Closing the Golden Door

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Closing the Golden Door America has, is, and will always be a nation of immigrants: the great melting pot. In the years that have passed since Emma Lazarus’ poem was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty “the golden door” has seen times when it was open wide and times when it was closed shut to almost all immigrants. Many people tend to look at the present immigration problems as a purely modern dilemma. The truth is America has always struggled with the issue of immigration, both legal and illegal. Changing times however make it imperative that our government re-examine and adjust today’s immigration laws to today’s standards. Those standards however are not easily defined. All too often the issue of immigration is used as a political tool or is lost in heated moral debates. In any discussion about immigration you will have those who claim it is good for our nation and those who claim it is ruining the nation. More often than not the bottom line in any debate of this sort is money; will more or less immigration mean more or less money for those already in America. The moral debates come down to a question of who we are as a nation and how we want the rest of the world to perceive Americans. If this great country was forged and built by immigrants passing through “the golden door” , then how can this same country turn away new immigrants. The inscription on the Statue of Liberty invites all to enter, yet not all are allowed to enter. Immigration has become a selective process with many gray areas. Now Americans are faced with a new dilemma; the nation must decide not whether it is willing to accept new immigrants, but whether it can afford new immigrants. All new immigrant, both legal and illegal must be c... ... middle of paper ... ... New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957. “ “Immigration Enforcement Improvements Act of 1995”:FAct Sheet”. ‘Lectric Law Library. 9 Nov. 1999 *http://lectlaw.com/files/imm05.htm* Kirschten, Dick. “Supply and Demand.” Government Executive 31 (May 1999): 16. Marley, Bruce Robert. “Exiling the new felons:The consequences of the retroactive application of aggravated felony convictions to lawful permanent residents.” San Diego Law Review 35 (1998 Summer): 855-895. Mont, Daniel. “Welfare and Immigrants.” Migration World 6 (1996): 8-20. Suro, Robert. Watching America’s Door: The Immigration Backlash and the New Policy Debate. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund Press, 1996. “United States;The Next Masses.” Economist 1 May 1999: 26-28. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Strategic Plan: Toward INS 2000: Accepting the Challenge.

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