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Illegal workers help U.S.

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In the United States today there are 6 million undocumented immigrants, most of them of Mexican origin. These illegal immigrants provide cheap labor, which prevents inflation, contribute to the economy by paying taxes and play a crucial role in the agriculture, textile and hospitality industries. Because they don't have the necessary papers, these workers take the jobs that no one else wants, are paid low salaries (often less than the minimum wage), receive no benefits vacations or medical insurance, and face daily discrimination. However, they are often accused of taking advantage of welfare, education and medical services and are a popular scapegoat for American economic problems because they cannot defend themselves for fear of deportation.

An amnesty granted to those undocumented residents now living in the United States seems to be a sensible solution to this problem. But then, these immigrants would start demanding higher pay and more benefits. Americans would lose their cheap labor market and face employment competition with these millions of immigrants.

Americans no doubt benefit from these illegal workers; the country wouldn't last a day without their economic and social contributions. At the same time, the immigrants are much better off in the United States, even without full rights and fair wages, than they would be in their home country.

Jill Kwan

Salt Lake City