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The Problem Of Illegal Immigration

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Regardless of what your personal beliefs are on the matter, the topic of illegal immigration has exploded into the spotlight with the upcoming 2016 election. The best estimate at this point, although there are no exact figures, states that there are nearly 12 million people living illegally in the United States. Opinions are as diverse as America’s population, ranging from tighter border security and the criminalization of anyone caught entering the country illegally to opening the borders and issuing invitations. What people from both sides of the argument can agree on is that the process of immigration into this country is broken and in dire need of a reboot. This essay will explore what it means to be an immigrant, the shortcomings of…show more content…
Besides the process of naturalization, there are two traditional means of citizenship. The most common is jus sanguinis, Latin for “right of blood”. It refers to those who are considered citizens based on family ties. A child born of two American citizens will likewise be considered an American citizen, even if the child was born on foreign soil. The other path, jus soli, Latin for “right of soil” is based on the physical presence in the country at the time of birth. According to Bourke (2014), of the countries considered by the International Monetary Fund to have advanced economies, only the United States and Canada offer citizenship based on birth in the country (p.29). Section I of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that any child born in the United States becomes a citizen at birth. This is known as “birthright citizenship” and has become a topic of much debate in the ongoing attempts to manage illegal immigration.
Why do people enter the United States illegally? Why not just do it the “right” way? Unfortunately, as Bourke (2014) explains,
US immigration admission standards are a complex set of preferences, categories, and numerical limits; these change yearly, making navigating the system difficult. An estimated 4.5 million people are currently waiting to have their visa applications processed. People from Mexico or the Philippines may wait nearly 15
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