The United States has a long history of accepting immigrants into the country as a source of their workforce. While this may seem economically viable on the surface, there are a few setbacks such as the existence of illegal or undocumented immigrants in the United States. Some American citizens are even advocating for the deportation of all illegal immigrants despite the benefits the country reaps from those men especially economically. Jeffrey Bowman is one of those who oppose illegal immigrants and authored the article Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now back in 2007. This paper will argue that Bowman’s article is false and will present a counterargument against his position.
While 77% of immigrants in the United States are naturalized residents and are permanent or temporary residents, illegal immigrants in the United States make up of 10.5 million people in total in 2017 as recorded by Pew Research Center (2018). The unauthorized immigrants’ population has slowly been decreasing for the past decade as they make up for only a little over 3% of the total population of the United States. 7.6 million of those illegal immigrants are working and contributing to the workforce in the United States.
Majority of American adults are in favor of immigrants because their talents and their being in the workforce had been helping the country progress for as long as they can remember. However, a quarter of Americans adults firmly believe that the immigrants, especially the illegal immigrants, are only being a burden to the country and the American citizens for they are taking away opportunities that should have been for Americans themselves. Among the people who believe the latter is Jeffrey Bowman.
Bowman wrote the article Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now with the intention of letting the readers know what he feels about illegal immigrants in the United States. In his article, Bowman didn’t even try to hide his contempt and he claimed that survey results were used to support his theories. Although Bowman ultimately failed to present those results in the end. He continued his baseless tirade against illegal immigrants in America and even convinced some Americans that what he was saying rings true.
In Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now, Bowman made several claims. Among them is that illegal immigrants come to the United States with their families only thinking about a fresh start then proceeds to benefit of off the country’s job offerings and housing. Bowman claims that illegal immigrants do not pay their taxes and do not contribute to the public services that they avail and enjoy. Thereby coming up with these two statements:
Illegal immigration is reducing the wages of the American worker and costing the American taxpayer millions of dollars... Undocumented immigrants do not pay the taxes that American citizens pay, but still take advantage of many public services, such as public hospitals and public schools.
Illegal immigrants in the United States mostly work in the agriculture, construction, and hospitality field. They are usually service workers and the country definitely needs their contribution to be able to function properly. They may be small in number but they do contribute in the economy and pay their taxes. However, contrary to Bowman’s and popular belief, immigrants as a whole are not taking jobs away from Americans. In fact, studies show that immigrants do not reduce the employment rate of native Americans and that there are almost as much immigrants in white collar jobs as the natives.
No American in need is affected by the immigrants’ employment even in “jobs Americans do not want.” A large number of native Americans are taxi drivers, housekeepers, janitors, and construction laborers themselves. Bowman accused illegal immigrants that the native Americans’ wages is being reduced due to the illegal immigrants not paying taxes and that they are only in the United States to enjoy. Bowman veiled his racist views in Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now.
Pawlick’s Point Counterpoint
On the contrary, the article Point: Amnesty Is a Practical and Just Solution written by Peter Pawlick states that immigrants are a great help to the United States. And like President Reagan’s solution, amnesty was the best choice to take since the immigrants are already living in the United States and is capable of helping the economy. Amnesty is an official pardon granted to people who committed political offenses. As opposed to Bowman’s argument in Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now, Pawlick shares in his article:
Contrary to the popular misconception that illegal immigrants are exploiting the nation’s economy, studies have shown that undocumented residents actually contribute more in taxes than they cost the country in social services, and overall, immigration increases the income of U.S residents.
This statement is a total opposite of what Bowman claims in his article. Pawlick presented both sides of the argument, which Bowman ultimately failed to do for he was focused on presenting his argument alone. Pawlick says in his article that punishment does not serve anyone good. This is especially true when it comes to illegal immigrants since their notable contributions to the country has been completely disregarded in Bowman’s article.
Pawlick believes that immigration helps everyone. And so, the Congress should be helping those currently with illegal status instead of trying to punish them by deporting them. If the immigrants have been helping boost the economy and provide manpower, then why shouldn’t they be helped by the country they currently serve in return?
The world keeps on getting tougher as each day passes. A person may be struggling to find a job, is struggling to keep one, or is staying at their current job even if wages and benefits are dropping. The American Dream has marketed that living in the United States offers more liberty, personal power, privileges, freedom, and overall a better life. Immigrants come into the country with the hope of leading a better life than the one they currently have. As opposed to Bowman’s wishes as stated in Counterpoint: End Illegal Immigration Now, illegal immigrants, instead of being kicked out, should be helped by the government instead.
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Bowman, Jeffrey and C. Ames Cushman. (2015) "Counterpoint: Amnesty Promotes Illegal Immigration." Points of View: Immigration Restrictions.
Budiman, Abby, et al. “Facts on U.S. Immigrants, 2018.” Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, 20 Aug. 2020, www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/20/facts-on-u-s-immigrants.
Pawlick, Peter and Laura Finley. (2015). "Point: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Is a Practical and Just Solution". Points of View: Immigration Restrictions. http://msmoorefvhs.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/9/0/37902767/copy_of_points_of_view__immigration_point_2.pdf