Legal and Illegal Immigrants - Essay Sample

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Research paper
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There are the categories of illegal immigration which takes place in the United States. The first group goes to anyone born outside the United States but of US citizen. Secondly, Americans citizens born but outside the territory of United States and finally persons of different nationality or non-citizens who currently reside or work in the United States. A person of non-citizen status become further divided into non-immigrant and immigrant. That of non-immigrant is the one considered to be of foreign-born non-citizens, and they can apply for citizenship. Non-immigrants are the likes of temporary workers, diplomatic staff, students and even tourist. While the immigrants are capable of looking for the citizenry, their entry into the United States is guaranteed as citizens once they have applied for it. (Allport, Alan, and John E. Ferguson,3). There are four ways in which a foreigner or non-citizen of USA can become illegal. There is the unauthorized entry, employer failing to pay his taxes if an individual overstays to the specified days on the visa and for a case when one violates the terms and conditions of the legal entry.

Illegal entry is when one gets access to the country without proper papers or legal means to legitimize his presence in the US. It gets estimated that about 7 million immigrants found in the United States came through illegal ways this account for nearly half of the total population residing in the US illegally. Yearly, about half a million of these entries get reported. Most of these illegal entry gains access through fraudulent individuals who pretended as immigration officers but are just smugglers within the borders. The worst hit place in the US- Mexican border where they take on target to smuggle them into the US.

Visa overstay become issued with specific prescribe date that is valid up to a given duration. Upon the expiry of the said date, a procedure is then followed to ascertain whether renewal can get sanctioned or not. During the restoration of the visa, there are legal requirements that must get followed and some test to prove the worth of permit. According to recent research, it becomes believed that about 6 million people or foreigners got to the US through the legal procedure or via visa. It is estimated to be 45% of the total population. One is considered to have overstayed visa when he remains or continue to live in states beyond the time disclosed on the permit or upon expiry of his visa. The Visa varies with traveler's class in which it became administered. Those with the overstay visa are somehow educated and have some financial muscles that can stretch upon when needs are. They are better off than those who gain entry through illegal means. Most of these guys are people with connections and know their way about the activities they come to so in the US. Some people gain access as businessmen or as a tourist. (Arnold, Kathleen R,4).

The United States has developed a framework to curb visa overstay. The program is called US-VISIT. It is a technology used to collect and retain visitors' biography, biometric information and travels documents. The system requires that one must hold an electronic passport that has all his intelligence and his details stated clearly. The systems help minimize the backload of overstaying in the US and help the immigration department to follow up on those who have overstayed their visits.

The system "united state visitor and immigrant status indicator technology" US-VISIT, have become effective. The policy detects those who leave the US after staying and come back to apply for fresh input. Majority of those overstaying in the US are business people, and they went to about 45% by the year 2006.Those that leave the US after staying for more than 180 days but did not wait for more than one year, usually get a problem when reapplying. They certainly face a ban of not less than three years when they attempt to reapply for admission to allow them to gain entry into the United States. Such individuals are committing the criminal offense and become prosecuted according to the law of the US. (Lee, Patrick, 5).

Concerning Border Crossing Card violation, there usually is rising of a small number of immigrants entering the United States through this means. At border checks, some cards authorize crossing to the United States and denial of the same. It gets usually set in a given duration of time under which it operates. Border Crossing Card entry is design to account for the vast majority of all registered and non-immigrant admission to the United States. About 150-million out of 180 million have registered with these cards. Still, it possesses a challenge of knowing the exert number of those immigrant population believed to have gained access to states.

Immigrants from countries such as Mexico and Central America go to the US for economic reasons and some time as result of political oppression from their mother countries. Those who come from Asian part are also coming for financial reasons while others come as involuntarily or indentured servants or even sex slaves. Sub-Saharan Africa generally, goes due to economic activities and a few of them due to slave trade effect. Eastern Europe, come to the US for financial events or to join up with their families. Immigrants go to the US for Economic reasons and are always motivation to earn more as compared to their mother countries. (Morrow, Robert,5). A study shows that most illegal immigrants are a result of jobs and other activities to make a living.

The United States has very complex laws that govern the legal immigration system. The judge gets referred to as "immigration and naturalization." It is the body of law that currently regulates the immigration policy; it provides for the yearly limit of some permanent immigrants, exceptions are only granted to close family members. Lawful permanent stay allows non-citizen to work and live lawfully in the United States. LPRs are eligible for nearly all jobs and are allowed to remain in the States without jobs. The immigration of United States become based upon some principles that govern it or for smooth ride namely, admitting of skills immigrant valuable to the US, protection of refugees and allowing diversity.

Family unification is one of the vital principles that is governing immigration policy. It allows U.S. citizens to bring family members to the US. It gets admitted to immediate relatives of US citizens or the family preference. The standard for eligibility comprises of spouses of US citizen, unmarried minor of USA citizen and parent to the US citizen. It is to balance the overall numbers of immigrant coming to the US-based on family relations. The law becomes made in such a way that it legalized certain preference visas for a calculated number of families available for a given year. The system works since it able to minimize the amount of immigrant operating within the United States and checks on who comes to visits who at a particular time for a specific duration of time. (O'Leary, Anna O, 7).

The US provides the various mechanisms for immigrants that possess valuable skills to come to the US either on a permanent or the temporary basis. Temporary Visa, permit the employers to hire and do a petition for non-citizen under specific jobs for a given time periods. They are to work for the employer that made the petitioned on their behalf. They include L-1 visas for intra-company transfers only, many P visas for athletes, entertainers, and skilled performers, R-1 visas for religious workers. Upon the expiry of the permit, the workers are advised to leave the US immediately. While Permanent Immigration has numerical limits to the immigrant working under it, It allows one to have spouses and children.

There is Protection of Refugees, Asylees, and other Vulnerable Populations. Several parts of legal admission are available to people who are fleeing persecution. They are entirely unable to return to their homeland due to the life-threatening or at times because of extraordinary conditions that may limit them. Refugees are, therefore, admitted into the United States only based on an inability to return to their home countries mainly because of fear or political difference. They apply for admission from transition country which is not their home. Factors that become taken into consideration are the risk faced and particular concern inquiry about family members. Refugees get specific rules to maintain while residing in the US. (Srivastava, Sushil K. USA, 6).

U.S. citizenship can get obtained through naturalization or LPR status known as the green card for five years. Other exceptions cases including, if one is a member of the U.S. military who was serving during the war. The Applicants citizenship must be of age at least 18-years-old, be able to demonstrate continuous residency within the US, must have a good moral standard, and should pass English test and history of US as well as civics exams. Above all, they should able to pay the application fee and other requirements.


Allport, Alan, and John E. Ferguson. Immigration Policy. New York: Chelsea House, 2009. Print.

Arnold, Kathleen R. Anti-immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood Press, 2011. Internet resource.

Lee, Patrick. Introduction to Study and Immigration in the USA. Raleigh:, 2008. Print.

Morrow, Robert. Immigration: Rich Diversity or Social Burden?Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books, 2010. Print.

O'Leary, Anna O. Undocumented Immigrants in the United States: An Encyclopedia of Their Experience. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2014. Internet resource.

Srivastava, Sushil K. USA: Study, Job, and Immigration Made Easy: a Practical Guide. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 2008. Print.

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