The process to becoming a legal immigrant and gaining citizenship is a very long and complex process. One must first get a visa to enter the country. This already is a long process because the fastest way to get a visa is if you have a relative in the country to sponsor you and this way can take years. Once they are in, they must apply for a green card, which there is only a small demand for. After getting their green card, they must live in the country for five years and then apply for citizenship after that. To apply for citizenship, the person must go through an interview and take an Oath of Allegiance. This lengthy process is a reason why it is so difficult to become a legal immigrant.
We know that immigrants will work for lower than minimum wage, which is a benefit for businesses and immigrants, in a way. Businesses of course will have a greater demand for labor because the price of factors of production is minimal. This also provides more jobs to the immigrants, but the wage at which they work is very low. The price of a green card is at least $1000, but can go as high as $6500. There is actually very little demand for green cards because, of course, all immigrants want green cards but at the wage they are paid, the ability to pay for one is almost impossible. Once they have their green card and have lived in the US for 5 years, they must go through an interview, which another lengthy process. To apply for citizenship and naturalization, one must pay for an interview and answer questions about our country. This requires a personal investment of their time to study our country, as well as gives the immigrant another fee to pay. The process to becoming a legal immigrant is very long, complex, and costly, which is why it is near impossible to becoming a legal immigrant.
Of course, this raises some new questions: Why doesn’t the government make the process to become a legal immigrant easier? Would people prefer to be an illegal immigrant and have a chance at being caught, or would it be better to become a legal immigrant and be safer? What are the benefits to being a legal immigrant, rather than an illegal one? The costs?