Immigration; this is a hot topic in the news today. We are all hearing about illegal immigrants, immigrants performing work in the United States, immigrant being allowed to get driver’s licenses or immigrants receiving welfare benefits. With all of this buzzing around, do you really know what the laws are surrounding immigration? We are here to sort some of it out.
First, what are immigration laws? Immigration laws are policies of the national government to regulate immigration and deportation in regards to a person’s legal citizenship status. A short history lesson tells us that Immigration laws first came into existence back in the colonial times. The first immigration law governing naturalization of foreigners is called the Naturalization Act of 1790. There was an act many years later the called for the stopping the immigration for those of Chinese nationality. This was the Chinese Exclusion Act. Because there were many people immigrating to the United States, quotas were put on how many people would be permitted back in the 1920s. Eventually the Immigration and Naturalization Service was created in 1954.
Entry points have been set up around the country in an attempt to control access by immigrants. Of course, those without proper documentation will always find a way in. The southern border of the United States is particularly vulnerable due to the difficult terrain and lack of personnel due to budgets. Florida is another state that sees a fair share of illegal immigrants with people arriving via boats. The concern is that those entering the country are taking jobs that legal citizens could work, plus those working these jobs are not paying taxes like a legal citizen would be paying. This has led to a huge issue politically. Currently, the circumstances that allow someone entry into our country are travel (having a valid passport), employee sponsored work visa, and independent work visa (entertainers, sports personalities, etc.).
Immigration laws will most likely be revisited to address the many problems now being faced by our government. As resources start to become exhausted, controls need to be put into place as to how many people can have access to them. The laws can be complicated and any questions you have should be taken to an immigration attorney for accurate answers.
Side Note: Did you know that the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has made it mandatory that countries allow access to all their citizens?