Immigration Laws, Green Card, U.S. Citizenship
Our country was built on immigrants. Everyone, except the ones who have Native American ancestry, is and immigrant or a descendant of immigrants on this land. The conditions were harsh in early days. Survival was not that easy. Only highly intelligent, creative, hardworking, freedom loving, self-reliant, risk takers would come to newly found land of opportunities. Luckily, they survived and were able to build a great nation and thriving economy. As population grew and nation became wealthy, political clutter started to accumulate. In the nation of people who were very proud of “living by themselves”, many new welfare reforms were added. Gradually, dependence became an acceptable virtue on the land of free and brave.
In some instances, dependence is understandable. For example, children, orphans, very old, disabled and temporarily caught in circumstances with a track record of hard work, deserve community support. But, welfare for adult, healthy and mentally capable people, was never a way to go in America. Welfare laws, coupled with big government and wealthy nation, became a huge point of attraction for lazy people. The people, who were not really interested in freedom, hard work and building great life for themselves and their families. People, who were not really interested in being productive and beneficial to society. Who were mainly interested in welfare, only.
While, the freedom and opportunity kept attracting the best talent from around the world, welfare seekers were becoming a big issue, at the mean time. So, it became necessary to filter out real hard working, freedom loving people from others. These welfare seeking, lazy people were increasing the crime rates, too. Another factor was that the most of early immigrants were western European whites. Over time, the proportion of non-white immigrants increased in new immigrants. Many whites did not like that. So, open immigration policies were abandoned. The policy that anyone who made it to Ellis Island was an American, was not applicable anymore.
The basic purpose of very early limitations on immigration was to make sure that immigrants were working and productive, and they were not just going to be a burden on economy and tax payers. Immigrants were required to get a Green Card. It was basically an intermediate period before acquiring U.S citizenship. During this period the immigrants had to work and prove their productivity. If they worked and remained productive for a given period of time, without being a burden on economy and tax payers, they were awarded with citizenship.
Unfortunately, just like any other government regulation, that simple immigration policy became a mumbo jumbo of ridicule, and started to fail in satisfying its basic purpose which was to keep U.S. population productive to a maximum possible level, so that everyone was benefited. Instead of being the probationary period for proving their worth as U.S. citizens, gradually, Green Card became a permanent license to live in United States. For the reasons like productivity and abundant availability of labor, obtaining Green Card was easy, in earlier days, and becoming a citizen was the harder step in process, as they had to prove as Green Card holders that they were and could be the productive citizens of United States.
As the government grew in size, and complicated laws and regulations became the words of day, immigration laws were messed up, too. Minimum requirements for hiring employees kept increasing and getting complicated. Laws like minimum wage, paying social security and other taxes for employees, ensuring certain working conditions and employee rights made it harder and harder for businesses to legally hire employees. Problem for big businesses was that the Green Card obtaining process was easy, and almost everyone could get a Green Card, in a very short period of time.
As soon as someone got a Green Card, he or she was a legal worker in United States, and in a very good position to claim all the legal rights offered by U.S. laws. Gradually, big businesses found a very creative way to bypass the labor laws and get cheap labor with virtually no fear for the claim of legal rights. They started lobbying law makers to legislate the laws which would make it harder to obtain Green Cards for immigrants. Under a very high demand for U.S. immigration, around the world when desperate people would not get legal authorization to work in United States AKA Green Card, they would start entering into the country, illegally.
Once, in the country, most of these people would need to get a job. It was not the problem of big business lobbies, if this illegal influx of immigrants, under prohibitive immigration laws, would bring in lots of lazy and criminal people, too. Big businesses got many Americans to support them for tighter immigration laws by hoaxes like immigrants were snatching laws from American workers, deriving down the wages and benefits, etc., especially during the times like recessions and depression. Only thing big businesses were interested in, was cheap labor from scared, illegal workers.
This is the problem with argument for tighter immigration laws. People come here to make money, mostly by working. If there are no jobs available, as the situation is gradually turning into, or if the U.S. jobs are not paying good enough than people would automatically stop coming to United States, as there would be no more financial incentive for immigration into United States. Matter of the fact that people are still coming to United States and getting jobs proves that there is no real jobs crisis in country. Only problem is that the big businesses want to hire cheap, illegal workers only.
If desperately needed immigration reforms make it easy to obtain Green Card, especially for the first relatives of people who are already U.S. citizens, big businesses will no longer have the ability to exploit cheap, illegal labor. The hiring will be totally on merit, citizen or immigrant, and everyone will be paid at the fair rate, as it was in the beginning when immigration was open. My friends, this economy has unlimited potential. Only problems are government, and its supportive corporate lobbies. Once those are out of our way, we can generate well-paying jobs for everyone, citizen or immigrant. This is America, the land of opportunities, and the home of free and brave.