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America Needs Immigration Essay

2743 words - 11 pages

So many times the phrase "melting pot" is used to describe the United States of America. It is a country built on ideals such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other basic human rights. These  ideals, though they may have originated from European men labeled as liberals, eventually captured followers from all over the world. Soon, America was a mixture of peoples with different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and cultures all working together for the "American Dream." 

With the country's vast natural resources, abundance of land, and endless opportunities, there seemed to be more than enough room for everyone. The gates were open to any that wished to enter. However, as the years progressed, America became less like a frontier and began to settle down. Not long after the United States found a relatively stable  economy and government, the issue of restricting immigration arose.  Many American citizens, although immigrants themselves, began to see  newcomers as a problem. Fear for the stability of the economy, of the spreading of diseases, and of foreign culture disrupting American ideals  were among some of the concerns. Prejudices also developed as a result of legal citizens seeing themselves as better than the average  immigrant. Fortunately, these fears did not develop into anything more substantial than minor regulations until the beginning of the twentieth century. Strict laws were soon put into effect, some more severe than   others, in an attempt to stop or at least slow the number of immigrants coming to America. Even today, refugees and immigrants are put through tremendous hassles, some never making it past the legal barriers. There is a serious problem with these laws, however. From the beginning, the United States has been a symbol of liberty and a dream of hope for any person wishing to be free. These restrictions are wrong in that they seem to convey the message that some people do not deserve the gift of freedom. The fact that the lawmakers live in America does not give them the right to deny others the same privileges. Immigration laws are not just restricting, they are a denial and a threat to everything that makes the United States what it is today.

From the time that America began its colonization to the end of the nineteenth century, restrictions on immigration were few or nonexistent. People came to the new country without running into any obstacles, aside from those that were for the benefit of all the inhabitants. These mildly enforced laws were those that prevented the entry of "unfit applicants such as lunatics, polygamists, anarchists, the diseased, and persons likely to become a public charge" (Handlin 281). Then, the New Frontier became a country of its own, with its own constitution and government. This caused more immigrants to turn to the new country, leaving behind their native soils and heritages, to escape oppression and for a chance to live as they saw fit....

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