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Soc120 Final

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Analyze a Social Issue - Final Paper
Population growth occurs through birth rates, death rates, and immigration. Some states are affected by population growth more than others and one of the largest contributors is owned by the high level of immigration in certain areas, such as Texas. If growth continues on the path that it is currently on, the state will suffer the changes that will occur. The current census reports over 25 billion people in the United States but with the projected growth this number can exceed 400 billion within the next century. Illegal immigration accounts for a large portion of this increase and the majority of Texas’ immigration is from Mexico because of geographical location and cultural diversity that already exists in the state. Over the years, illegal immigrants are earning naturalization or obtaining permanent citizenship which allows them access to government benefits. It is also stated that the death per birth ratio is lower in Texas than the national average which causes an even higher amount of population growth every year. This kind of growth will cause a higher level of poverty, urbanization, social inequity, and environmental damage. If a solution is not determined soon on how to lower the growth rate, the state will also suffer detrimental impacts to employment rates and government benefits such as social security and government provided medical care and assistance. The quality of our future, and our next generations, depends on a rational and well thought out plan on how to moderate the population in the great state of Texas (Center for Immigration Studies, 1995).
As immigrants from Latin America enter the country illegally, they begin taking the jobs of America’s middle classed citizens because they are willing to be paid less for the job. This conclusion leaves over one million people, just in Texas, standing in the unemployment line, struggling to care for their families as unemployment benefits run dry (New York Times, 2012). The working class and middle-class of America are the most highly affected of those touch by immigration. Most think that the middle-class group is identified by the amount of money that one earns per year but this is not always the case. The working class is classified as someone that holds a typical and traditional labor type job such as industrial or construction. Middle-class consists of clerical type positions or of those who attended some college. Middle-class workers can often make far less and live in lower middle-class areas. More than 90 percent of the population reigns under the middle or working class social group. They would not necessarily be called poor, but they would also not be classified as rich or wealthy. This 90 percent can struggle at times to pay their bills and provide for their family. This occasional struggle is becoming a more frequent endeavor because of the population growth that is rising higher every year. If this trend should continue, many families classified as middle-class will soon be falling in social status. In turn, these social changes can cause an increase to the deterioration of government benefits and social security which affects nearly all Americans including immigrants. The aging and retirement groups are also feeling the impact of the increase in population as they are seeing what assistance they receive dwindle to nearly nothing, leaving many without the ability to even purchase food and medications (Leroux, 1993).
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 1,004,400 citizens and legal immigrants’ currently unemployed and looking for work in Texas. And according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center study, there are 1,050,000 illegal immigrants working or looking for work in Texas” (Smith, 2010. Pg.1). These numbers mean that more American citizens in Texas are out of work while illegal immigrates are allowed gainful employment or assistance looking for work. As the population of Texas increases, so does the number of immigrants, and so does the number of unemployed citizens. Texas is the only state where employed illegal immigrants outnumber individuals who do not have a job. The working class in East Texas has had their fair share of battles with unemployment because of the increase in Latin American immigrants. The majority well-paying jobs for the working class citizen of East Texas consist of construction and industrial type work. This is a great income for most families but these jobs are becoming scarce. Texans would not have such a hard time finding work if they did not have to compete with those here illegally and willing to work the same job for less pay. This cycle will only continue unless actions are taken to either increase the number of available jobs on the market or immigration is controlled to a minimum by enforcing and upholding the laws currently in place. This does not mean that immigration should be stopped, because this country is founded on immigration, it simply means that there needs to be better implementation of immigration laws or we will all reap the repercussions of over population. Many illegal immigrants also send their income back to their homes out of the country to help support their family and they do not pay federal taxes. This process reduces economic stimulation and available government assistance for those who contribute to this fund by paying their taxes. This is adding to the crisis the economy is facing currently.
High unemployment rates forces families to move closer to larger cities in search for gainful employment. This causes an increase in urbanization of places such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin as well as other metropolitan areas because jobs are thought to be in better supply. However, this urbanization makes it more difficult for individuals to find employment because it increases the number of applicants looking for jobs. With the lack of employment options, more are seeking for a higher education causing even more crowding in big cities that contain college campuses. Some of the most popular universities in Texas are in Austin, Dallas, and Houston areas. Rising urbanization can occur so quickly that the housing market cannot keep up with the increase which in turn creates more homeless and a raise in the poverty level. Illegal immigrants typically live in poverty, even when they have substantial employment, because they are sending most of their pay back to their family. To help overcome this, many people will reside under one roof to help share costs and optimize the amount of money they can send home. Overcrowding in homes causes concerns with living conditions, health, and waste control. Increased traffic in larger cities adds to economic damages with more smog and pollution with the added population. With these aspects of civilization and progress declining, there will also be an increase in crime rate and deviant behavior. Theft becomes more frequent because more people are struggling to support their families causing a rise in the population in correctional facilities. Social inequalities occur because the wealthier people of society are able to afford better healthcare and pregnancy prevention. Statistics show that individuals that suffer from poverty have a higher birth rate thus further contributing to the overwhelming population growth. There are 75 million unplanned pregnancies every year because there is a lack of proper education and contraceptives in areas of higher poverty. The number of births for illegal immigrants in the United States almost doubled between 2003 and 2008 with a third of these born into poverty and one forth born without adequate health insurance (Aizenman, 2009). With globally improved life-span, death rates have lowered. This combination adds to the impact of population growth, urbanization, and illegal immigration throughout the world (ULC-Leverhulme Trust, 2011).
Carrollton and Farmers Branch, Texas have struggled with trying to improve illegal immigration in their area for quite some time. In 2008 both of these areas were the first to allow local law enforcement officers to have federal immigration enforcement training. This training allows the officers to have access to the federal immigration database and investigate whether an individual is in the country illegally. Previously, there were more than 600 officers from 17 different states who were trained in this manner but none of those were in Texas. Now, an increasing number of officers from different areas including Texas, such as the Houston area, are enrolling for the training since illegal immigration has been a major topic, especially in politics. One thing in particular that Farmers Branch is doing to fight locally is an effort to prevent landlords from renting to anyone that is in the country illegally (Mosier, 2008). This saw some resistance as many City Council members feel that landlords should not be responsible for controlling illegal immigration. Other cities, like Irving, Texas, have taken a different perspective by enabling jails to turn illegal immigrates over to federal authorities. In Oklahoma there is a law that prevents employers from hiring anyone who is in the country illegally (Anonymous, 2008). In the first half of 2006 there were nearly 50 criminal illegal aliens arrested in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Some of the problems said to occur in this area were the reaction times to act on reported illegal immigration. Some officers state that they even gave up on reporting to the Immigration and Customers Enforcement because of their lack of response. This is the reason that Oklahoma’s law makers are taking a step to increase the actions taken to prevent and reduce this social issue (Sullivan, 2006).
The actions taken by Oklahoma, and the different areas in Texas, to reduce illegal immigration are definitely a good way to help reduce illegal immigration throughout Texas but it is not a permanent fix to an ongoing social problem. The reason those from Latin America are migrating north is because of the poor condition and employment options available to them. When people migrate north they are seeking better opportunities for their families, which is highly understandable. The best and more permanent approach to this issue is to quietly assist Mexico, and other areas in Latin America, to better provide for their people. The amount of money that the United States spends on getting rid of those here illegally can be redistributed to help build the economy across the border. Most illegal aliens would much rather be home with their families if their economy could allow them financially. If the initial problem was resolved then most would see their way back home. This would allow our local efforts to be more impacting toward the cause by then training all of Texas law enforcement on how to properly identify those here illegally (Leahy, 2007).

References:
Aizenman, N.C. (2009, April 15). Birth rate for illegal immigrants shows rise. The Seattle Times. Retrieved from http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2009054552_illegals15.html
Anonymous. (2008, May 30). EDITORIAL: Farmers Branch immigration setback. Tribune Business News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/465022325
Center for Immigration Studies. (1995). Shaping Texas: The Effects of Immigration, 1970-2020. Retrieved from http://www.cis.org/TexasImmigration-1970-2020
Leahy, T. (2007, January 20). Steering Mexico toward prosperity may be best way to control Immigration. Longview News-Journal. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/379887888
Leroux, C. (1993, March 7). The American middle class is...: [FINAL EDITION, C]. Chicago
Tribune. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/283454022
Mosier, J. (2008, April 26). Carrollton, Farmers Branch accepted for immigration enforcement Program. Tribune Business News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/465368486 New York Times. (2012). Immigration and American Jobs. Retrieved from http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/immigration-and-american-jobs/
Smith, L. (2010). Illegal Immigrants in Workforce Outnumber Unemployed Texans. Retrieved From http://lamarsmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=208553
Sullivan, Rep. J. (2006, July 20). REP. SULLIVAN TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT: WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN OKLAHOMA. US Fed News Service, Including US State News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/docview/470380580
ULC-Leverhulme Trust. (2011). Population Footprints. Retrieved from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/public-policy/public_policy_publications/Population-
Footprints.pdf

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