Anyone seeking to discuss immigration both legal and illegal should be familiar with the various changes in the law since the inception of the United States shown below the main article. At various times there have been provisions of extreme prejudice against certain racial groups that at the current time have been pretty well done away with.
While my mother's family arrived before the revolutionary war. My father didn't arrive until 1926 which meant his parents had to comply with the law as it was written in 1924. Among the things they had to declare upon leaving the ship were: name, age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, address of last place of residence, immediate destination, long term destination and name of contact/sponsor, and amount of money they brought into the country. All members of the family were examined for evidence of disease so that they carried no communicable illnesses. Anyone who wants to know how this turned out can go to Finding Jessie.
When looking at that list of items the United States has a right to know before admitting anyone, it makes me very angry that our President seems to feel that none of this is really necessary or that it isn't a major problem that anywhere from 12 to 20 million people are here without the immigration service knowing so much as their names.
Almost daily Bush tries to terrify us with another "war on terror" horror story, but the one element that would do the most to protect us from terrorists (gaining control of our ports and borders) is something he just ignores and says we "can't do".
This is rediculous. I do not begrudge anyone wanting to work and raise their family, but is it too much to ask that they do it without violating our laws.
Protect our borders first. Fine the bejeesus out of any employer using illegal alien labor at least $10,000 per employee. If they don't get the message try jail time. I realize that the big employers tend to be GOP contributors, and I know George doesn't usually pay attention to what is good for the country when it comes into conflict with a big donor, but do it anyway.
Insist that anyone here currently illegal submit a request for right to abide from outside the country (This could be fast tracked for those with jobs and exceptions could be made for those who have refugee status of some sort.)
Anyone providing humanitarian services will not suffer any penalty, but they should be required to determine and report status.I wouldn't deny an education to a child who was here illegally through no fault of their own, but their parents or guardian must regularize their status.
No student should receive "in state" benefits for college unless their status has been cleared.
Any child born to someone in illegal status will be a U.S. citizen, but the parent will have the choice to return to the country of origin until the child is 18 when they can petition for entry on their own, or the parents can leave the child with a legal guardian until they attain their own legal status from outside the U.S.
These postions will make some of my gentler compatriots angry, but think about it: Someone shows up on your doorstep, walks in without your permission, takes up residence in one of your bedrooms, sends you all the bills for their education and medical care and then tells you it's okay because they will weed your garden and pay taxes on the salary you give them to do so. That is illegal immigration.
Our doors should be wide open to those simply seeking a better way of life and honest work to do, but have the courtesy to knock on the door and introduce yourself before moving in.
Naturalization Act of 1790 Stipulated that "any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States"
1848 - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo - Settled questions of citizenship following War with Mexico.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.
1885 and 1887 Alien Contract Labor laws which prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.
1891 The Federal Government assumed the task of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the U.S.
1892 On January 2, a new Federal US immigration station opened on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. See the history of Ellis Island
1903 This Act restated the 1891 provisions concerning land borders and called for rules covering entry as well as inspection of aliens crossing the Mexican border.
1907 The US immigration Act of 1907 reorganized the states bordering Mexico (Arizona, New Mexico and a large part of Texas) into Mexican Border District to stem the flow of immigrants into the U.S.
1917 - 1924 A series of laws were enacted to further limit the number of new immigrants. These laws established the quota system and imposed passport requirements. They expanded the categories of excludable aliens and banned all Asians except Japanese.
1940 The Alien Registration Act required all aliens (non-U.S. citizens) within the United States to register with the Government and receive an Alien Registration Receipt Card (the predecessor of the "green card").
1950 Passage of the Internal Security Act which rendered the Alien Registration Receipt Card even more valuable. Immigrants with legal status had their cards replaced with what generally became known as the "green card" (Form I-151).
1952 Act Established the modern day US immigration system. It created a quota system which imposes limits on a per-country basis. It also established the preference system that gave priority to family members and people with special skills.
1968 Act Eliminated US immigration discrimination based on race, place of birth, sex and residence. It also officially abolished restrictions on Oriental US immigration.
1986 Act Focused on curtailing illegal US immigration. It legalized hundred of thousands of illegal immigrants. It also introduced the employer sanctions program which fines employers for hiring illegal workers. It also passed tough laws to prevent bogus marriage fraud.
1990 Act Established an annual limit for certain categories of immigrants. It was aimed at helping U.S. businesses attract skilled foreign workers; thus, it expanded the business class categories to favor persons who can make educational, professional or financial contributions. It created the Immigrant Investor Program.
USA Patriot Act 2001 : Uniting and Strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorismCreation of the USCIS2003 : As of March 1, 2003, the US immigration and Naturalization Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The department’s new U.S. Citizenship and US immigration Services (USCIS) function is to handle US immigration services and benefits, including citizenship, applications for permanent residence, non-immigrant applications, asylum, and refugee services. US immigration enforcement functions are now under the Department's Border and Transportation Security Directorate, known as the Bureau of US immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE)