Immigration in America a Hot Topic, but Why? Essay - 1790 Words



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Immigration in America: a Hot Topic, but Why?

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Research Writing

Dr. Jessica Guire

July 1, 2008

The issue in America is a very hot topic and the majority of people seem to have an opinion on the matter. While people mainly focus on the issues of illegal immigration there are many immigrants that become legal permanent residents of this country every year. According to Jefferys, Monger (2008), in a publication written for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security titled U.S. Legal Permanent Residents 2007, 1,052,415 people became legal permanent residents of this country in 2007. Maybe the issue is not that immigrants come into this country, but rather how it is accomplished. Some people classify the issue as a humanitarian issue or rather a fiscal issue, some categorize it as a legal issue.

The first issue that needs to be examined is how people immigrate to this country. Is it an easy process, is there information? The United States government does have a division that is specific to this issue alone. This division is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is called U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS is responsible for providing information about the immigration process to immigrants that wish to become legal permanent residents.

The Services that the USCIS provide to immigrants ranges from flash cards to enable the practice of studying in immigrants before they take a citizenship examination to where legal advice can be obtained regarding the immigration service. This information is openly available to all people who wish to obtain legal resident status in this country. Yes, immigrants are subjected to rigorous testing before citizenship status can be obtained. The testing asks many questions that some native born American’s cannot answer but is this asking too much from a person trying to gain access to this country? Apparently not because within the last few years over a million people have gained legal residence to this country by taking the necessary steps to obtain it. Below is a table of figures gathered from the Department of Homeland Security, which detail how many people over the last three years have legally become residents of the United States.

|Legal Residence Flow from 2005-2007 | |  |2005 |2006 |2007 | |Change in Status |383,955 |446,881 |431,368 | |New Arrivals |738,302 |819,248 |621,047 | |Total |1,122,257 |1,266,129 |1,052,415 |

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, computer linked applicant information management system (CLAIMS), legal immigrant data, Fiscal Years 2005 to 2007. Legal residence obtained 2005-2007

In addition to the table above I would like to examine where people come from that immigrate to this country. There is a large misconception of where immigrants come from, meaning where these people were born. Of the 1,052,415 people that became legal residents of this country 36.4% of them came from Asia and another 32.2% of them were born in North America, Jefferys, Monger (2008). That figure is more than two thirds the total immigrants that obtained legal citizenship status in this country. The chart below examines where the legalized residents come from. This is a substantial percentage of legalized immigrants. In addition to this fact it is also estimated that 14% of these people are born in Mexico. The misconception that surrounds immigrants is biased toward people of this nationality for the most part, but as the following graph details there are... Show More

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