Illegal immigration is a problem that just won't go away!! There are over ten million illegal immigrants already on US soil and more keep coming in everyday. This puts a strain on resources - both state and federal. Public funds tend to get diverted to provide housing, health, education and other facilities for the incoming and existing illegal immigrant population, necessary public and welfare measures and projects get ignored. Seeing their tax dollars spent in supporting illegal immigrants also causes a lot of resentment among the legitimate, resident American population. Listed below are some ways in which the problem of illegal immigration can be stopped.
Expanding visa programs. Much of immigrant labor is used for jobs which the native or citizen population does not want to take up. Examples of such jobs are in seasonal agriculture or farming, maid services, etc. Rather than encourage illegal immigration, it is important to introduce or expand visa programs through which migrant or domestic services' workers can be allowed to enter the country legitimately. Existing quotas are quite minimal and the process and procedures involved are quite complicated and time-consuming. Hence, people find it easier to enter the country by illegal means. If visa quotas are increased and the procedures simplified, more immigrants would opt for legal entry, thus resolving the problems of illegal immigration to a great extent.
Tweaking the wage levels. The majority of the illegal immigrant population is paid wages way below the minimum wage paid to American workers. It obviously does not make sense for the immigrants to spend lots of money using the legitimate channels to migrate for the current level of wages they are paid. Hence, most prefer to enter the country illegally. The solution is to establish a minimum wage level for immigrant labor, similar to what is available for the resident population. If the immigrants know that they can depend on a guaranteed level of income and decent standard of living, then more of them will be encouraged to use legal means of coming to the US for work.
Strict enforcement of immigration laws. Much of the current illegal immigration problem would not have occurred had laws been enforced strictly. Even worse, is that the administration in the past, has actually encouraged illegal immigration, by offering retrospective legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. With such loopholes to exploit, the problem of illegal immigration will only grow and thrive. It is important to enforce laws strictly. Illegal immigrants must be deported immediately and without any excuses. Those already in the country must be either deported, or be made to pay strict penalties; instead of giving them welfare relief or putting them on the dole. Enforcement and immigration authorities must be armed with sufficient power to help them combat the illegal entry into the country.
"Into the melting pot". America is a country where immigrants have come to its shores for centuries, but have been able to assimilate themselves into a homogenized population. There is no reason why the same cannot be followed by recent immigrants. While it is important to maintain and nurture one's own culture and roots, there is no reason, why good customs of the host country should not be adopted. It must be made compulsory for all non-English speaking immigrants to undertake English language training and to participate in community empowerment and assimilation programs.
The sooner some strict measures, such as those suggested above, are put into place, the sooner will the country be able to resolve its current illegal immigration problem. Allowing people from other parts of the world to come to the US in a controlled and properly regimented manner, is the most important way in which we can put an end to illegal immigration.