has been the destination for millions of foreign families in search of a better life outside of their native country. Often fleeing harsh conditions, foreigners have migrated to the U.S.
for a chance to work hard and prosper. Although many migrants have been unwelcome, the abundance of immigrants from around the world has given America its rich, diverse population and has helped the country grow economically and culturally. The U.S. Government should provide undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship because the current path to citizenship is difficult, immigrants have a positive impact on the economy and it is essential to the moral health of the United States.
Throughout the course of American history, the path to obtaining American citizenship had been relatively straightforward. Essentially, there were far less regulations in the 19th century. Although there were restrictions against criminals and the sickly, when Ellis Island was built in 1892 it was, “virtually an open door for Western Europeans” (Ludden). In addition to allowing countless European immigrants into the country, Mexican immigrants were not restricted from migrating to the United States (Ludden). Moreover, journalist Jennifer Ludden goes on to describe that there was “no Border Patrol,” or the agency currently sent to keep watch over the U.S. border. Thus, such minimal regulations resulted in greatest influx of immigrants this country had known (Ludden).
Contrarily, obtaining U.S. citizenship today is a complicated, lengthy process. The first step in obtaining citizenship is to apply for “Lawful Prospective Immigrant Status” which allows undocumented immigrants to, “work and travel...
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...oods have particularly high crime rates (Davidson). Arriving to the country “broke and unemployed,” many immigrants are out of work and on a job search for long periods of time with no assistance (Dalmia).
Ultimately, immigration has played a central role in America’s economy and multicultural community. Accordingly, the United States government has a moral obligation to ensure that noncriminal tax paying undocumented immigrants can become American citizens in a timely, efficient manner instead of having to wait as long as 13 years. As I have shown, undocumented immigrants make significant contributions to the U.S. economy through paying taxes and social security while being unable to receive benefits and having to face separation from their families through deportation. For these reasons, illegal immigrants should unquestionably be granted a path to citizenship.
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