Home > A3 > Is America Still the Land of the Free?

Is America Still the Land of the Free?

When America was first created, it was seen as a giant melting pot. A place where anyone could go to and be welcomed with open arms. A place of freedom to do what you pleased when you pleased it. But, America as we know it today is not as welcoming as described in the history books. Although we have over 11 million illegal immigrants who have merely been doing their jobs and not hurting anybody, Americans seem to have this idea that all illegal immigrants are bad and are trying to wreck the United States. This reasoning is why congresses’ attempts to make these immigrants citizens have been so controversial. The plan to take these people and make them legal citizens of the US would take time and effort, ensuring these people just truly want to live in the Land of the Free.138852817_66081bf2ee

Right now, in order to become a United States citizen, you must either have been born in the US or had parents who were citizens when you were born. If you do not fit either of these groups, you can apply for citizenship through either “derived” or “acquired” citizenship through parents, or you can apply for naturalization. The naturalization path is usually difficult and requires being interviewed and taking a test on English and on Civics which is composed of US History and Government.To take the naturalization test, you must be a “permanent resident for at least 5 years, be a green card holder, be able to read, write and speak English, be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles or the Constitution of the United States and well disposed to the good order of happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law”(US Citizenship and Immigration Services). In other words, you must be a good person and have positive reasons to want to live in the United States.

Illegal immigrants in the US are not green card holders, so they are not eligible to become a citizen through naturalization. Now, most citizens think, “Why can’t the government just kick out all these illegal immigrants?” Well, they cannot do this for a variety of reasons. One, if we did so, we would be losing a large percentage of our workforce. And two, we can only deport people who are violating laws. There is no reason to deport a family who is minding their own businessstop-immigration-raids1 and not hurting anybody. Since they aren’t hurting anyone, why not just make them legal citizens? This is the issue members of congress are dealing with right now. In the attempt to get more than 11 million illegal immigrants their green cards, the White House leaked an immigration bill draft on Sunday, February 17. The leaked plan called for an 8 year process in which the 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa, increased security funding for borders, and expanded E-Verify systems for employers to check employees legal status. This bill was created by all democrats and was widely disputed by republicans. Senator Marco Rubio released a statement saying, “This legislation is half baked and seriously flawed” and that it would be “dead on arrival” if it were to be sent to Congress. This bill could have been the President’s way of saying Congress is moving too slow in figuring out a bill for this. He said in Las Vegas, “if congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal…” It has been released, however that Obamas’ proposal is a “plan B” if the congress cannot come up with its’ own proposal.

Illegal immigration has been a big issue in the US for quite a while, and legislators are working hard to solve the issue. While there is a “Gang of Eight” who have dedicated all their time to solving the issue of illegal immigration and illegal immigrants, they are still not going fast enough for President Obama. The hope is to get a plan by March, but we will see what happens, and how congress decides to deal with the current situation.

Author: GOV_NicoleH

  1. February 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    The introduction is really good. I like the comparison between the perception of immigrants in America in the old days, and the perception of immigration today. It opens up your article in an interesting way of showing how America has changed so much. I do think though that “Land of the Free” should be in quotations. Maybe also add another picture because the later half of your blog post just looks like a lot of text. Also be sure to add the link to the picture or a caption. Very nice post!

  2. February 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Great job Nicole! I love your topic and your point of view on it, I totally agree! Some people have such a narrow view and just want to kick out all immigrants, but don’t realize that they are the ones who do alot of the hard jobs that keep our country running. Most of the time they are just trying to provide for their families and are not cause anyone any harm, so we should try to help them as much as we can, and allow them to be US citizens. I would say maybe add another picture, but thats it! Nicely done!

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