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Immigration to the United States

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The Immigration Debate US immigration laws in the last 25 years • 1980 - Refugee Act increased overall refugee quotas to 270,000 • 1986 - Immigration Reform and Control Act granted lawful permanent residency to over 2.7 million undocumented immigrants • 1990 - Immigration Act established categories of employment and placed cap of number of non-immigrant workers • 1996 - Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act - imposed strict penalties against illegal immigration and expanded definition of deportable offenses • 2001-Green Card Through the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act • 2006 The Secure Fence Act authorizes the construction of 1,127 kilometers of double-layered fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. • 2012…show more content…
2001 Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act • Enabled certain individuals who are present in the United States who would not normally qualify to apply for adjustment of status in the United States to obtain a green card (permanent residence) regardless of: – The manner they entered the United States – Working in the United States without authorization – Failing to continuously maintain lawful status since entry By the end of 2009: • of the nearly 2.7 million individuals who became legal permanent residents under the LIFE Act, barely 41% had gone on to exercise the option to naturalize. In other words, when offered the chance to become citizens, the overwhelming majority of the undocumented have settled for less. Why would this be? • Ambivalence or indifference toward citizenship among illegals. • Americans find it difficult, perhaps even offensive, to believe that immigrants might cling to the notion of eventually returning home or spurn the opportunity to become American. • The primary goal of most undocumented immigrants continues to be what originally drew them here: supporting their families, whether back home or in the United States Resistance “In the past 50 years, polling data have charted a deepening opposition to immigration, linked in part, it appears, to economic concerns.” • National Academy of Science study: Smith, James P. & Barry Emondston, eds., “The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration” (1997) Biggest
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