Immigrants an asset, contribute to America

Hassan Ali

Hassan Ali

As a Djiboutian immigrant, I am proud of my new home. America is a land of immigrants-a land of opportunity. For generations, many people who came here legally or illegally made great sacrifices and worked harder than even the citizens. In numbers, immigrants have made this country what it is today and what it was a hundred years ago.

Immigration reform is in the best interest of our country’s economy and prosperity. For too long Americans have watched their neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members get deported or removed. There is nothing wrong with world citizens wanting what we have here-public education, economic opportunity and a chance to make a better life.

Our government needs to address issues like enforcing labor laws and holding employers accountable for labor violations. Immigrants don’t take our jobs; immigrants have created new jobs by forming new businesses, buying homes, spending their incomes on American goods and services. And yes, undocumented immigrants contribute more in taxes then they consume in public benefits. Between 1996 and 2003 they contributed an estimated $50 billion in federal taxes. They also contribute between $7 and $8 billion in social security funds annually-that’s $100 billion in the past 15 years they will never claim.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, if the 2007 immigration reform bill had passed, it would have generated $48 billion in new federal revenue through 2008-2017. Immigrants are not freeloaders who drain federal and state coffers. Study after study shows that undocumented immigrants contribute more to the economy than they take. Undocumented immigrants, despite myths, are not eligible for most public services like food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

We all want to stop illegal immigration, but the costly strategy of deportation and enforcement without reform has failed over and over again and costs billions of taxpayer dollars. Immigration today proves what centuries of immigrants have done before them-they have come here to work hard, succeed, raise the American flag with pride and embrace the freedoms and opportunity that make America great.

Fortunate Immigrant, Hassan Ali

Hassan Ali is an SDSU political science/pre-law major, SA Senator and president of Model United Nations.