Legal Immigration

Ryan Jeffery


Legal Immigration


Is your rational blindness or lack of understanding contributing to the impoverishment of millions? Legal immigration has become a polarized topic in the US since Trump has taken office, and the media is portraying legal immigration typically as good thing. The image I have chosen is a picture demonstrating the separation of family because of our immigration policies and then cite economic benefits and that there are jobs for them with economic incentive and humanitarian benefits. From a Utilitarian perspective the US should actually not accept legal immigrants because of its effects on the home country. The greatest good for the greatest amount of people is what I will mean when I refer to Utilitarianism(universally adopted) and I will measure it in term of the severity of good as well as the amount of people it affects.


Legal immigration, specific case is a picture from the Washington post about family separation due to legal immigration as well as the argument that they give for that article.


The media and many people say legal immigration is harmful to families and we need more of it. We cannot take very many immigrants, it wont work from a population perspective. We source top candidates. Statistical significance of outliers and their effect on local economies.


We have certain policies in place so we recruit the top talent from different countries. We need policies in effect like this in order to make we know who is coming in to the country and that they will serve a purpose.         Go into policies in place now and possible counter policies that will be brought up.

These policies

Below 82 IQ in the army, go into how people with lower IQ actually can’t get jobs and that there aren’t jobs for everyone in the Us especially with the rise of innovation.

These are the ones we can guarantee a job




  1. JUST
  2. Arguments
  3. Defence
    1. Consequences




There is a limit of how many immigrants we can accept into the United States


Legal immigration sounds on the surface level like it would be a good idea, but when it comes to its long term implications the argument that it is better for the people is not true when you look at it from a Utilitarian perspective. This is because of a few things one being that there is simply not enough room to take in illegal immigrants because the US has both limited capacity and diminishing marginal value per person entering the country. The biggest reason is that the greatest good for the most amount of people does not come from allowing people into the country. When you look at the effect of the person that comes into the country you have to look at the typical people that come into the country which are typically the smartest people from the countries and the effect they have on the US is minimal compared to the effect they have on their home countries. When we bring people into the US on something like an H1b1 visa we require that they have some skills that are necessary for a skilled job here. The average worker will help a tech company or work as an integral part of a team helping solve crucial issues in their companies project. This project will affect the US and help people with a part of their live or help solve a problem.

When we look at the same effect a legal immigrant would have on their own country we see that they are doing much more good to a larger amount of people. A typical area that we source from is India and the net effect that someone that we recruit has over there is much greater than in the US. Cite sources of immigrants both not bringing back to help their home country as well as their effect on local economies when they stay. There is an argument for immigrants needing to come to the Us in order to get the skills needed and capital needed to succeed depending on the home country, but the perspective that it negative and it is better that we let immigrants in on the argument of an emotional appeal is invalid based on a Utilitarian argument.




All consequences/ other sides




  • Introduction (approx. ½—1 page): Use vivid language to describe the issue and/or artifact that you will be discussing. The end of the last paragraph of your introduction should have a clear thesis (a single, declarative sentence that reflects the central focus of this essay,) followed by a preview of the main points that you will be addressing.



  • Background/Literature Review (approx. 2—3 pages):

Effects of complex and political issues, such as immigration, are often far ranging and unseen without comprehensive analysis of all affected parties and motives. In the debate on immigration, the home country and the immigrants in question are often the topic of discussion from the majority of media sources, but there are implications for foreign economies and the country of immigration that go unnoted. Exploring different perspectives is important to do, because a piece of information can be spun off into completely different directions to validate whatever one source wishes to support. The recent retractions by the media have become substantially more erroneous and prevalent when you compare the data from 2014 consecutively to 2017(Mantzarlis). The reporting that has been retracted as patently false and in clear connection with pushing a perspective have been two cases of Trump working with Russia. There was a clear pushing of the perspective that Trump was acting against the U.S. by colluding with Russia(Appendix 2&3). The problem gets more complex, because often two stories with the same evidence can push two different perspectives without either having to retract their statements. A good example of the two perspectives in when Trump pulled out of the Iran deal and Fox news said “Obama administration officials naively hoped that Iran – free of international economic sanctions after signing the nuclear deal – would become a peaceful member of the community of nations. But Iran has shown beyond doubt that is has no intention of changing its behavior.”(Kazainis) while Quartz said “Trump abandoned the Iran deal, politicians and analysts from across the globe have criticized the move as unwise and noted that it risks increasing the tensions within the Middle East, as well as alienating the important US allies (including the EU) who signed the deal alongside America.”(Merelli) showing the power of perspective in light of similar evidence. A major concern is that the number of retractions in 2018 have been increasing dramatically with multiple retractions from the New York Times, NBC, and FOX. The areas of retractions have been politically charged areas ranging from Trump/Russia collusion to immigration articles. There are typically 2 main parties in which one affiliates their beliefs with, the Conservative party and the Liberal party and this is true for immigration as well. According to Pew research, “Nearly half (47%) of those who are consistently conservative name Fox News as their main source for government and political news”(Mitchell) which exacerbates the publishing party bias previously mentioned as well as bringing up a new element of confirmation bias. The liberal side is more evenly distributed with Pew research saying “On the left of the political spectrum, no single outlet predominates. Among consistent liberals, CNN (15%), NPR (13%), MSNBC (12%) and the New York Times (10%) all rank near the top of the list” even though it is distributed between multiple sources the implications are still the same because the stories pushed are often biased towards their political leanings. Everyone is susceptible to confirmation bias and it is well documented within the scientific community,  Nickerson “emphasizes three mechanisms underlying confirmation bias; restriction of attention to a favored hypothesis, preferential treatment of evidence supporting existing beliefs, and looking only or primarily for positive cases that support initial beliefs.”(Nickerson 1998). People are getting their information mostly from one source with know bias and this reaffirms their belief and makes it hard not to fall prey to confirmation bias, even in light of new evidence. With issues that are complex it is easier for the media to portray a dichotomy in order to further exacerbate the issue of our our biases. The whole story needs to be understood before making an opinion on a topic because by only listening to one source it forces the listener to be biased and have incomplete thoughts around issues because of the issues complexity and lack of knowledge of the listener. Lack of understanding and incomplete thoughts on complex issues are shown on both political sides with people standing strong with their opinions despite new evidence as shown in many viral videos.(Millie 2017). Political issues such as immigration face a difficult narrative to understand without a complete understanding because they are juxtaposed between a balance of compassion for an individual and often murky implications from the passing of legislature. It is crucial to look at different perspectives and multiple sources, because it is easy to fall victim to publisher biases, confirmation biases, misinformation, and lack of holistic understanding.


Arguing a perspective

The understanding of immigration falls victim to the gamut of biases and incomplete understanding as mentioned above, but the image in analysis primarily falls victim to lack of holistic understanding. I have chosen a picture of a mother and daughter embracing each other through a large fence that separates the United States from Mexico as part of our immigration policy(Appendix 1). Immigration is a complex issue that appears as a dichotomy at first glance, but unravels itself into a complexity of short and long term consequences for many. The picture that I will be referring to in the next two paragraphs is Appendix 1. The picture portrays two women in joy at the fact that they are able to see eachother, even though it is through the separation of a large border fence. The picture is a binary of emotion with a mix of pure happiness with the sight of each other and sadness with the fact that they are seperated. The picture is pushing the perspective that it is better to let the person into the country because of the pain and suffering it will alleviate on the family. The border fence is rusty and the texture is clearly enhanced in order to show the observer how old the fences are; pushing the perspective that the border security and immigration restrictions are an old value of the U.S. The image pushes the perspective that we should let the immigrants in because of the emotional appeal that it would reunite these family members. The perspective portrayed through an ethical and emotional appeal is rooted in our societies value of life, happiness, the right of the individual, and that immigrants are up to our countries moral standards. Letting the mother in seems logical as well looking at the picture because most of us can agree that we want to see the family together again. The article says “if only 5 percent of the population of poor countries were allowed to migrate to richer ones”(Porter) which prescribes a policy that fits with the image and the perception that we should let more immigrants into the country. This perspective is a strong argument when we are only evaluating a single person, but it has negative net implications when evaluating an entire country and a large number of immigrants. (We simply can’t let that many immigrants in) (Evidence)

When looking at this image we should not fall victim to the dichotomization and oversimplification of the issue; and attempt to understand the widespread implications created by this international policy. The image should be viewed as the harsh sacrifices that a country must make in the present and immediate future in order to protect it’s agreed upon values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the long term. We have presuppositions that the woman has good intentions, will adhere to our moral code, and not take advantage welfare or social security systems. The reality is that we don’t know any of this from the picture and that there are instances where foreign beliefs infringe on our countries fundamental values. The repercussions can vary, from being a simple misdemeanor to the death of multiple innocent citizens. In 2017 we had an instance of an immigrant that rented a pickup truck and mowed down pedestrians and cyclists killing eight and more the previous 5 years that were connected to extremism because their values clashed with the values of our nation (Jacobs). Europe has looser border policies than the U.S. and it shows ”Since 2015, there has been a sharp increase in both the number of attacks and deaths caused by terrorism in Europe. As someone who studies European security issues, I see three key factors contributing to this development: Europe’s large and often poorly integrated Muslim population, proximity to unstable regions like the Middle East and North Africa, and terrorists’ new focus on highly vulnerable “soft” targets.”(Maher 2018).  The correlation between border policy and clashing of values in harmful way is clear, and shown by many countries besides Europe as well. I want the mother and the daughter to be reunited, but the choice does not boil down to letting her in or keeping her out. The issue affects millions of people and in order to reunite the family in the U.S. we would have to pass a law to grant them citizenship. We must not forget that there are hundreds of millions of people who wish to immigrate into the U.S. that do not have family here as well. We should see the image as a reminder that we must have and keep a standard for which and how many immigrants we should let in to the U.S. and stick to it. This picture should show that there are implications in letting an immigrant into the U.S. and that there are reasons why we restrict immigration. This perspective pushes a policy focused on evaluating the individual and their likely positive effect on the U.S. (I need to go into implications)Taking the perspective I am pushing for would create a standard evaluation criteria based on one’s ability to assimilate into our culture and provide economic value to the U.S.


  • An Ethical Defense (approx. 2—3 pages): Here you will detail the potential consequences—intended and unintended—of taking the perspective you are calling for. Also detail any potential consequences of not seeing your artifact as you feel we should. You should make clear the benefits of making others see your issue through your lens, and also tackle any potential counter-arguments.

A widely agreed upon ethical method of reasoning is Utilitarianism, which evaluates on the criteria of the severity of good or bad and to how many people it effects. I will use Utilitarianism in order to evaluate which perspective creates a better outcome according to its definition. There are positive and negative consequences with the adoption of any perspective, but there is a net positive when my perspective of holistic evaluation occurs. The evaluation of immigrants will create a system almost solely based on working ability, eliminating the economic disparities between immigrants and natives. “More than 50 percent of all immigrant households receive welfare benefits, compared to only 30 percent of native households in the United States that receive welfare benefits” (Trump 2017) shows there is a problem with immigration and their contribution back towards the country economically and the evaluation would help solve this.


Seeing the argument through the picture’s perspective can have damaging consequences for the U.S. economy and citizens. The perspective that we should let immigrants become citizens because they wish to be with their family, come from a poor country, or are already in the country has a few sticking points. Alleviating the stress and anguish experienced by families separated due to the U.S. immigration is a benefit

In this perspective, we are rewarding people who committed a crime by breaking into the U.S. with a path to citizenship or letting people in at random. This is wrong because we are incentivizing people to sneak over the border in order to gain citizenship. Allowing people into the country on the basis that we should keep these families together and alleviate the pain that they feel from being away from each other has an overarching negative connotation. It does make sense to keep the families together, but there is damage to the economics of the U.S. because of it.


Lottery system of why they should gain citizenship, most people are on welfare and social programs

Allowing people into the country on the basis

Does not stop terrorists or people that won’t assimilate into our culture from coming


  • An Ethical Defense (approx. 2—3 pages): Here you will detail the potential consequences—intended and unintended—of taking the perspective you are calling for. Also detail any potential consequences of not seeing your artifact as you feel we should. You should make clear the benefits of making others see your issue through your lens, and also tackle any potential counter-arguments.

Understanding legal immigration from a Utilitarian perspective shows the complexities of the issue that are unseen from the ethical surface level understanding.

  • Summary and Conclusion (approx. 1 page): Briefly review and summarize the course of your essay. You should not be including any new arguments at this point.



These countries may not have the infrastructure or resources for the people to do real good, or they need to go to the U.S. for an education.

From a number perspective we cannot let everyone in

Then oppose DACA because we should not just let a large swath of people into the country solely on the fact that they snuck into the country illegally.


My view of legal immigration.

Legal immigration is beneficial for the U.S. economy and it allows people chances they would not otherwise have and their contributions have been huge to our economy. The argument is often based off of a moral stance that the U.S. policies on immigration are causing more harm than good, but the perspective often overlooks the long term consequences and the dissemination of the effects.


Strong evidence of this is what people want is this is why this makes sense to their argument. There are some good argument, why does it outweigh the good on the other side.



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