The Immigration Process

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The United States is a nation of immigrants. While many may believe that a majority of current immigrants are of Hispanic descent, immigrants, both legal and illegal, come from all over the world for various reasons. Immigration is the international movement of persons into another country in which they originally do not have citizenship in1. These people are formally known as ‘immigrants’ or sometimes as ‘illegal aliens’, if without legal documentation. Typically in order to immigrate to another country proper authorization and legal documents are needed, but the process takes time and money, of which many do not have. The immigration process is lengthy, estimated to currently take some up to two or more years2. Immigration began with our …show more content…
This wave consists of much of the immigrants still tiding into America today including Hispanic, Indian, and Asian natives. With each immigration wave that the United States has experienced, the culture and context of life in the United States have changed extensively. The U.S. has, undoubtedly the world’s largest immigrant population, holding about one-in-five of the world’s immigrants3. The nation has become a melting pot with a mixture of cultures, ideas, and peoples from various places and ways of life, all conjoining in one nation. Over forty-two million immigrants presently reside within the borders of the United States2. That’s approximately just over thirteen percent of the country’s total population. Immigrants have added seventy-two million people to the nation’s population as it grew from one hundred-ninety three million in 1965 to three-hundred-four million in 20153. Yet why exactly is immigration such a major and highly controversial issue in the …show more content…
Immigration has been a topic of concern for a long time, with various policies being attempted to be implemented. The first immigration reform policy was emplaced in 1790. The Naturalization Act of 1790 established the rules and requirements for natural citizenship8. It was possibly the most influential act ever passed since it was the country’s first step toward immigration reform, and helped lay the path for future reforms. From that point until now, 2016, over 30 further immigration reform policies have been implemented. While some were successful or had promise, others were far from and were either abolished like the quota acts system that was based off of national origins, or restructured. Some of the most important of the acts passed includes the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) of the U.S. Constitution and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The fourteenth amendment was added to the Constitution to establish for the first time, that children born on US soil would be granted citizenship, regardless if their parents are legal or not. This laid the path down for thousands if not millions of children born within U.S. borders to have citizenship within the states and cannot be deported if their parents are. The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) defined a plethora of

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