Should Illegal Aliens Currently Living
in the United States be Granted Permanent Residency Status?
A Brief History of U.S. Immigration • In 1790, an act was adopted establishing a
uniform requirement of 2 years of residency for naturalization to the U.S.
• In 1875, a direct federal regulation of immigration was established by a law that prohibited the entry of prostitutes and convicts.
• In 1891, the Bureau of Immigration was established under the Treasury Department to federally administer all immigration laws.
A Brief History of U.S. Immigration • The Immigration Act of 1924 focused on
restricting immigration from Southern and Eastern Europeans. (2% Rule)
• The Nationals Origins Formula of 1929 made the quotas of the 1924 act permanent, excluding Asians.
• The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 (McCarran-Walter Act) combined the multiple laws which governed immigration and naturalization at that time into one comprehensive statute with four parts.
A Brief History of U.S. Immigration • The Immigration Act of 1965 (Hart-Cellar Act)
changed the criteria for admitting immigrants from concentrating on their nationality to focusing on their skills and profession.
• The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 granted amnesty to illegal aliens who had been in the U.S. before 1982 and made it a crime to hire an illegal alien.
• The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 adopted stronger penalties against illegal immigration and streamlined the deportation process. Docsity.com
Legal Immigration to the U.S. • Family Immigration Program admits spouses, parents, and
minor children of U.S. citizens without numerical limits and limited categories adult sons and daughters of citizens, siblings of citizens, and the spouses and children of non-citizens.
• Employment based- collection of preferences ranging from “priority workers” to unskilled, and religious workers, and investors.
• Humanitarian- refugees, asylees, and those receiving “cancellation of removal”
• Visa lottery for people from countries other than the primary sources of current immigration.
What Attracts Illegal Immigrants to the U.S.?
• Many are attracted by jobs. The typical Mexican worker earns 1/10th of what his American counterpart makes.
• Communities of recently arrived legal immigrants help create immigration networks used by illegal aliens and serve as incubators for illegal immigration, providing jobs, housing, and entrance to America for illegal- alien relatives and fellow countrymen.
Permanent Residency Status = Green Card
• Green Card recipients may travel freely to and from the U.S. and are considered permanent residents. They are legally entitled to work as well as health, education, taxation, retirement, social security, and other benefits and may also serve as sponsors for their relatives seeking immigration Visas (Green Cards).
• A Green Card holder may later apply for U.S. Citizenship and still maintain citizenship in his/her country of origin.
• Green Cards are valid for a lifetime.
Current Immigration Figures
• 34.24 million immigrants (legal and illegal) are now living in the U.S. This is the highest number of immigrants ever recorded in American history.
• There are 10 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.
• In the past 4 years there has been a 4.3 million increase in the number of immigrants in America, 2 million comes from illegal immigration.
• The U.S. admits between 700,000 to 900,000 legal immigrants each year.
• Each year there is an increase of 500,000 illegal immigrants.
Pro Arguments: National Security
• Granting current illegal immigrants permanent residency status will not harm national security.
• Terrorists already enter the U.S. illegally and they would not take this opportunity to become American citizens because of the background checks and screening that would be involved before being given permanent residency status. Docsity.com
Pro Arguments: Criminality
• Having the strength and determination to create a better life for yourself and your family should not be considered a crime.
• Many illegal immigrants after coming to America become contributing members of our society.
Pro Arguments: Economy • Legalization equals taxation, granting illegal immigrants
amnesty will remove the fear of deportation and encourage them to participate more fully in the economy.
• Illegal immigration fills the gaps in the low end of the labor market occupying jobs not desired by American workers.
• Low-wages for immigrants may enable threatened American businesses to survive competition from low-wage businesses abroad.
• Granting amnesty is more cost efficient than deportation.
Pro Arguments: Integration
• The government is responsible for allowing illegal immigrants here in the first place due to their lack of funding and other oversights.
• Illegal immigrants have become integrated into the community and should be granted permanent residency status.
Con Arguments: National Security
• Allowing amnesty to illegal immigrants only encourages more illegal immigration making it easier for terrorists to enter the U.S.
Con Arguments: Criminality
• It is necessary to make distinctions between those who obey the law and those who violate it.
• Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is rewarding lawbreakers and undermines our ability to regulate immigration. It also legitimizes illegal immigration by incorporating it into our immigration policy.
Con Arguments: Economy • It is a myth that immigration to the U.S. is largely connected to
the availability of employment. • Illegal immigrants deplete social services, education, and
emergency medical care paid for by American citizens. • Based on Census Bureau data, a study found that when all
costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than 10 billion dollars in 2002. This study also estimated that if amnesty for illegal aliens was granted the net fiscal deficit would grow to 29 billion dollars.
Consensus We should not grant illegal immigrants
permanent residency status because:
• it would only encourage more illegal immigration • the majority of illegal immigrants are
uneducated/unskilled and if granted amnesty they would create a major drain on the economy
• we should not break the promise made to the American people in 1986 that granting permanent residency to illegal immigrants would only occur once
Asylum • A form of protection that allows individuals who are in the
U.S. to remain here, provided that they meet the definition of a refugee and are not barred from either applying for or being granted asylum. Eventually asylees are able to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident.
• A refugee is a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
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Africa E. Asia
Former Soviet Union
Near East/South Asia
Authorization of Refugee Status 2003