The paper begins with a brief identification of the research question, which is followed by a historical narration about the issue of immigration in the United States. It offers statistical data regarding the number of immigrants absorbed legally in the country. A hypothesis is outlined in the second paragraph with the main argument being put across with supporting evidence and illustrations. The paper focuses on the significance of immigration towards the country, which makes it difficult to control immigration. Social interactions together with the failure to meet the proposed policies have also been outlined as factors leading to increased rates of immigration.
Research Question on Immigration
Legal immigration has contributed towards population growth and exchange of different cultures in the entire history of the United States. Since the U.S. is a colonial settler civilization, most of the Americans can map out their ancestry to immigrants from other nations across the globe. According to Zong, Batalova, and Hallock (2018), the United States has a large immigrant population standing at approximately 44 million immigrants in 2016. This is a huge number when compared to the rest of the world considering that the number of immigrants across the world is a slightly larger fraction than the population of immigrants in the United States. According to the United Nations census, there are 244 million immigrants living across the world (Harrigan and Seo, 2017). This makes America among the largest recipients of immigrants across the world. According to Camarota and Zeigler (2017), in 2016, America admitted 1.8 million immigrants through lawful and unlawful means, mostly seeking a better life or seeking to rejoining their families and acquire a meaningful employment. The diversity visa program was a relatively less significant contributor to the number of people being admitted into the United States being admitted as refugees or people seeking asylum. With the number of immigrants increasing on daily basis, a question arises on whether the U.S. government is capable of controlling the number of people entering the country.
The United States immigration seems to be losing track in the fight against immigration as people continue getting into the country every day, using legal and illegal means in search of greener pastures. The social, political, and economic characteristics of immigration have brought about controversies concerning issues such as maintaining racial homogeneity, patterns of settlement, crime, social mobility impacts, as well as, voting behaviors. Before 1965, the national origins policy helped in controlling immigration as well as neutralizing opportunities for people outside the continent (Ben, 2010, p. 45). The Law of Exclusion that had been enacted in 1880 severely restricted or rather prohibited Asian immigrants from entering the United States (Dvorak, 2009, p. 18). Later in 1920, the quota laws were enacted and as a result, Eastern European immigrants were curtailed. Civil rights organizations were formed, which in return resulted in the replacement of the ethnic quotas with limits per county. As a result, the number of immigrants entering the country has dramatically increased.
The United States government has failed in formulating rigid laws concerning the issue of immigration leading to increased social and political challenges in the country. Based on research, immigration turns out to be a very significant aspect to the economy of the U.S. Immigration has brought about positive effects in the economy, which in return has benefited the native population (Bankston, 2009, p. 21). However, the immigration of people with low skills and qualifications has brought about negative impacts, which are largely felt by the native population with low skills. Studies have shown that immigrants have low rates of criminal activities in the country as compared to the native population (Ilana, 2011, p. 49). For the past five decades, the United States has excelled in admitting immigrants as compared to other countries from the west.
Controlling the number of people entering the United States on both legal and illegal basis turns out to be a difficult task to various stakeholders in the administration. The country faces a crisis in the Mexican border whereby people cross illegally without considering the underlying dangers and expenses incurred in the migration process (Dermot, 2011, p. 92). The federal government has worked towards ensuring that all undocumented immigrants have no avenues of accessing legal entry by using restrictive legal efforts such as limiting green cards and eliminating low skilled immigrants’ visas. In the early 21st century, policymakers called for increased enforcement if the illegal immigrants’ laws in the United States. In their debates, they proposed the building of a barrier along the U.S. and Mexican border, as well as, the creation of new programs for guest workers. However, as of 2010, the proposals that had been made in debates that took place in 2006, has not been acted upon, with only a few proposals been enacted into laws with the border fence being built partially and subsequently being canceled after disapproval.
Social attributes have made it difficult for the United States to control the rate of immigration in the country. In 1930, the number of immigrants into the country was mostly made up of male workers who came in for various reasons. For the past two decades, the number of women and children immigrants has increased dramatically (Jacqueline, 2006, p. 635). Current immigrants are usually young as compared to the native population, and because of social interaction with the local population, married people are less likely to get divorced compared to the native population under the same age bracket. Immigrants can easily live in areas that are made up of people from similar ethnic backgrounds. This trend has proved to be true in the entire history of the U.S. Most of the immigrants that are living illegally or legally in the United States intend to secure a permanent citizenship. Public attitudes regarding the U.S. immigration have changed with most of the Native Americans viewing immigration to be a good thing for the entire country. Americans believe that ensuring tight immigration controls can help in enhancing national security although the current situation of massive immigration can lead to the divergence of the United States.
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