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Immigration Issues

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The Immigration Issue.

People emigrate from one country to another for a variety of complex reasons. Some are forced to move, due to conflict or to escape persecution and prejudices, while others may voluntarily emigrate. The United States is a nation made up of immigrants. It serves as a beacon to those seeking political, religious, and economic freedom. I think it was well summed up in the inscription of famous lines on the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886: ''give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'' (Emma Lazarus)

Personally, for me and my family, coming to the United States thirteen years ago as immigrants, with the refugee status was a great experience. We went through the long and tough process of adapting to the American life style, learning the language, becoming citizens and finding our place in unknown, at that time, for us society. I think, a lot of people born in this country take their citizenship for granted. However, immigrants, coming to US, seeking permanent residence and better life, have long appreciated the opportunities available to citizens residing in this country. I look at the immigration issue from two angles - as an immigrant in the past and naturalized citizen at present. I believe, that America is such a great country because it was built by people coming here from all over the world. Historically, great nations have declined because they built up walls of insularity, but America always has been an exception. On the other hand, I strongly oppose the illegal immigration. In order for me and my family to get the permission of US government to enter the country we had to wait for almost 3 years. There are some instances when people wait for 5 or even 10 years. So the question is: Is it fair that the immigrants who obey the law have to wait for so long and people who brake the law by crossing the border and staying in US illegally to get any benefits or even amnesty? There is no simple answer to this question, or any other issue related to the immigration, but in the aftermath of September 11 terrorists attacks the immigration has become one of the hottest topics of the political and public debate.

The recent wave of immigration has its roots in the Immigration Act of 1965 The Act placed a new emphasis on reuniting families and granting asylum to refugees, while also favoring immigrants with desired job skills. It also, dramatically increased the rate of legal immigration from about 300 000in 1965 to about 850 000 in 2000, the most recent year for which statistics are available. These figures don't include illegal immigration, which INS estimates at 275 000 a year. Illegal immigration into the United States is mas¬sive in scale. "More than 10 million undocumented aliens currently reside in the U.S., and that popula¬tion is growing by 700,000 per year." (Congressional Budget Office) On one hand,



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