America as a Nation of Immigrants Essay

America as a Nation of Immigrants Essay

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America as a Nation of Immigrants


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" Americans have seen times when the door was open wide and times when it was close shut to most immigrants (Sure 4). Many people 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, makes it imperative that our government reexamines and adjusts today's immigration laws to today's standards. Those standards, however, are not easily defined. Too often the issue of immigration is used as a political tool or is lost in heated moral debates (Sure 6). In any discussion about immigration there will be those who claim it is good for our nation and those who claim it is ruining the nation.
Americans are now 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 (Briggs 240). 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? All new immigrants, both legal and illegal must be considered in this equation. Congress can attempt to ease the burden of legal immigration by passing restrictive laws and only allowing inside those who they believe will become self-sufficient. Congress must also find a way to slow the flow of illegal immigration by enforcing the laws already in place Mont 16).
America most certainly has immigration problems, but eliminating immigration will no...


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... 1924-1952. 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: 4-40
"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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