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List of Pros and Cons of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

Amnesty for illegal immigrants allows them to gradually become naturalized and they become legal residents. Amnesty doesn’t imply citizenship. It simply implies pardon granted to immigrants who would otherwise be deported or face jail term for not having the required permission to be in the country, which is primarily the visa but could also be a genuine passport. Amnesty for illegal immigrants has been a hotly debated issue for a while now. The immigration laws in the United States have always been stringent but being the most desired country for people from all across the world it has also received millions of immigrants over the years, legally and illegally.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not a law. The United States Congress has issue no such statute and there is no legislation in place that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country, to live anywhere and work any job. However, the executive always has control over how the immigration laws are implemented. Barack Obama has as the president directed the law enforcement agencies to go soft on illegal aliens and the laws against illegal immigrants have not been enforced fully. In light of the perceived amnesty for illegal immigrants, let us explore the various pros and cons of such a move.

List of Pros of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

1. More Revenue for Government
Amnesty for illegal immigrants will allow the government to earn more revenue. All illegal immigrants working in the country are not paying tax unless the company hiring them are deducting the tax at source and paying the same to the exchequer. Most illegal immigrants work in the informal sector where they get paid in cash. Illegal immigrants don’t have bank accounts and they don’t contribute to any direct taxes. They do pay indirect taxes when the purchase goods or opt for some services. If there are a million illegal immigrants at a given point in time and they are supposed to pay a hundred dollars in income tax then the country is losing out on a hundred million dollars in revenue. Since there are many more illegal immigrants in the country and most of them would be paying much more than a hundred dollars as income tax, the resulting revenue surge will be a windfall gain for the government.

2. Increased Spending by Government
The handsome surge in revenues would allow the federal and state governments to spend more on essentials. The money can be used for healthcare costs of American citizens and legal residents. A part of the revenue can be used for education, social schemes, crucial industries and infrastructure. This whole revenue would be generated without any investment on the part of the government and the increased revenue would be a yearly collection, not a onetime income. The fiscal health of the country will be better, there would be more social spending and the economy too will be benefited.

3. Reduction in Crime, Exploitation and Injustice
Amnesty for illegal immigrants will help reduce crime. Illegal immigrants are compelled to indulge in crime, they are exploited and many industries thrive solely because an illegal workforce is available to work for very little money and without any enforcement of labour laws or even human rights in some cases. There are no workplace standards in such unorganized and shady industries. The immigrants who had turned up illegally and have been allowed to stay without the fear of persecution will be able to live in a dignified way, they will opt for better jobs and will also use labour laws to their advantage. The reduction in crime will benefit the immigrants and also the citizens and legal residents of the country.

4. A Stronger Society
Illegal immigrants can become a part of the society if they are granted amnesty. They can contribute to the growth of the country. The cultural diversity will strengthen the society and as a country the United States will be stronger than it is today.

List of Cons of Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants Pros and Cons

1. Revenue not Guaranteed
It is not imperative that illegal immigrants will pay taxes after being granted amnesty. They can always evade taxes. Many illegal immigrants have a purpose of staying in the United States. They intend to earn, save and send as much money back to their country of birth. Their purpose is never to add to the revenues of the government or do anything for the United States. In that sense, it is futile to offer amnesty because the government may not have any rewards.

2. Compromising the Law
Amnesty for illegal immigrants makes mockery of the law in place. If an illegal act or a crime is pardoned then there is no deterrence and it is just unfair for everyone who is abiding by the law, putting in painstaking effort to get the paperwork and necessary approvals before they immigrate to the United States.

3. A Financial and Security Threat
Amnesty for illegal immigrants can encourage others and perhaps more heinous people to try and find some way to enter the country and then seek pardon only to do more damage. There is also an issue of increasing burden as those granted amnesty will rely on welfare schemes to be funded by the government.