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Immigraton in the U.S.
While immigration has played an important role in the building
and formation of America, new federal laws have resulted in mass
immigration. ďAmerica was primarily founded on immigrants,
however, immigration must be controlled legally, and immigrants
should be treated equally despite what country they come from.
America has the most liberal laws towards immigrants than any other
country.Ē Luis Barker, Chief Patrol Agent In-Charge, US Border Patrol,
El Paso, TX. Throughout history, Congress has enacted laws and has
had to amend them to control the flow of both legal and illegal
migration to the United States.
In 1948, legislation was first enacted in an effort to control the
number of applicants fleeing persecution; it permitted 205,000
refugees to enter the United States. In 1952, Congress set in place
major regulations setting parameters and quotas mostly for the
eastern hemisphere and leaving the western hemisphere unrestricted.
In 1953, congress was again faced with having to increase the
number of refugees from 205,000 to 415,000. In order to qualify as a
refugee one must have a well founded fear of persecution, not be
firmly resettled in a third country, and must not be an aggravated
felon. In 1965, the national originís quota system was abolished but
still maintained was the principle of numerical by establishing
170,000 hemispheric and 20,000 per country ceilings and a seven
category preference system. This system included the spouses of
lawful resident aliens, brother and sisters of United States citizens,
skilled and unskilled workers. To present date spouses and minor
children of US citizens are exempt any quota system. In 1980, the
refugee act removed them from the preference category and
established clear criteria and procedures for their admission. In
1986, Congress was faced with yet another national crisis which it
attempted to resolve by enacting the Immigration Reform and Control
Act (IRCA). IRCA was considered to be the most comprehensive act
which was to grant amnesty to those who had resided in the US
illegally since January 1, 1982, (2) created sanctions against persons
and companies that hired illegal aliens, (3) created the a new
classification of temporary agriculture and granted amnesty to such
workers, (4) created a new visa waiver pilot program (VWPP) allowing
the admission of certain non-immigrants without visas, (4) created
legislature for conditional status for those couples whose marriage is
less than two years prior to immigrating to the US. Under IRCA 2.7
illegal aliens mostly from Mexico were given legal immigrant status.
These new laws opened the door to the longest and largest wave of
immigration ever-27 million since 1965, including illegal entries.
The visa waiver pilot program (VWPP) is designed to extend
reciprocity to the countries that permit US citizens to visit their
countries without the need of a tourist visa. To date a total of
twenty-nine countries are signatory to the treaty. In order to qualify,
countries must have a low rate of non-immigrant overstays to the US,
and must have state of the art machine readable passports.
Prior to the enactment of IRCA, marriage fraud between
non-citizens and US citizens was rampant and out of control.
Measures were put in place to reduce this by requiring couples to
submit proof to INS. This proof must show that the couple has been
living together and submitted ninety days prior to the second
anniversary. If the couple fails to establish that the marriage is valid,
the non-citizen will not become a lawful permanent resident and will
be faced with and order of deportation. The only exception, is that
the non-citizen cannot be the subject of spousal abuse and be
expected to remain in the marriage for the two years.
After almost thirteen years, Congress and the United States
citizens have had the misfortune of reflecting on the blunders of the
Immigration Reform Act of 1986(IRCA). The amnesty permanently
added millions of poor people to our society. A study done by the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showed that after ten
years in the United States, the average amnestied illegal alien had
only a seventh grade education and an annual salary of less than
$9,000 a year. The cost of amnesty to the American taxpayer is
unbelievable. According to a recent study by the Center for American
studies, the total net cost of amnesty after ten years comes to over
$78 billion dollars. An amnesty sends the message that itís okay to
break the law. Eventually, it says, you will be forgiven, even
rewarded for doing so. Further-more, it makes a mockery of the legal
immigration process, where-in those who obey the rules, wait years to
immigrate. Their is a list of 3.6 million
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Immigration law, Immigration to the United States, Demography, Population, CubaUnited States relations, Illegal immigration, Immigration reform, Immigration detention, Immigration Reform and Control Act, United States Border Patrol, Naturalization, Immigration
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