Illegal Immigrant Should Not Receive Social Services

By Porter, Lakeisha | International Social Science Review, Spring-Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

Illegal Immigrant Should Not Receive Social Services


Porter, Lakeisha, International Social Science Review


Introduction

Throughout its history, the United States has been a land of immense opportunities. For many, it is only a dream to live in a country where opportunity is just around the corner. While many individuals achieve their dream of living in the land of the free, some of them reside in the U.S. illegally. They secretly migrate to and reside in the United States, and American citizens are held liable for all of their shortcomings.

The United States is a country of seemingly limitless prospects and possibilities, but there must be rules to ensure order and prosperity. To accomplish this, the federal government, in 1952, established the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The act, which has been amended many times since then, still serves as the basic framework for U.S. immigration law. In general, it provides a single comprehensive statue which governs immigration and naturalization policy in the United States. (1) There was very little opposition to the INA at the time of its adoption, but supporters of the act, both Democrats and Republicans, favored it for different reasons. (2) For Democrats, it made all races eligible for naturalization, thus eliminating race as a bar to immigration. They also supported the law because it eliminated discrimination between sexes with respect to immigration, afforded greater procedural safeguards to aliens subject to deportation, broadened the grounds for exclusion and deportation of aliens, and provided equal opportunities for immigrants in America? Many Republicans supported the law because it revised the quota system of the National Origins Act of 1924 and introduced a system of selected immigration by giving a quota preference to skilled aliens whose services were urgently needed in the United States, and to relatives of U.S. citizens and aliens. It also outlined procedures for adjusting the status of nonimmigrant aliens to permanent resident aliens, added significantly to the existing classes of nonimmigrant admission, and established a central index of all aliens in the United States for use by security and law enforcement agencies. (4) Unfortunately, this act and the "amnesties" for illegal immigrants were adopted partly because of the sheer number of "unauthorized" immigrants that continue to migrate into the United States.

Today, there are over a million "illegal" immigrants who reap the benefits of free education, employment opportunities, and, most importantly, healthcare. Americans should not have to continue to suffer the impact of illegal immigrants' "extended vacations" in the United States.

Amnesties: Encouraging Illegal Immigration

Congress has adopted a series of amnesties that make it possible for illegal immigrants to live in America permanently. Such laws have helped to establish a system of federal rewards and aid for illegal immigrants, thus attracting even more aliens to the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, 700,000 to 800,000 illegal immigrants settle in the United States annually; an estimated eight to eleven million illegal aliens currently reside in the country. In 2000, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reported that the amnesties granted in 1986, a direct result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), has contributed significantly to the increase in illegal immigration as immigrants enter the U.S. to join their newly legalized relatives. (5)

Since the mid-1990s, IRCA has contributed to the adoption of several immigration amnesty laws. The first, Section 245(i) Amnesty of 1994, offers a de facto amnesty to two major groups of illegal aliens: (1) Those who entered the country illegally; and, (2) those who entered it legally through visas, but then violated the terms of their visa. The next law, Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty of 1997, was signed by President Bill Clinton twice as continuing resolutions to extend the September 30, 1997 expiration date of Section 245(i) through November 7, 1997. …

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