Honors Spanish III
30 April 2013
America’s Need To Get Over Its Severe Case Of Xenophobia
In the United States, nearly 30 percent of the total population consists of foreign immigrants. This comes out to be roughly 40.4 million people (Kimble 29 April 2013). Immigrants were feared even during the colonial era. Patricia Smith of the New York Times’ Upfront Magazine notes in her “Immigration in America” article, that even Benjamin Franklin was quoted saying, “’Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who shortly will be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of us Anglicizing them?’” (Smith 10) This shows that America has a fear of foreigners—xenophobia—that needs to be resolved through the use of immigration law reform. In order to maintain a fair chance for immigrants in the US, politicians should work to make the naturalization process easier, make it easier for illegal immigrants to find refuge under the law until they can be naturalized, and stop random pullovers by the police.
Currently in the United States, the naturalization process includes a long list of activities that must be completed before anything can be done to grant citizenship. It is extremely difficult to complete all of these activities before the average visa expires and the immigrant is forced to return home. Some of the things on the list of naturalization requirements include geographical, political, historical, and tests on language abilities (USCIS Website). With the immigration law reformations, we can narrow it down and make it easier to pass the difficult language test, as well as the other sections of the naturalization test.
While immigrants are attempting to gain citizenship, they still face the issue of running into a policeman. It is necessary for the government to stop laws that grant police the power to pull over anyone without probable cause. Even if there is probable cause, it is all based on race, ethnicity, or skin color. What policemen are failing to realize these days, is that people of Hispanic descent are not the only people immigrating illegally to the United States. Around 600,000 illegal immigrants come to the US from India and China and other countries in Asia (Smith 9). The fact that policemen believe that they can pull someone over because they think that a person is an illegal immigrant is—strictly speaking—absolutely racist.
If a policeman pulls over an illegal immigrant who wishes to become an American citizen and live the “American Dream,” the policeman should bring the person to a place of refuge for illegal immigrants until he or she has completed the naturalization test. These refuge positions could be used as schools to teach the immigrants the necessary requirements to become a citizen. These locations could be run by volunteers and supported by local charities. All in all, it would bring a community together, and simultaneously complete an immensely helpful duty to create a balance in racial diversity.
It is necessary to reform immigration laws in order to help immigrants become naturalized citizens in the United States. The xenophobia that the nation is experiencing can be reduced dramatically, through creating refuge sites. The pullovers based on skin color by the police should be nullified. Finally, the naturalization tests should be made easier in order to keep people fighting for citizenship. It is a civil duty for all Americans to stop racism, support the naturalization of new citizens, and support them on their way to the “American Dream.”
Smith, Patricia. "Immigration in America." National 8 Oct. 2012: 9-11. Print.
In this article, I explored the history of immigration in America. The author describes many ways that immigration has been fought, as well as tamed in the United States. The article also says that there are possible ways to help illegal immigrants.
"USCIS Home Page." USCIS Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website told me what some of the requirements to become a naturalized US citizen are. I looked under the “Naturalization Test” button for my information.
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