Essay on Immigration Reform Debate: Ronald Reagan Amnesty

Published: 2021-07-16
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Carnegie Mellon University
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According to International Migration Review, the immigrant population in the USA was 41 million. This accounted for almost 13% of the total U.S population. Of the total immigrants, only 19 million have acquired U.S citizenship through either naturalization, marriage, green card or other legal methods of acquiring U.S. citizenship (Lee 13). In the past three decades, it has become easier to acquire citizenship in America due to the amnesty on immigrants. In 1986, former U.S president and the then president, Ronald Reagan accented The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 into law that granted all immigrants amnesty. This ensured that more than three million new immigrants were permitted to stay in the country. Ever since there has been a growing population of the immigrants into the U.S. However, only less than half of the immigrant population have U.S. citizenship. This is due to the hardships and struggles the immigrants undergo in attaining U.S citizenship.

Many immigrants have been unable to acquire citizenship even when they have already attained qualifications for citizenship. This is due to many barriers in the process. The new citizenship exam usually attracts a high entry rate (about 92% by the second endeavor), and dissimilar to a few trial of the past, the new citizenship exam has all the earmarks of being ideologically unbiased regarding its outline. That is, there are no apparent endeavors to prohibit particular immigrant groups. In any case, nonpartisan in the configuration does not liken unbiased in effect. A more top to bottom look gives included complexities, in a 2003-2004 examination by the USCIS of the old citizenship test found that pass rates fundamentally contrasted among different outside subgroups (Ackleson 293). The investigation found that passing rates were especially low among the elderly with just 46% passing on the main endeavor (the normal initially endeavor passing rate on the old exam was 86%). Refugees additionally demonstrated lower passing rates on the old exam at around 74%, and outsiders from Central America and the Caribbean likewise indicated bring down levels of accomplishment. While no racial contrasts were found, there were migrants from a few nations that had to bring down passing rates. For instance, candidates from the Dominican Republic had a passing rate of 69.9% and Vietnam 75%. (Papademetriou 67).

Linguistic barriers hinder citizenship candidates all through all phases of the naturalization procedure, from the underlying phases of understanding what the prerequisites for citizenship are and rounding out the application structures to the last phases of heading off to the naturalization meeting and taking the citizenship tests

Proficiency of English language is another barrier to acquiring citizenship. A few examinations demonstrate that insufficient English dialect skills and length of training are the most widely recognized hindrance to U.S. citizenship. One examination found that 60% of the almost eight million lawful changeless inhabitants who were qualified to naturalize however who had not done as such, were constrained English capable (LEP) and 1.4 million had not as much as a ninth grade training (Papademetriou 64). Another examination found that 55 percent of migrants who might somehow or another qualified to naturalize and around 67 percent of settlers who might soon be el just 34% had effectively finished it, and the essential explanation behind stopping the procedure was that they "needed adequate English to comprehend the structures" (p. 8). The Migration Policy Institute (2016) claims that not exclusively do numerous people who have not connected for citizenship have low English capability (60 percent). However, a substantial bit of them are likewise low wage (41 percent) as well as have low levels of instruction (25 percent).

Lack of knowledge and difficulty of the application process is one of the challenges of acquiring citizenship. A review of workers about the naturalization procedure found that absence of learning about the application procedure additionally was a noteworthy hindrance to citizenship with 14 percent of respondents in this review asserting that they had not connected for citizenship since they didn't know how to go about it. Another study likewise found that there was a noteworthy minority who found the application procedure troublesome. In an overview, they asked members: "In your experience, how hard is it to find data and solutions about migration and naturalization issues from the legislature? Is it simple or hard?" In reactions, 26 percent of settlers asserted that it was "to some degree troublesome" and 13 recent that it was "extremely troublesome" (p. 16). This shows there are numerous migrants who experience issues getting to data on the naturalization procedure. Moreover, the two foreigners and locals alike have depicted the dialect of the N-400, and 30 percent of candidates had looked for help in finishing application forms. Gest proposes that it is likely numerous more required comparable help yet were discouraged by the expenses of private lawful help (Gest et al. 216).

Another major challenge faced by the immigrants is discrimination. Regardless of what nation they originate from, migrants in America are being judged, not by their identity, but rather, by where they originate. Regardless of what other nation they are from, unlawful workers, as well as legitimate foreigners are derided and abused by numerous Americans. Intermittently, even the media depicts distinctive ethnic gatherings doubtfully, which can prompt numerous misguided judgments about workers. Latinos are regularly depicted as sex images, which draws a lot of undesirable consideration towards a significant part of the Latino populace. Cofer clarifies that it is normal for some Latina ladies to encounter lewd behavior in work put and that many are even compelled to "submitting to lewd gestures" on the off chance that they would prefer not to lose their employment. While Latinos are by all account not the only foreigners to be victimized, they do make up an extensive level of America's population. This makes the process of acquiring citizenship for immigrants more difficulty.

In conclusion, immigration had been on the rise since the granting of amnesty to refugees by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. The high number of immigrants has ensured that the U.S. imposes more strict measures when giving citizenship to immigrants. Many immigrants despite attaining the qualifications for U.S. citizenship have been unable to acquire the citizenship due to many barriers in the process. Some of these barriers include linguistic obstacles that have many immigrants overlooked when they do not pass the English language exam. The high cost of acquiring citizenship has hindered many citizens from becoming citizens of America. Lack of knowledge and difficulty of the application process is one of the challenges of acquiring citizenship. Another major problem faced by the immigrants is discrimination. Lastly, lack of proficiency in the English language is another barrier to acquiring citizenship.

Work Cited

Ackleson, Jason. "US Immigration, Demography, and Citizenship in a Digital Age." Undecided Nation. Springer International Publishing, 2014. 293-311.

Gest, Justin, et al. "Measuring and comparing immigration, asylum and naturalization policies across countries: Challenges and solutions." Global Policy 5.3 (2014): 261-274.

Lee, Jennifer, Jorgen Carling, and Pia Orrenius. "The International Migration Review at 50: Reflecting on half a century of international migration research and looking ahead." International Migration Review 48.s1 (2014).

Papademetriou, Demetrios G., et al. "Managing religious difference in North America and Europe in an era of mass migration." MPI Policy Briefs (2016).

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