Two Sides to Every Story

Two Sides of the Debate by Illiana Natale

The immigration debate prompts arguments made by two sides: pro-immigration and anti-immigration.  There are always at least two sides to a story, and both of these perspectives offer insight as to why they view immigration to be either an asset or a disadvantage to society.  Oftentimes immigration falls victim to the effects of political partisanship: pro-immigration is usually associated with Democratic views while anti-immigration sentiments are typically associated with Republican ideals.  Despite this being a common association, I want to separate immigration from being political entities for the purpose of this project.  As stated in the missions portion of this site, my goal and objective is for people to walk away more open-minded after traveling through the pages of my website.  I am not trying to influence any opinions, but my goal is to offer insight on the topic of immigration as a whole while focusing on its impacts seen throughout New Jersey.

Pro-Immigration: Those who are advocates to immigration believe immigrants to be an asset to the community.  One major points that is risen is that immigration boosts the economy.   Immigrants enter the workforce and contribute to the economy.  Additionally, immigrants are more likely to occupy the jobs where there is an urgent need for workers.  Because they are new to a country and want to take advantage of opportunities, they are willing to take jobs that sometimes American citizens are not willing to take.  Domestic immigration makes up a large portion of the diversity that is seen throughout major cities and suburban areas.  Especially in the Bergen County area, I continue to see many people speaking Spanish, Arabic, and Indian whereas many other parts of the state and country are only exposed to English.  This gives people reasons to expand their horizons and learn a new language: society is able to communicate with so many more cultures due to the presence of different languages.

Immigration’s impact on culture is likely one of the most profound effect that it has on society.  Its prevalence can advocate for diversity and inclusivity.  People are able to connect with other individuals whom they share common beliefs and traditions with.

Anti-Immigration: The other side of the immigration debate sees immigrants to be intrusive and destructive to society.  Many Americans feel that immigrants will take their jobs, lower their wages, and take financial benefits from natives.  This belief is built upon the notion that immigrants are taking from the American government where nativists think that the government should be handing out aid to its own people.  Also along the lines of economics and finances, many people are anti-immigration because they think that immigrants are misusing and even abusing welfare programs implemented to aid those who are in need.

Whereas some people see immigration’s elicitation of new languages as a benefit and advantage, some see it to be failed assimilation.  Nowadays, people feel that immigrants are hesitant and even refuse to assimilate to American culture because they fear that they will lose touch with their home land and their own personal culture.  Nationality is different from culture, however.   One cannot change their nationalities, but culture is constantly changing based on surroundings, beliefs, religious views, and tradition.

The most alarming of the cons that people list is that immigrants increase crime and bring in crime from their native countries.  Many see immigrants to be criminals, rapists, and drug dealers.  This is also what is depicted in the media, which causes such a  big stigma against allowing immigrants into the country.  It is argued that most of those incarcerated are minority groups, illegal immigrants being one of them.  People also equate immigration with illegal immigration, which fuels the gap between natives and immigrants.  People also believe that permitting mass immigration will increase the likelihood of terrorism and terroristic threats.


The gap between both sides is largely due to strong senses of nativism and patriotism; however, media is a significant contributor to the disparities seen between natives and immigrants.  Another gap is the one presented between both sides: more people are likely to speak against immigrants than speak in their defense.  Those who feel strongly enough are willing to speak on behalf of their beliefs, while those who are indifferent often do not weigh in on the debate.



Orrenius, Pia. “Immigration Outweigh the Costs.” George W. Bush Presidential Center, 2016.