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For the majority of American citizens, the issue of immigration remains quite emotional and volatile. Rhetoric, controversies, and standpoints regarding the influence of immigration on the American economy are highly debated. Without any doubts, ethnic groups and people of any nationality bring various traditions, new perspectives, and different behavior – all things that individuals cherish. In pursuing the American dream, each immigrant brings diversity and richness to the U.S. culture, thus enhancing the quality of life in a foreign country. As the number of undocumented workers continues to grow rapidly, so do the fierce disputes among the policymakers and ordinary Americans as to whether or not these individuals should get social benefits and necessary services that government provides to the citizens. While some people claim that each illegal immigrant should be denied basic services since undocumented foreigners continue not to pay federal taxes, others assert that refusing to provide social services to immigrants will not stop them from entering America. I believe that illegal immigrants and non-immigrants should not be denied social services and welfare benefits since they are ordinary people, who deserve to live better, have more options to satisfy their own demands and, besides, contribute to the country’s progress.
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Illegals represent a significant percentage of the American population, numbering “roughly eleven-twelve million undocumented immigrants nationwide” (Johnson and Trujillo 14) The majority of immigrants prefer to come to the USA because of the higher salaries and greater work opportunities, not social services. According to the representative of the Democratic Party from Illinois, Luis Gutierrez (60), when coming to the U.S., immigrants do not fight for handouts, free access to hospitals and clinics, food stamps and student loans. Each undocumented person wants to reach success and struggle for various opportunities that are not provided in their native land. Everybody wants to get a chance to educate their own children, live in dignity, have a good job, and have the opportunity to live in decent houses and wear decent clothes (Gutierrez 60).
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It is often argued that undocumented immigrants will continue to arrive in the USA as long as the country has workplaces, and employers hire them. It is quite hypocritical for the immigration policy of America to welcome foreigners to satisfy different labor demands and then refuse to provide social services to immigrants. The quality of safety, education, and health of communities will suffer significantly if undocumented workers are denied basic services. Millions of communities will not face issues and challenges if the government guarantees free access to the social services. By refusing to provide food stamps, education, medical care as well as other benefits to undocumented workers, the USA will simply generate another subclass of individuals in the society.
In addition, denial of education and necessary, adequate medical treatment tto undocumented immigrants violates provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act enacted by Congress in 1986. It states that any person cannot be denied public access to necessary services and medical care considering his/her own abilities to pay for them since it is a cruel and unfair policy that violates universal human rights and ethics (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). If the American authorities continue to conduct the policy that prevents individuals from entering the U.S., there will not be sufficient resources to maintain a thriving economy in the near future. After 1970, all immigrants pay over seventy billion dollars in taxes thereby generating nearly “thirty billion dollars more than they receive from the basic public services” (Passel and Fix 158).
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Regardless of immigration status and citizenship of individuals, one should not be denied necessary healthcare services. Access to the social services including health care is a fundamental human right. No one should let immigrants die because of no legal paper works or insurance. America provides better insurance to convicted individuals who committed rape and murders. It is the policy of double standards to argue against health care for undocumented foreigners trying to survive and, simultaneously, pay no attention to billions of tax dollars going to assist millions of dangerous offenders. Obviously, immigration is a huge issue that should be comprehensively resolved. However, no one should sacrifice the health of communities and separate individuals.
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