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 take down the United States. This reasoning is why congresses’ attempts to make these immigrants citizens have been so controversial. The plan to take these 138852817_66081bf2eepeople 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.

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 ambitions for living 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 much of 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. mariai14
    February 26, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I really liked your intro because it made me want to keep reading your reflection. Overall, I thought you did really well! The leaked plan article was very helpful in helping me understand immigration better.

  2. February 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Great essay! I really liked it and found it very interesting. Maybe turn the third paragraph into two smaller ones because its easier for the readers to follow along. Besides that i really liked it and i think you will be getting an A.

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