Myths about American Immigration

by TessaSchlesinger

by Tessa Schlesinger. Explains the existing Immigration Laws, plus the existing path to citizenship. Also explains that one can be an immigrant without being a citizen.

The average person has no idea what is involved in legal immigration and the path to citizenship. American immigration laws are typical of most countries and there is a very definite path to citizenship. However, citizenship is not required to become a permanent resident, and not verybody wants citizenship. They are content merely to stay and work. Read what the real issues are about illegal immigration.

Existing American Immigration Law

Qualifying for American Immigration

Generally, immigration law, internationally, wants the immigrant to benefit the country it is requesting entry to. So it asks that immigrants supply a skill that is rare, an academic qualification that is rare, a talent that is rare, or many millions of dollars to enable a business to be opened employing Americans. Obviously, only a minority will quality. There are a few countries where immigration is easier, but not first world countries. In addition, America gives a thorough medical examination to all who wish to immigrate. Certain illnesses like being HIV positive would, for the most part, prevent acceptance. The process is expensive with requirements to provide police reports from every country where one has previously lived.

American Exceptions

Diversity Lottery and Family Law

American immigration law offers two other pathways which makes it easier to attain a green card to America.

Using Family to Gain Entrance.

My family lives in America

After WWII, America wanted  to encourage Europeans with their excellent knowledge (e.g. rocket science) to immigrate to America. So they created a law that if one has immediate family (siblings, children, parents) in America, then they could immigrate without having to take the traditional route. However, very few Europeans wish to live in America and the law is predominantly used by Latinos to gain entrance.

22,000 applicants affected by fault in computer

Winning the Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery

Winniny the Diversity Lottery

Americans believed that the previously high levels of creativity in America were the result of diversity. This has since proved erroneous in that high levels of creativity are the result of free time and high levels of discretionary income. However, the Diversity Lottery (otherwise known as the Green Card Lottery) was created in order to encourage citizens of nations with low quotas of immigration to the USA  to seek immigration here. Any country where more than 50,000 people immigrated to the USA in the past five years would not be eligible to enter the USA. These countries are Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. In other words, it is the people from the above countries who are feeding American immigration. You will note that, with the exception of the United Kingdom, people from other first world countries do not seek immigration to the United States.

In order to be able to enter the Green Card Lottery, the entrant must have finished high school plus have two years of experienced in a recognized trade. In addition to that, they must either have a job to come to or a sponsor in the USA. There are also the various other requirements, like medical examination, vaccinations, and police reports.

Entries to the Green Card have fallen off, especially after America went to war against Iraq. Previously, there was only one month per year when entries were accepted. Now the entry period is two months.

Incidentally, I won a Green Card through the Diversity Lottery and an old school friend sponsored me. 

One more point about the Diversity Lottery. It appeas that some people seem to think that it is only the first generation that provides the creativity and the jobs. In other words, the children of first wave immigrants don't provide the jobs and the creativity. Ergo, America has to keep importing people in order to keep the job market growing and the creativity flowing...


The Path to Citizenship in America.

How to become an American Citizen

There is a difference between permanent residence and citizenship. The Green Card permits one permanent residence but does not require citizenship. The only difference is that permanent residents cannot vote. This does not mean that citizenship is eagerly desired. To the contrary, two thirds of legal Mexican immigrants remain permanent residents despite the fact that they have been in the United States for more than five years.

Citizenship can be attained after residing legally in the United States for more than five years. It is a simple exam where the applicant is asked a few questions about American history. There is also a requirement to read, speak, and to be able to write in English.

There are many reasons why a large percentage of permanent residents do not naturalize (i.e. take up citizenship). These include an inability to speak, read, and write English and an unwillingness to lose their own nationality in the process. For example, I am a dual German/South African citizen. If I took up American citizenship, I would retain my South African passport (because South Africa permits dual citizenship) but Germany would remove my German nationality (Germany does not accept dual citizenship if attained after birth).

How to Win the Green Card Lottery
How to Win the Green Card Lottery
How to Win the Diversity Visa Lottery

A Detailed Step By Step Guide to Obtaining a Green Card via the official diversity visa program. Win one of the 50,000 permanent resident visas randomly granted by the US govern...

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How to Immigrate to Another Country

In today's world, many people seek different or better working conditions, safety from terrible conditions, and/or a better life for their children. They begin to look at the wo...

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Difference between Settlers and Immigrants

Settlers are NOT immigrants.

Some would say that there great great grandparents were immigrants and that they were allowed to settle here, so why shouldn't others be allowed to just arrive?

There is a difference between settles and immigrants. Settlers are those people who arive in a country where there are no laws and where land can be taken and kept. That was the option for the first few hundred years in all new world countries.

Immigration happens when the country has sufficient people to be able to set up a structure of laws. At this point, people are no longer settlers but immigrants. Immgratoin laws tend to become toughter, the more people desire to immigrate to a particular country and more lax when nobody wnats to live there.

So What’s the Problem with the Current Immigration Law?

Is American Immigration too difficult?

People who live and work in a country where they are not permitted to are breaking the law. They generally do that because they would not qualify for either a working visa or as an immigrant as they do not have adequate working skills. As ‘illegal immigrants’ generally come from third world countries, they are motivated to live in a first world country as even a wage that is below the minimum wage is better than what they earned in their own country. Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States all have issues with people who do not speak the language, and who do not qualify for immigration, and, therefore, arrive without the necessary papers to live and work.

Why Do So Many Get Away with It?

Employ Illegal Aliens

In the United States, employers wishing to pay less than the minimum wage employ illegal immigrants. Employers are required, by law, to ask for the Green Card. If it cannot be produced, they cannot employ the worker. From personal experience, I know that quite a few employers actively look for illegal immigrants to employ as these people have no legal redress when they are paid a couple of bucks per hour. I know that because when I applied for jobs when I arrived in the USA, employers immediately noted my accent. They wanted to pay me $2 per hour. When I said that this was below the minimum wage, they immediately pointed out that I didn’t have a green card. I disabused them of that notion immediately, and they then told me that they weren’t interested in employing me then.

The Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants

Permanent Residence in the United States
  • Firstly, there is already a path to citizenship but these people don’t qualify.
  • Secondly, most people don’t seem to realize that there is a status called ‘permanent resident’ and it is this that is required for the right to work in the United States – not citizenship.
  • Thirdly, if people are already breaking the law of the country by living in a country illegally, does one really want them to be a citizen? Legal immigration requires extensive police checks before citizenship is granted.
  • Next, many of these people live in the United States for decades. During that time, they give birth to children. These children have been educated at the expense of the American tax payer and are culturized as Americans. When they start seeking work, they are in a terrible position as the don’t have ID, social security numbers, and other requirements.

Why should Immigrants be treated with respect if they are breaking the law? Video beneath...

Taking Away Jobs from Americans.

Being paid between $2 and $4 per hour

It is often said that illegal immigrants take away jobs from Americans. The retaliation to that is that Americans don’t want the type of jobs that illegal immigrants do.

Here are some points to think about.

  • Americans would take the job – if they were paid a minimum wage. However, people who employ illegal immigrants don’t want to pay a minimum wage.
  • The reason it’s so difficult to find work in America is twofold. The first is that there are more people than jobs, and the second is that Americans are educated to follow their dreams and not the kind of jobs that are available.
  • So, most definitely, if there is a labor force which is willing to work for $2 per hour, and there are more workers than jobs, then they are definitely taking away jobs from Americans.
  • If Americans were more practical and went to school to learn a marketable skill rather than something they were interested in, they would find it easier to find the jobs which struggle to find suitable applicants.
  • It's not possible for illegal immigrants to get benefits. That said, it's virtually impossible for legal immigrants to get benefits. Clinton changed the laws so that immigrants didn't qualify for much in terms of benefits.

Consulting Immigration Attorneys

Hire Immigration Attorney

The American Immigration act contains too many variations for most people who wish to immigrate to the United States to figure. With this in mind, emigrants often consult an Immgration specialist. On the other hand, they also view sites (as the above link demonstrates) to get as much information as possible and do it themselves - especially if they would be easily accepted. Generally, immigration websites tend to provide useful information to emigrants.  

Summary: Illegal Aliens in America

Legal Immigration in America

Essentially, there is very much a way of attaining either permanent residence or citizenship in America. The people who aren’t using those channels aren’t using them because they either tried and were refused because they didn’t qualify, or they didn’t bother to try because they knew they didn’t qualify.

So the question is this. Should America change her immigration laws, and if so, how? If the laws permit anyone to come in, then nations have been known to be taken over through assimilation. To put that in another context, while most Americans are thinking of the ‘Latino; issue, what happens if radical Muslims suddenly begin to populate America? It’s an enormous issue in the United Kingdom where London is now predominantly populated by people of other nations. Demographs also change the electoral outcome, so think carefully. It’s not as simple as it looks!


Updated: 04/05/2013, TessaSchlesinger
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TessaSchlesinger on 03/24/2013

Brenda, like I said, it's a complex situation. I wouldn't even begin to think I had answers...

BrendaReeves on 03/24/2013

Interesting article Tess. I feel that radical Muslims are taking over this country right under our noses. Our politicians don't care. I'm from California, and I can tell you that illegal Mexicans have always been in that state. I don't know if it's still true, but CA used to feed the whole world. The Mexican farm laborers are very much needed there. We have American school buses that cross the border to pick up children and bring them back to California to go to school. Pregnant women from Mexico come across the border to have their babies. That automatically makes those children citizens. California, until a few years ago, was a beautiful prosperous state. Now, there are more people on welfare than working. People and businesses are moving to other states in droves. I must add that Mexicans are very hard working people and will take any job. They do want jobs and a better life for their family.

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