(Graphics not available) Immigration according to Merriam Webster dictionary is the act of entering a country in which one is not a native for permanent residence. With the exception of the American Indians, people living in America can trace their ancestry roots to a country outside of United States of America. According to Alan Allport, The United States has been a land of immigration for the past 200 years (Allport, 2005). Most of the original immigrants came from Europe especially the British Isles, the African slaves who were brought in to work the plantations and the Hispanic migrants from central and southern Americas. However, over the years, rules and regulations have been introduced to control the number of immigrants entering America. "A broad range of circumstances including famine, depression, war, technological innovation and industrialization influenced the course of immigration policy and immigration to the United States (Yans-Mclaughlin & Lightman, 1997). In the wake of 9/11, the Americans are now even the more cautious about whom they let into their country.
TYPES OF IMMIGRANTS/VISAS
Visas have been introduced and most non-American citizens need to acquire one before setting foot on American soil. There are 2 types of visas known as immigrant and non immigrant visa. Immigrant visas are given to people who qualify to come and stay in the United States and make it their home. This kind of visa is given to people who qualify under various categories including but not limited to; being a close relative of a citizen or by being selected randomly through the Diversity Visa Lottery. This is a lottery now commonly known as the green card lottery' that was introduced by the US government to give to individuals from certain nationalities that are under-represented in America a chance to legally live and work in the US. Interested parties send their application electronically and if selected they are required to prove that they will not be a public charge and will contribute to America's economic development then they are granted. It is a one-time only opportunity and hence the name lottery.
Non-immigrants visa on the other hand is given to individuals who want to enter the USA on a temporary basis. The most common reasons for such temporary visits are; tourism, study and work on a temporary assignment. The visa has several restrictions. Visitors and students are not allowed to work at all. Those who are sponsored by American employers cannot work for any other employer therefore changing jobs is difficult. These visa holders are expected to return to their countries upon finishing their mission in America. If they need to apply for the immigrant visa, then they are required to do so in their country of origin. However, there are people who do not return after their papers expire and hence end up living here as illegal immigrants. The ministry of Ethnic facts reports that:
"Nearly 70,000 foreigners arrive in the United States...