18 December 2019
The United States Immigration Policy
The United States does not need a more stringent immigration policy. The policy in place is already strict enough to the point where people would rather risk coming into the United States unsafely to ensure their family’s well-being than go through the long process to be denied entry. Millions of hard working immigrants who have lived in the country for decades have been deported after being denied the privilege of being in the states legally. Not to mention, few who spend thousands trying to legalize their stay only to be denied paying time after time.
The United States only grants entry to 675,000 permanent immigrants worldwide, per year. This is known as a green card while temporary stays are called visas, that are granted to students and workers. Immigration into the United States is based on: reuniting families, immigrants with skills that are valuable to the economy, the protection of refugees, and promoting diversity.
Many Americans believe the process of coming into the United States is easy and that immigrants should just wait their turn in line when in reality the line is years long. Many people come to the United States seeking refugee and by the time they’re granted safety in the U.S. it’s too late. Immigrants can only seek asylum if they fear religious or racial persecution, or persecution of members of a particular group, political opinion, or national margin. Not based on poverty or economic difficulties. In March of 2018, there were more than 318,000 asylum applications pending in USCIS. It could take up to four years to get an interview. In 2016, approximately only 20,455 people were granted asylum in the United States. While their applications are being processed most asylum seekers are detained. Families that have been detained have shown more mental and physical health issues than those not detained. Detainees were more likely to become depressed, get infections more frequently, amd develop post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to that, studies have shown that being detained lowered the chances of securing legal help which harms the person’s chance of obtaining relief.
Seeking asylum is just one way an immigrant can get into the United States. Another way is family-based immigration. Family members who are qualified can ask permission to bring their eligible family members. U.S. citizens can petition to bring their immediate family such as their spouse, children, parents, or siblings. In order to get into the United States this way they must prove income level above poverty line and have to commit to supporting the family member they wish to bring to the United States. Married children of U.S. citizens have to wait more than 20 years for a visa while filipino siblings of U.S. citizens must wait up to 25 years.
The third way an immigrants could come to the United States is by employer-based immigration. Basically, the immigrant would have to have a potential job lined up already and have an employer ready to vouch for them. This usually requires an advanced or longtime skill. Workers must stay with employers. Employers can request a foreign worker to come if they meet the education and skill level only after failing to find a qualified U.S. worker first. There are two types of employer-based immigration: permanent and seasonal. In order to apply for a permanents immigration statues the skills they have must be of higher education and professional experience. Seasonal is offered for agricultural and “less skilled” workers in which the employer would have to petition for the worker.
Some people may argue that the United States does need a stricter immigration policy in place. One claim would be that immigrants feed off of welfare. This is not correct. In fact, they are less likely to use welfare than native-born Americans. If Americans used Medicaid and used the same value of benefits as poor immigrants the system would be 42 percent smaller. Another misconception is that immigrants do not pay taxes. They still have to pay taxes while receiving little to no benefits. Caucasain people are primary receivers of benefits. 43 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries were white out of 70 million. Of 43 million food stamp recipients in 2016, 36.2 percent were white and 25 percent were black.
Job Padilla, born in Mexico, started working at the age of six years old on the streets, giving his mother his full paycheck to help support his family. From then on, he has not stopped working. Mr. Padilla got married at 18 years old and expected his first child by 20. The life he led in Mexico was not the life he wanted for his child. He and his wife risked their lives crossing the boarder for a chance at a better life for their children and themselves. Once they arrived to the United States they both applied for a green card. They were both approved. Since his arrival to the U.S., Mr. Padilla has worked as a factory worker. Unwilling to accept help from the government, he worked as a car mechanic on the side to be able to better provide for his family. 43 years later, Job Padilla is now head of the company he’s worked since he was 20 years old, earning $54 an hour, declining job offers from various companies that are interested in him for his skill level. He is an upstanding member of society. He pays his taxes and has never relied on any form of government help. He also donates part of every check he earns to those who are where he used to be. People such as Mr. Padilla are what makes America, America.
The United States does not need a harsher immigration policy. It is already hard enough for people to get here legally as is. Immigrants contribute to the society, if not more, than native born Americans. Make America great again and make it simpler for the people who make it great to enter, the immigrants.
“Asylum in the United States.” American Immigration Council, 2 Jan. 2019, http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/asylum-united-states.
“How the United States Immigration System Works.” American Immigration Council, 2 Jan. 2019,
Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Ana Gonzales-Barrera. “Key Facts about U.S. Immigration Policies and Proposed Changes.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 26 Feb. 2018,
“Why Don’t They Just Get In Line?” American Immigration Council, 27 Nov. 2018,
Padilla, Job. Personal Interview. 13 December 2019.