Essays Immigration Naturalization Service

US Citizenship by Natural

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US Citizenship by Natural

The United States is a nation of Immigrants. For centuries people have
come to the U.S. in search of prosperity, freedom and financial
success. By definition of the Microsoft Bookshelf Encyclopedia an
immigrant is a person who leaves one country to settle permanently in
another country or region to which one is not native. People immigrate
for different reasons -- A group of people may immigrate to another
country because of some conditions which make it difficult for them to
live in their home environment. According to Microsoft Bookshelf
Encyclopedia, the reason for immigration is often social for example,
population increases, defeat in war, desire for a better life through
material gain and the search for religious or political freedom. These
reasons have usually prompted many more immigrants to the U.S. than
natural causes have. The website of the Federation for American
Immigration Reform explains how the first great wave of immigrants came
to the U.S. In the early 19th century, large numbers of people from
Western Europe left their countries to escape poverty. Many of the
immigrants also came to escape religious persecution and political
oppression. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of the
immigrants were from Southern and Eastern Europe. After 1921,
immigration declined due to new and better conditions in Europe and to
limitations established by the U.S. government. The first law was
passed by the United States Congress in 1862, restricted immigration to
the U.S.. This law forbade American vessels to transport Chinese
immigrants to the United States. Later, in the 1800s, the U.S.
Congress passed acts which prevented convicts, polygamists, prostitutes
and persons suffering from contagious diseases to enter the U.S. In
1917, Congress passed an immigration law that required a literacy test.

Aliens unable to meet minimum mental, moral, physical and economic
standards were excluded form the U.S. as well. In 1921, a
congressional enactment created a quota system for immigrants, by which
the number of aliens of any nationality admitted to the United States
in a year could not exceed three percent of the number of foreign-born
residents of that nationality living in the United States. It would
seem that the number would be quite small, however, the year was 1919
and the majority of the U.S. population was foreign born. In 1924, the
basic immigration quotas were changed to a system based on the
desirability of the different nationalities. A congressional act of
1943 repealed the laws keeping the Chinese from entering the United

(Microsoft Bookshelf Encyclopedia) One will probably agree that it is

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important that every nation controls the flow of people who enter and
exit. To this extent, the United States has an agency which controls
and regulates these events. The Immigration and Naturalization Service
will determine how many people may enter, seek employment, and settle
within the U.S. Territory without altering the opportunities for U.S.
Citizens or Permanent Residents to develop their own lives. The INS
agency of the United States Department of Justice is empowered to
administer federal laws relating to the admission, exclusion,
deportation, and naturalization of aliens. The agency investigates the
qualifications of applicants for citizenship and provides public
schools with materials required for educating candidates for
citizenship. Another duty of the INS is to patrol the borders of the
United States to prevent the illegal entry of aliens. The agency also
registers aliens residing in the country. ( Encarta Encyclopedia
article on immigration, ) Before a person can
apply for Citizenship in the United States, one has to be a lawful,
permanent resident for five years. In the case of permanent residency
that has been acquired through marriage to a U.S. citizen the time of
residency is reduced to three years before an application for
citizenship can be made assuming the person continues to be married to
that U.S. citizen. According to the Immigration and Naturalization
Service, there are six other ways to obtain permanent residency besides
through marriage. (1) Qualifying persons may obtain a visa based on
employment and on special abilities the person my possess. (2) A
person may obtain a visa through a family member that already is a
citizen or permanent resident. (3) The INS holds an annual lottery in
which some 50,000 visas are given out. (4) Persons may obtain a visa
based on religious work they perform in the US. (5) Refugees seeking
asylum may obtain visas. (6) Persons who are willing to invest in a
US based business that will employ at least 11 workers will qualify for
permanent residency as well. A person may also apply for
naturalization if he or she is under 18 and may automatically become a
citizen when their parents naturalize. The fee for filing for
Citizenship is $225 and it is payable to Immigration and Naturalization
Service. Further information may be obtained through your local
Immigration and Naturalization Service Center. The Siskind^s Visalaw
website warns that if you have decided to live in the United States for
an indefinite period you should comply with U.S. Immigration laws and
procedures, as it would make it really difficult to obtain citizenship
or just even residency. The site also mentions that it is usually very
difficult to qualify for permanent residency. Siskind^s Visalaw website
also warns to submit a complete and accurate application form with all
the necessary attachments and requirements. Also one must insure that
the application is submitted to the correct Immigration Office.

Advise is given to speak with a reputable Immigration Attorney,
browsing through Immigrations books at the library, or "surfing the
net" etc., will likely inform on ways to obtain residency. Those who
meet the above qualifications are issued Immigrant visas for residence
in the United States. (Siskind, Susser, Haas & Devine) A person who
desires to be naturalized as a citizen of the United States may obtain
the necessary application form, as well as detailed information, from
the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or
from the clerk of a court handling naturalization cases. An applicant
must be at least 18 years old and must have been a lawful resident of
the United States continuously for 5 years. Again for husbands and
wives of U.S. citizens, the period is 3 years in most instances.

Special provisions apply to certain veterans of the armed forces. An
applicant must have been physically present in the country for at least
half of the required 5 years^ residence. Every applicant for
naturalization must: (1) demonstrate an understanding of the English
language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in
ordinary usage in English (persons physically unable to do so and
persons who, on the examination date, are over 55 years of age and have
been lawful permanent residents of the United States for 15 years or
more, or who are over 50 and have been residents 20 or more years, are
exempt); (2) have been a person of good moral character, attached to
the principles of the Constitution, and well disposed to the good order
and happiness of the United States for 5 years just before filing the
petition or for whatever other period of residence is required in the
particular case and continue to be such a person until admitted to
citizenship; and (3) demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the
fundamentals of the history, and the principles and form of government,
of the United States. This can be done at private, designated testing
entities or at the interview before an immigration examiner. At the
interview the applicant may be represented by a lawyer or social
service agency. If conditions are favorable, and the application is
approved and your interview is successful one will be required to take
an oath to the United States in order to become a citizen. In the
swearing ceremony conducted administratively the following oath of
allegiance is given: I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and
entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign
prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, to whom or which I have
heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend
the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all
enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and
allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United
States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant
service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the
law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian
direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation
freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me
God. (American Immigration Center,
U.S.Immigration and Naturalization Services, A
PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IMMIGRATING TO THE U.S.@, Chang & Boos Attorneys @,) Needless to say the U.S. is a nation of
Immigrants. Even though some of the proceedings might seem confusing
and complicated there is a lot more detail to all the steps than one
could imagine, and it certainly would provide for many more pages of
information. So far the immigration agencies in the U.S. has served
well. Even though changes and improvements could have been made it is
amazing that the system has worked so well considering the large number
of applicants each year and the budget the INS has to work with. Over
all the U.S. is the most popular country to immigrants.

Illegal immigration has been a problem for the United States for a long time. This phenomena is not new and thousands of illegal immigrants have come into US through either the Mexico border, the Pacific Ocean, or through many other ways. Some people have entered the country legally through a visit visa, but then have stayed illegally and are working in various places. Illegal immigration is a double edged sword; on the one hand it provide the local economy with cost benefits as the illegal immigrants are not paid so much, while they are more productive. On the other hand, these illegal immigrants do not pay taxes and their employers also do not pay their taxes. There are both pros and cons of illegal immigration and this paper shall take a look at some facts pertinent to illegal immigration in the United States.“Every day thousands of illegals stream across the 2,500 miles of border with Mexico. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, or INS, the total number of illegals in America from this source increases by 275,000 annually. Already the United States is host to an illegal population of 7 to 12 million, of whom the vast majority are Mexican or Hispanic in origin. These illegal and uninvited guests help themselves to jobs, education, welfare and unemployment compensation. The many whose wages are paid under the table pay little or no taxes. And they are easy prey for unscrupulous employers and politicians” (Hayes 2000)


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