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Henry Cole Baxter

UWRT 1102


Major Assignment #4

Most people in this country that were born here and never had to work

to acquire their legal civilization dont realize how it is nearly impossible to

acquire a green card for the majority of immigrants that want to become

citizens of the U.S. Immigration is, and always has been a key foundation and

attribute of this country, and the fact that the whole process of becoming a

legal immigrant is so tedious and expensive should be addressed and

changed to better the country that we live in today. The fact of the matter is
that with more immigration, this country achieves more success in almost

every way when immigration is done the right way. More jobs open up, more

jobs are created, the economic status of the country is enhanced in so many

different ways. Not only is immigration important in an economical way, but

when it comes to American identity, this country was formed by

immigrants traveling over and making this country the melting pot of the

world and that is why it is such an amazing place that we live in today.

A few statistics of immigration in the past few years are an astounding

representation of how the limitations that our process of legal immigration

has effected immigrants who want to come to America. In 2015, a little over

one million people were granted lawful permanent residence in the United

States. 15% from Mexico, 6% from India, 7% from China, almost 6% from the

Philippines, and 5% from Cuba. After immigration, the states where legal

residents live are California, New York, Florida, Texas, and new Jersey. Out of

those one million people, 730,250 of them became naturalized US citizens,

which is what they call it when they have to go through the whole process.

The average length of time it took for these people to become legal was

seven years while in LPR status. The Department of homeland security states

that there were about 11.4 million immigrants living in the United States

illegally. The top countries of origin for the illegal immigrants were Mexico at

59%, El Salvador at 6%, Guatemala at 5%, and Honduras and the Philippines

at 6%. Unauthorized immigrants in the US tend to be young, while authorized

immigrants tend to be older.(CNN,2017)

The underlying reason for immigration for the majority of these people

is to find work because it is either too difficult or too dangerous to find proper

work in the country that they are trying to immigrate from. Many people are

starting to realize that there must be a reason for the ridiculously high

numbers of immigrants wanting to come to the United States. There have

been a few ideas proposed to help the lower end of those immigrants

wanting to become legal. One idea is a new merit based green card category

for those on the lower end of the scale when it comes to less skilled workers

or less educated immigrants. In the past, the people with a higher education,

or a highly skilled history in certain trades have had the upper hand when it
comes to receiving their green card because the country looks at them as

more of an asset to the economy than the lower end immigrants which

usually tend to be younger as well. This new merit based green card

category was introduced in 2013 and it would issue about 250,000 new

green cards a year. Half of these 250,000 green cards would be reserved for

the mid skilled, and lower skilled workers while the rest will go to the higher

skilled workers like they have in the past. These higher skilled workers are

usually skilled in English or computer work or certain trade skills learned in

their home country. Another great idea proposed is to let individual states

created their own immigration processes or programs in order to specify on

who they let in and for what reasons they let these people become legal.

This would give states the opportunity to create categories for immigrants

that they are letting in. For example, they could make categories for a

certain amount of lower tier workers they let in, middle tier workers, and

higher tier workers such as entrepreneurs, investors and workers as well.

This program has shown great success in countries like Canada and

Australia. The advantage of this system is that instead of using the federal

system which is unresponsive and broad when it comes to the people chosen

for occupancy as well as using the one size fits all federal program, this

idea would allow states to create their own specific categories, numbers, and

reasons to apply legal immigration. The federal government allows states to

abide by this theory when it comes to welfare, gun laws, tax policies,

highway laws, and much more. So why shouldnt the federal government let
states apply their own immigration laws, rules and processes. It is time that

the government begins to take immigration seriously and more importantly

fairly, and grant states the individual ability to set up their own migration

systems and processes. Another idea proposed is to produce a constant

permanent immigration tariff that would charge people with a certain but

reasonable price to achieve their working visa or green card. Not only would

this make the process of immigration a whole lot easier but it would create

an extreme amount of incoming currency from immigrants paying to come

here and work. Say it was 15,000 dollars, although this price is steep, it

would be cheaper than the average of about 25,000 dollars that immigrants

end up paying in lawyer fees and much more before they are done with the

whole immigration process.

During the research that I conducted about illegal and legal

immigration into this country, one of the main questions that I kept asking

myself is what are the main reasons people come to this country illegally,

and what do they think about themselves after breaking the law to come to

this country. I ran across an article where an experiment was conducted by

sociologist Emily Ryo.(Ryo,2014) This study was performed in order to

possibly give law makers and law enforcers, as well as legal citizens that

think badly of illegal immigrants a better understanding of why these people

do what they do even though they understand the risk they are taking by

breaking the law and coming to this country illegally. The questions Emily

aspired to answer were What do the border crossers think of themselves

and their decisions? and How could that information shape the US thinking

about immigration? The fact of the matter is that the risks of getting

arrested, considering the punishment are not significant determinants when

it comes to making the call to come into the country illegally. The thing is,

our policies put into place that are supposed to enforce the policies and

punishments are not hardly even a factor in the significant determinants

when it comes to the decision they make to come here illegally because

many immigrants simply disagree with the policies put into place. Many of

them morally disagree with these policies, and so these preventative

policies actually hardly effect the decisions that are made to migrate

illegally. What Emily found is that in fact, Many immigrants not only believe

that they are moral people and that they would like to stick to these morals,

but they believe that they are helping the United States. The way a lot of

these immigrants look at the situation is that they are doing the United

States a huge favor by deciding to work certain jobs that many other people

would not do in a million years. This work that many of them do is work that

is easily found because it is very hard, physically, and morally. I know this

because of personal experience. Over the summers, I work construction and

so I see this affect first handedly. I can tell you right now that out of about 65

to 70 workers in the crews out there, there are only three Caucasians that

work there, and two of them are just truck drivers because they have their

CDL, and nothing more. I can guarantee that hardly any legal citizens would

do this kind of work for the pay that is received simply because it is grunt
work and the fact of the matter is that people dont respect the ones out

there in the field every day for 14 hours or more like they should. As I said in

my last assignment, I have talked to many of them about their reasoning for

coming to the country and the majority of them said that they came for

safety, and to provide for their families. I can tell you right now that these

men and women will do anything it take to take care of their families. Many

of these illegal immigrants stated in this experiment/survey, that because of

our refusal to grant them legal status, they see that as a pretty hypocritical

stand, that were benefiting from their labor, while at the same time were

saying, We dont want you here. The thing is, many people dont realize

how much these working illegal immigrants really do benefit our country as a

whole. Without those low level workers doing the grunt work, this country

would not be close to as prosperous as it is today. I believe that more people

need to realize this and push for a change in the system. There are so many

ways that we could change the system to better the chances of immigrants

becoming legal, but without educating the average citizen that views the

immigrants as criminals, we will not be able to make any change for these

people. Without the voice of people to push this movement, there is no hope

to change these laws and processes, and these immigrants will never be able

to properly build a healthy, good life for themselves where they dont have to

constantly be looking over their shoulders. Living in fear that at any moment,

the government could take everything that they care about and love away is

no way for a person to live. Especially when that person is only trying to
make and honest living and provide for his or her family. A change needs to

be made.

"Why do people cross the border illegally? It's not what you think." Los
Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

"Immigration Statistics Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 07 Feb. 2017.
Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

"Why Don't They Just Get In Line?" American Immigration Council. N.p., 29
Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
"Immigration." How To Become A Legal Immigrant | Bartlett & Weigle Co.,
L.P.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Ribitzky, Romy. "Path to U.S. Citizenship Costly, Tedious." ABC News. ABC
News Network, 03 July 1970. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

"4 Paths to Legal Status for Undocumented Immigrants." CitizenPath. N.p., 21

Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.