Court Essays Example

The American Immigration System

Immigration is a contentious issue in America today and many people and advocacy groups are highly opinionated on issues relating to immigration. The tone of the article generally depends on the viewpoint of the organization publishing the article. There are several barriers to United State citizenship including financial barriers, language barriers, and simply misinformation. The United States’ attitude to towards immigration seems to ebb and flow between encouraging and discouraging immigration.
Several article discuss the financial barriers, a structural barrier, that immigrants face when applying for citizenship. An article from the National Institute of Immigration Law Center discusses the various fees applicants for citizenship must pay, including a $680 to file for citizenship (Financial Barrier to Citizenship). This article is very sympathetic to the immigrants and the financial barriers they faced, the article even discusses the fines that illegal immigrants must pay in order to file for permanent residency or citizenship. The article does not assume anything about immigrants, but it does make sense. Many immigrants work low-paying jobs, so it seems problematic that citizenship fees are very high.
Another article, this one by the Pew Research centers, cites that eighteen percent of Latinos cite the financial barriers to citizenship as the main reason they have not become a citizen, this is the third largest reason given by Latinos (Gonzalez-Barrera, Lopez, Passel, and Taylor). The article overall is very neutral on the issue, as it is simply explaining the findings of the polls and not necessarily taking a stance on those issues. This article does not assume anything about immigrants. This article not only makes sense, but is very informative as it is polling information.
Another barrier to citizenship is the language barrier, a cultural barrier. The Pew Research cited earlier found that language barriers were the single largest reason citizens avoided applying for citizenship (Gonzalez-Barrera, Lopez, Passel, and Taylor). As explained in an article published by Northwestern University, inability for applicants to speak English stops many people from attempting to gain citizenship (Khan, 2012). The Northwestern University article is clearly sympathetic to immigrants and makes the assumption that immigrants want to apply for citizenship, they simply cannot due to language barriers. The article was very informative, and it was interesting to see a non-hispanic focused story.
Another article, published by New America Media, found that many citizenship applicants overestimate the difficulty of the English language test that they are required to pass (Shore, Jan. 2014). The article is once against sympathetic to plight of immigrants and calls for better communication from the government.
American society both encourages and discourages immigration, it seems that the sentiment ebbs and flows between the two attitudes. On one hand, the United States has a diversity lottery with the simple goal of increasing diversity in the United States, thousands of people win the diversity lottery every year and are given the fast track to immigrate to the United States simply because they were picked at random (Diversity Visa Process). On the other hand, the Diversity Visa has strict requirements and most people who win the diversity lottery not only do make it to the United States, but often have their visa rejected by the U.S. (Camarota, 2004).

Works Cited

Carmota, Steven. “What’s Wrong With the Visa Lottery.” April 29, 2004. Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved from http://cis.org/node/541
“Diversity Visa Process.” n.d. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved from http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/entry.html
“Financial Barriers to Citizenship.” June 6, 2012. National Immigration Law Center. Retrieved from http://www.nilc.org/financialbarriercitizenshiprev.html
Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana, Lopez, Hugo Mark, Passel, Jeffrey S., and Taylor, Paul. “IV. Reasons for Not Naturalizing. Nov. 14, 2012. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/11/14/iv-reasons-for-not-naturalizing/
Khan, Mariam. “Language barrier and lack of citizenship hinders Bosnian community from voting; many still support Obama.” Oct. 25, 2012. Northwestern.edu. Retrieved from http://newsarchive.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news-209623.html
Shore, Elena. “Fear, Language and Money – San Jose Ethnic Media Tackle Barriers to Citizenship.” Jan. 23, 2014. NewAmerianMedia.Org. Retrieved from http://newamericamedia.org/2014/01/fear-language-and-money----san-jose-ethnic-media-tackle-barriers-to-citizenship.php

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