Essay Closing the Golden Door

Essay 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 ...


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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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