick 270). The United States is not an exception since immigrants have contributed a lot in the country’s development. These contributions by immigrants are evident across the social, political, and economic fields in the country.

The United States is one of the countries in the world that has majority of its citizens as immigrants from different parts of the world. It is also the leading country in the world in terms of economic, political, and social strengths.

From these two facts, it is evident that there is a close relationship between the countries developments and the presence of large number of immigrants in the country. Being the leading country is not a difficult issue for the United States but maintaining its global position is the main problem. Despite the US, being the most powerful country, it has a problem of maintaining its superiority and this is a puzzle (18).

The united state therefore has to maintain its current state of leadership in all aspects and therefore the country needs to focus on the development of its political field, economic field as well as the social field. The country should therefore maintain the people who led or contributed to its development. The immigrants are the main contributors of these developments and therefore the country should consider revising its policies on immigration.

Law Is Not Sufficient Solution

Secondly, the law is a double-edged weapon and therefore the custodians of law should take precautions when dealing with law. Although a country’s law usually applies on the lawbreakers: the same law is applicable on its inventors and in most cases, this will not be favorable. In particular, the United States uses its law to divide its citizens into illegal and non-illegal immigrants.

The law goes on to prescribe consequences on the later group in order to discourage illegal immigration into the country. As stated above, law is a double-edged tool and if the same law is applied to the group that claims to be US legal citizens, the group will be more answerable than the illegal immigrants will.

From history, none of those people who claim to be legal US citizens came to the country legally since the first immigrants from Europe invaded the country. Kivel confirms this argument and claim that the US citizens are themselves illegal immigrants and therefore they should not decide on which immigrants are legal or illegal (60).

Racism is the main tool that is applied in determining illegal and legal migrants (60). From this argument, it is clear that most people in US are referred to as illegal immigrants based on their racial background. The argument also demonstrates that some people gain legal status in the country basing on their racial background and that some people are denied legal status due to their racial background.

From his argument, Kivel finds the link between the legality of the invasion of North America by Europeans settlers and the illegal immigration issue. In his argument Kivel takes the issue to a personal level and puts forward the question; “why don’t we say the Europeans invaded North America?” (Kivel 60).

Kivel goes on to state that the term invasion is used by the Americans to describe the American invasion by illegal aliens, Japanese and Chinese investors and Haitian refugees , which is not correct. Although Kivel takes side in analyzing the issue of illegal immigrants his analysis is based on facts and therefore relevant to any discussion of the issue.

His analysis on the matter has proved that the law is not sufficient in determining who is a legal or an illegal immigrant of United States, and it should not be used to victimize other people. In addition to these, the law of a country should be just and respected and therefore it should give all its people equal opportunity as well as reward them with equal measures for any mistake they commit.

From this statement if we shall continue to claim that immigrants living in the country are illegal then we should also consider the legality of all the American citizens. Revising the law so that it accommodates these European immigrants is the next option and if the country settles for this option, it should consider the so-called illegal immigrants.

In conclusion, the legality of a person’s citizenship is not constant and it varies with situations and time. For this reason, branding other citizens as illegal immigrants is itself illegal since it does not have any legal basis and therefore illegal immigrants should be given full citizenship.

Beyond the Illegality

In the modern world competition is an important aspect in a country to determine its survival abilities. None of the country including the united States wish to die from poor survival strategies and therefore the country should apply the necessary measures.

The citizen’s survival abilities determine a country’s survival ability and therefore competition among the citizens is important. Immigrants in a country contribute to competition among the citizens even though most people do not consider the positive side of the competition. In most cases people prefer a country with minimal or no competition so that they can get what they want all the time.

This however does not hold and the above situation only exists in the ideal world and it has no place in the real world. There are several reasons why the United States should consider having the so-called illegal immigrants within its boarders and these reasons are related to competition.

The issue of competition is however not widely accepted by most of the US citizens and therefore they prefer a country without illegal immigrants. The illegal aliens compete with the citizens and this creates significant social and economic problems (Hing 140).

From this statement, Hing confirms that competition is an unwanted phenomenon and that people use all available mechanisms to avoid it. This is not strange because, even in the evolution era the human race survived through elimination of competitors. The only difference between the two forms of elimination is that the later form of elimination was based on natural selection while the other process involves artificial selection.

Artificial selection applies law to determine the legal and illegal immigrants of a country and this is what the US authority applies. In this application, the authorities do not consider the validity of the move and the resultant consequences. Gardner confirms this statement and adds that the labor market is the most affected by this move.

He goes on to claim that the illegal immigrants offer stiff competition to the legal citizens in the labor and job market (Gardner 271). From his statement, it is evident that competition in the labor market is essential in the development of the field. The statement also proves that competition of any type is unwanted in the country and therefore the people and citizens do all they can to avoid it.

From the statement, Gardner demonstrates the naivety in people on the issue of competition. From the statement, it is evident that people do not consider where they are coming from as much as they consider where they are going. In relation to the United States, the citizens do not consider the fact that America has reached its present state due to competition.

America developed into a super power following competition that exists in its citizens and therefore further developments depends heavily on competition. In conclusion, competition has led to the development of the country and therefore it should be promoted for further development. The legal American citizens and authority should therefore consider the existence of competition into their system.

In addition to this elimination of competitors should be a natural process and therefore the illegality of immigrants is not a valid reason of evading competition. If the competition process is given a chance then the immigrants in the country will not be considered as illegal, which is a positive step towards legalizing their status (Ratha and Behera).

Moving Forward

Finally, the issue of immigration cannot be fully solved using laws and therefore the concerned countries should consider other solutions. Making or referring to individuals that do not have proper documentations as illegal immigrants is in itself not a solution to the issue and therefore legalizing illegal immigrants stands out as the best options to this problem.

Maintaining the illegality of illegal immigrants is like solving a problem by creating another problem and therefore a country such as United States does not benefit at all from this (Coates112). The country also needs to move forward and forget the past and for this reason, there is need to consider the status of the so-called illegal immigrants.

As Wesinger (169) explains, illegal immigration is a global problem and therefore it can only be solved through a global solution. In addition to this, the cause of large-scale immigration into developed country is motivated by problems that are beyond the control of immigrants and therefore the problem is a collective problem (Stares 19).

The global problems that cause this immigration are dynamic and therefore legal citizens of the country might find themselves as illegal immigrants in another country out of choice. If this situation takes place, it is a fact that they would not appreciate being referred to as illegal immigrants.


Illegal immigration is a global problem and therefore it requires global intervention to find a solution. In the past countries that are affected by this problem such as the United States have maintained the illegality of illegal immigrants, as a strategy to fight the problem but this method does not work. If these countries consider the positive side of the issue, they can consider changing the legal status of the immigrants.

Immigrants in the country particularly the ones referred to as illegal immigrants have contributed a lot in the development of the United States and therefore legalizing their status can bring more benefits into the country.

The first settler of North America, which is the United States, invaded the continent and therefore they themselves are illegal immigrants. Competition from this group of people referred as illegal immigrants brings about or contributes to the development of the United States and therefore the country should revise their status for maximum benefits (Hjarno 20).

Illegal immigration is a global problem and therefore it requires a global solution in addition to this some causes of the problems are beyond the immigrants control. The United States should therefore grant illegal immigrants full citizenship since its citizens could also be illegal immigrants in another country. Considering all these factors legalization of illegal immigrants’ stands out as the best strategy that the country should apply to solve the problem

Works Cited

Chiswick, Barry. The Economics of Immigration: Selected Papers of Barry R. Chiswick. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc, 2005. Print.

Coates, David. Getting Immigration Right: What Every American Need To Know. Washington: Potomac Books, 2009. Print.

Gardner, Martha. The Qualities of a Citizen: Women, Immigration, and Citizenship 1870-1965. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005. Print.

Hing, Bill. Defining America through Immigration Policy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004. Print.

Hjarno, Jan. Illegal Immigrants, and Developments in Employment in Labor Markets of the EU. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003. Print

Hoffmeier, James. New Immigration Research. Center for Illegal Immigrants Studies, 1998. Web.

Kesselman, Mark, Krieger, Joel, and Joseph William. Introduction to Comparative Politics: Political Challenges and Changing Agendas. Boston: cengage learning, 2009. Print.

Kivel, Paul. Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2002. Print.

Ratha, Pfeffer and Behera, Deepak. Contemporary Society tribe studies: Social realities Vol. 4. Concept publishing company, New Delhi, India, 1999. Print.

Stares, Paul. Global Habit: The Drug Problem in a Borderless World. Washington. The Brookings institution, 1996. Print.

Wessenger, George. Law Enforcement and INS: A Participant Observation Study of Control Agents. Boulevard: University Press of America, 2005. Print.

Yoshida, Chisato. Illegal Immigration and Economic Welfare. New York. Springer, 2000. Print.

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