Immigrants entering the United States affect us economically, socially and also make an impact on the crime rates. More than 10 million immigrants live in California which is about 25 percent of the foreign-born population nationwide according to www.ppic.org. In the Imperial County, more than 12 percent of all population are undocumented immigrants, which is about 21,000.

Economically, immigrants benefit a lot because they are likely to create business for themselves and Americans. These businesses generate more than $776 billion annually according to www.whitehouse.org. It also states that immigrants increase demand for local consumer goods and boost the earnings for American workers. For example, Asian immigrants in Calexico who created many stores along Second Street near the Mexico border.

Immigrants also shape American culture and politics. Because of immigrants, many new laws have been created to encourage the equality between races and ethnicities throughout the nation. It also creates diversity of cultures and languages. In the Imperial Valley, four main languages are spoken; English, Chinese, Tagalog and, the most popular, Spanish. Calexico has the most Spanish-speaking households in the Imperial Valley, which is about 34,200 people who speak Spanish at home.

Since undocumented population increased, the crime rate decreased according to www.aclu.org. According to a 2000 report prepared for the U.S. Department of Justice, immigrants maintain low crime rates even when they face unfavorable social conditions such as low income and low levels of education. Also, incarceration rates of young men are lower in immigrants than native-born counterparts.

Government and economics teacher at Calexico High School Brian Wong said, “I understand that some immigrants are not here legally, but I’m appreciative of them because they come here looking for jobs and make the economy better.” The interaction between native-born Americans and immigrants is mutual, meaning that we both benefit from each other. They enter the nation seeking a better lifestyle for themselves and their families and they help grow our economy as well as our cultural diversity.

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