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Illegal Immigration Pros And Cons

illegal immigrants working in US

The actual number of illegal immigrants in the United States is one that’s relatively hard to measure. After all, illegal immigrants generally don’t participate in census polls, vote or take part in other activities or use services that could help count them among the legal population.

However, many estimate the number of illegal immigrants in the United States at about 12 to 15-million on the low side, to nearly 30-million plus on the high side. Many estimates claim that this number increases by between 5,000 and 10,000 people each day, though these numbers are equally as difficult to predict.

Socio-economic circumstances in countries all over the world have driven many people to come to the United States seeking a better life, even if they have to enter illegally. While illegal immigrants certainly have a profound impact on the United States, how their presence affects members of the legal workforce can be more difficult to analyze and understand.

Illegal Immigrants at Work

As of 2008, estimates said that there were about 7-million illegal immigrants working in the United States. In 2013, that number has surely risen, and close to 10-million illegal immigrants are likely at work in the United States.

Illegal immigrants commonly work jobs building houses or doing construction work, picking crops like apples and oranges, working in slaughterhouses, cleaning hotel rooms and washing dishes in restaurants. These are low skill level jobs â€" jobs that almost anybody could do.

Most illegal immigrants take these low-paying jobs, often working for minimum wage at best. While even illegal immigrants are supposed to be paid according to state and federal minimum hourly wages, many illegal workers have claimed that they have been paid less for their work, often accepting jobs at lower-than-legal rates so they can simply survive.

Outsourcing at Home

Many of the low-paying jobs accepted by illegal immigrants are jobs that Americans simply don’t want. In fact, some have even compared the situation to corporate outsourcing.

Americans are unwilling to do certain jobs for a certain amount of money, so businesses look elsewhere for employees that will do them. Those low-paying jobs listed above are prime examples. Many Americans simply refuse to work manual labor jobs like picking apples, especially when they will only be paid minimum wage.

Are Illegal Immigrants Taking Jobs From United States Citizens?

The topic that comes up most often when people discuss illegal immigrants and immigration reform is whether or not illegal immigrants are taking opportunities and jobs from United States citizens that want to work. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t exactly black and white.

Illegal immigrants are doing jobs that could be filled by out of work Americans. In tough economic times, many Americans are struggling to support their families and take care of their obligations, even on a day-to-day basis.

However, what people don’t often discuss is that these low-paying jobs were offered to and filled by illegal immigrants, and have been for more than a decade now, because Americans did not want them.

Perhaps Americans didn’t want them because times were more prosperous, certainly in the 1980s and 1990s than they are today or were in the late 2000’s. Still, many Americans are not looking for manual labor jobs, and many economists wonder whether more Americans would be outraged and affected by the rising cost of apples and goods if illegal immigrants were replaced by U.S. citizens in unions than are affected outraged by illegal immigrants working in the United States.

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