In California, illegal immigration is a serious issue. Since California has a large coastline and shares a border with Mexico, for illegals California presents an easy point of access into the United States. Although California’s borders and sea ports receive quite a lot of security support, the sheer size of the state’s borders make it possible for illegal immigration to occur.
There are many reasons why illegal immigration in California is considered a serious issue. While California welcomes immigration, illegal immigration poses a serious threat. Illegal immigrants are not carefully vetted the way that legal immigrants are for potential diseases, criminal records, and other issues which may pose a threat to California residents. Since illegals enter California without speaking to authorities, they sometimes enter with criminal records, criminal intent, and illnesses which can be passed on to residents. As well, some people who speak out against illegal immigration in California note that illegal immigrants entering California often need to commit illegal acts – such as working illegally – in order to stay within the country.
Illegal immigrants also place a financial burden upon the state. According to some reports, there were more than 2.9 million illegal immigrants in California in 2009. Legal immigrants and residents of California pay taxes in order to support social programs which they use. However, illegal immigrants do use the public school system, emergency rooms, and other public services without paying taxes. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), illegal immigration costs of California more than $10 billion annually. In addition, many experts on immigration point out that illegal immigrants may remove jobs and lower working conditions for legal residents and legal workers within the state and across the country.
Those who argue for illegal immigrant reform and amnesty sometimes point out that illegal immigrants actually often perform jobs that legal immigrants and residents do not wish to perform. Undocumented workers take on hard and low-paying jobs, such as picking fruit, and cleaning – jobs which are difficult to fill at low wages with documented workers. Some experts argue that offering amnesty to some or all illegal immigrants in California would help safeguard California wages and would help protect both undocumented workers and residents of the state. Both sides of the California immigration debate have tried to come up with solutions to illegal immigration California issues but so far no catch-all solution exists. For illegals, California is still a plausible place to enter the country and for legal residents of the state illegal immigration continues to be a difficult and expensive problem.