why are U.S. citizenship to illegal immigrants being denied?

Citizenship Reform Act of 2005, is a bill introduced in Congress that would deny U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants. Some supporters said it would be a good way to control the number of people who have the right to citizenship. Citizenship is a fundamental right that cannot be taken away by Congress. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States each year. “The most basic, fundamental right is the right to citizenship in the country where you were born” said by an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. Most children that are born in the U.S. are considered citizens under the 14th amendment in the constitution. However there are people that oppose this and say that the 14th amendment doesn’t cover that.

The  interpretation of the 14th Amendment has always  been that anyone born within the U.S. is automatically a U.S. citizen with privileges and voting rights when they are considered adults, regardless of whom their parents are.”Citizenship means you have some stake in this country; it’s not just an accident of geography,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman of the federation, which supports the measure. This is needed because people are coming to the country to have babies and get government benefits. it’s simply not fair for the children of illegal immigrants and people on tourist visas to receive automatic citizenship, because of their babies.

 

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/article_5ef567de-4a15-5605-95fc-02ecd38df5f6.html

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/article_e8e16da9-9644-54ba-a2e7-eef1383d8a4e.html

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What are some reasons why the DREAM Act should not be passed?

**Disclaimer: This post does not reflect my view on this issue, but I am simply discussing this side of the argument for the sake of this blog.**

After the DREAM Act was defeated in Congress, there has been much outrage. Although there are many supporters of this piece of legislation, there are also some opponents who have reasons that you might not be aware of.

One reason is the belief that the bill will encourage illegal immigrants to flood the borders. As Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “The American people are pleading with Congress to enforce our laws, but this bill at its core is a reward for illegal activity.” The DREAM Act would have allowed approximately 2.1 million people to be legalized, and these people can then sponsor relatives to legally come here, creating a huge incentive for illegal immigrant to bring children into the US. The reason this is a problem is that the law enables children to receive benefits such as education and welfare at taxpayer expenses. According to congress.org, one major example of how the DREAM Act is unfair to taxpayers and American students is that it allows aliens who become legal residents to be eligible for in-state tuition benefits. Is this fair for the legal citizens of America?

Senator Sessions also noted that an increase in illegal immigrant that the DREAM Act could potentially bring about would expose Americans to more unlawful activity, such as drug trafficking and crime.

Another reason is that Americans should fix their own domestic problems first. As noted above, the DREAM Act provides in-state tuition benefits. With not enough money to help our own students, America should focus efforts on giving our citizens a more affordable chance at higher education, not opening the doors to previously illegal immigrants. Another domestic problem is the abundance of illegal aliens in our country, who are arguably detrimental to our economy. One problem that an influx of illegal immigrants to this country can be overpopulation, as resources are scarce and immigrants just compete with the citizens for work and receive benefits from taxpayer dollars, yet they can avoid paying taxes. As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared, “We are not going to pass the DREAM Act or any other immigration bill [until] we secure our borders.”

This leaves several thoughts in mind. Is it better that we wait until we improve our domestic conditions before inviting illegal immigrants to become legal? Or is this a matter of empathy–most illegal children cannot control the fact that their parents brought them illegally to America so should they, after living just like any other American child, be granted citizenship? And if this act were to be passed, how can we prevent illegal immigrants from taking advantage of this loophole in the law and bringing more children into the US?

Sources: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/18/immigration-end-game-dream-act-defeated-in-the-senate/,
http://immigrantsandiego.org/2010/11/23/pro-con-should-congress-pass-the-dream-act-for-immigrant-children/,
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=1487474716

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How can immigrant children achieve citizenship and why should we let them?

Op-posers of the Arizona Immigration Laws strain the fact that immigrants do not have a proper chance to become a legal citizen, this is one of the main reasons for supporting the DREAM Act.  This specifically favors immigrant children who arrive over the border with their parents. It would require immigrant students/children to meet a few fair requirements to stay in the U.S.A. and be granted citizenship. First off they would have to have proof of arriving in the U.S before sixteen years of age, and they must register with Selective Service.  Other requirements include having evidence of living here for a least five years since their arrival, be between the ages of twelve to thirty during the bill’s activation. Finally they must have graduated from a United States high school, or obtain a GED, or been admitted to college. Once they have met these simple requirements they may call our country their rightful home.

Furthermore the DREAM Act would serve as a stepping stone to a more efficient and productive America. First having more citizens would greatly benefit us because it would increase our skilled work force, making the U.S. more worldly competitive. Also it would boost our recruitment pool for U.S. military forces, and in return making our country safer and even more skillful.  Lastly it would increase government profits by $2.3 billion over the next ten years.

In conclusion having these young immigrant children with dreams can make our country a safer place to live. In addition it will also increase our skilled work force, and raise our country’s total revenue along with its productivity. So overall immigration has its greatly beneficial attributes.

Sources:

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20101219/OPINION01/12190331/DREAM-Act-should-come-true

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/opinion/columnists/article_ea08ada8-04b7-11e0-91e6-001cc4c03286.html

 

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What was the DREAM Act and how would it have affected the American Economy?

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) helps certain individuals who qualify have an opportunity to serve in the military or go to college and gain a way to citizenship which they would otherwise not have. This act would allow young students who came to America at a young age to have a chance to contribute back to their country which they grew up in. The four basic requirements that individuals must meet are: Entering the country before the age of 16, Graduating high school or obtaining a GED, Having good moral character (no criminal record), and having been in the United States for more than 5 consecutive years. Once these requirements are met, within 6 years, individuals must either obtain a two year college degree or fulfill two years of military service to gain the chance to adjust their conditional permanent residency to US citizenship.

As stated earlier, one of the purposes of Arizona’s Immigration Bill is to decrease crime rate. So what about those immigrants who haven’t committed any crimes? Senators Orin Hatch (R- UT) and Richard Durbin (D- IL) both agreed to make good moral character one of the requirements in the DREAM Act, possibly meaning to reward those immigrants who are not part of the “problem.” This legislation eventually benefits all American consumers by lowering the price level of goods and services overall.

The immigrants that become citizens under this piece of legislation would, instead of being detrimental to the US economy, be advantageous to it. Parents have more of an incentive to bring their young children to America in the hopes of them gaining citizenship, and because of the requirements of the legislation, these immigrants probably will not contribute to the crime factor. Once the young children are grown up and become citizens, they add to the labor force, lowering the cost of production for businesses, increasing productivity, increasing the supply, and thus, decreasing the price level for consumers.

Although this act was not passed by the Senate, it is possible for similar bills to be created in the future that would give citizenship to illegal immigrants. This raises many more questions that may or may not be answered: Should the requirements to obtain citizenship for immigrants be made stricter? Should they be less strict? Should we even give immigrants who came here illegally the chance to become citizens? What reasons did the senators who opposed the act have?

http://dreamact.info/students

http://www.dreamactivist.org/text-of-dream-act-legislation/general-faq/

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/18/5673808-dream-act-blocked-in-senate

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How has illegal immigration influenced agriculture and what would happen if the immigrants were removed?

Agriculture has greatly been influenced by illegal immigrant workers. According to southwestfarmpress.com, of the 1.6 million farm workers in the United States, seventy percent of them are illegal immigrants. The amount of illegal immigrants working in agriculture has greatly increased. Beginning at only seven percent in 1989, it rose to thirty-four percent in 1994 and is around seventy percent now. Even industries, such as dairy farms, require immigrant workers. California, the largest dairy production state in the nation, relies heavily on immigrant workers to milk the cows.

But what would happen if illegal immigrants were removed from the workforce? There would be a great drop in the supply of labor. The supply curve would be shifted to the left and the equilibrium would be at a higher point. There would be less labor for a higher wage. Due to the loss of workers, the amount of products, such as vegetables, milk, fruits, etc., would decrease. Since the supply of these products decreased, but the demand for them would stay the same, the equilibrium point in the market would also increase. Fruits and vegetables would have to be sold at a higher price to still make a profit.

If farming companies could find a way to sneak in illegal immigrants, they would have an unfair advantage. They could regain the low cost of labor shifting both supply curves to the right. This would lower the equilibrium point, making their products cost less. In essence they could run a monopoly or oligopoly and drive out their competitors who abide by the rules and use nonimmigrant labor. They could monopolize their market after and charge a high price for their products because fruits and vegetables are essential. People need to eat then to be healthy, so having a monopoly over then could be very disastrous, which shows our need for immigrant workers.

Of course, this research brings up some new questions. How has illegal immigration influenced other industries, such as construction and hospitality? What would happen if the illegal immigrants were removed from these industries? What ways would companies be able to get illegal immigrants without being caught? How can we prevent these monopolies and increasing prices if illegal immigrants were removed from these industries?

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-03-29-immigration-debate_x.htm

http://southwestfarmpress.com/government/immigration-reform-vital-u-s-agriculture

http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2009/05/27/got-milk-not-without-immigrants/

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5312900

 

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What is the Arizona Immigration law trying to accomplish?

When people hear about the Arizona Immigration Law, they may think of racial profiling or how draining illegal immigrants are on the US economy. Many people that have these assumptions have not even read the law or tried to figure out what the basis for the law is. What they know about the law is limited to opinionated arguments on the internet, radio, and newspapers that do not acknowledge the good and bad about the law. Of course, the law is not perfect, but then again, whichhttps://sphs11onimmigration.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=96&action=edit&message=1 law is?

You may not be aware that the Arizona law is actually based on a federal law that was passed 25 years ago. Arizona hoped to enforce the federal law by enacting its own state law because it felt that the federal government was not doing it’s job of enforcing the federal law. In some counties of Arizona, illegal immigrants outnumber legal citizens 4 to 1. The biggest reason that Arizona decided to pass this law was because of the high cost of combating illegal immigration. Many of these costs we already know come from social services going to the illegal immigrants, housing and keeping them in jail, providing them with health care, and legal citizens losing their job to lower paid illegal citizens. Also, the law does not say that police officers can randomly ask a person for their citizenship papers. They are only allowed to ask for the papers if the person they are pulling over has done something else criminal.

One of the arguments for the Arizona Immigration Law is that illegal immigrants raise the crime rate. Because they disregarded the law in the first place to come to the US, they will overlook other laws. They also neglect the 17 million immigrants who wait patiently for years for their citizenship status by demanding citizenship now. They don’t want to go through the long and painful process that Nick described in an earlier post of obtaining legal citizenship. Although they have broken the law in coming to the US, illegal immigrants may not disregard other laws. If by breaking another law, they are discovered to be an illegal immigrant, they would be in even more danger than if they had not broken the law. It seems like illegal immigrants would try their best to not get arrested if the Arizona Immigration Law says that they can only be asked for citizenship status if the person is being investigated or arrested for another offense. So in theory, the law does accomplish what it was originally planned to do of reducing the crime rate, but in effect, only time will tell.

So if there is all this controversy over this law, why doesn’t the federal government step in and make a final decision? How much sway do businesses that rely on illegal labor have in the government and this decision-making process? And in the larger scheme of things, how will normal, average citizens be affected by this law and its effects?

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/26/john-lott-arizona-immigration-law-fear-enforcement/

http://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/the-immigration-debate-arizonas-law-facts-from-fiction-are-you-tired-of-being-lied-to/

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What are the benefits and costs of having illegal immigrants?

Despite the majority of the talk on this blog being about the benefits of legalizing immigrants or the benefits of the Arizona law, I would like to bring up the benefits of illegal immigrants themselves.

According to experts, there are many benefits of having illegal immigrants in the US. Three industries in particular benefit the most from illegal aliens: construction, agriculture, and hospitality and tourism. Many farm lands require a large work force to hand pick and tend to the produce that we enjoy. Less costs for the farmers when hiring help means the price of food for consumers goes down. That means illegal immigrants help keep the costs of production low and the prices for consumers low!

Illegal immigrants also have other great qualities. The numbers of illegal immigrants often rise with the growth of the American economy, and illegal immigrants help stimulate the economy by providing low cost labor for low prices. Immigrants are also often mobile and take up jobs all over the country wherever necessary. Finally, illegal aliens are often highly motivated (as proven by taking a large risk to enter the country) and often good workers in their industry.

So what are the costs of having illegal immigrants? The only people that illegal immigrants compete with for work are US workers without a complete high school education, which is less than 10 percent of the bottom of the labor force. The other group of people who suffer from illegal immigrants are taxpayers, who often pay for healthcare and education of illegal aliens. However, for the wealthy and the powerful, having illegal immigrants who take care of their children or maintain their mansions balances out the costs of their taxes. But for middle class citizens, it is not the same since they pay a higher percentage of taxes.

Speaking of taxes, you may think that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes, but as proven by an interview with an illegal alien by kpbs.org, some illegal immigrants still pay taxes. The federal government assigns workers a number called an individual taxpayer identification number so that employers can deduct taxes from wages. In the interview, the person showed a document from the IRS with this number and reported that he had been paying taxes with this number for many years. And although he is paying taxes, he will never get social security or income tax credit or even become a legal citizen (at least not by paying taxes), because he is not a US citizen.

So are illegal immigrants as bad as they seem to be? Sure they compete with people for jobs, but those people are the ones who can’t even complete their high school education, a minority of the labor force. Illegal immigrants are a strong and dedicated work force in many industries where a large amount of work is necessary at low costs. Thus, my question is, what are the benefits of having legal immigrants in our country? Illegal immigrants produce low cost labor, but what about the legal immigrants? Surely they are not subjected to the same treatment. Another question is, what would these industries (construction, agriculture, hospitality) do without illegal immigrants? Would the cost of living increase to an unreasonable level because of the increased costs of labor?

Sources:
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/aug/20/true-costs-benefits-illegal-immigration/
http://blog.american.com/?p=20515
http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/apr2006/pi20060407_072803.htm

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