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  1. 1. Immigration Reform is Another Step Towards Equality In America By Mariah Ekart
  2. 2. History  Immigration has been an issue in America since She was born.  People have been excluding certain people from entering the country based on looks and ideas for a couple centuries.
  3. 3. History Continued  The Irish were discriminated against in the mid-1800’s because they were generally poor and Catholic. They lived in tight quarters and worked in dangerous factories.  The Chinese had their own Chinese Exclusion Act for merely looking different. They worked on the transcontinental railway for less money than the average citizen and many died.
  4. 4. Present History  Skipping to the events of 9/11, the Islamic people living in America have been discriminated against ever since. America has a certain idea for what a terrorist looks like.  The main immigration issue faced is on the southern border. Millions of illegal immigrants have crossed the border from Central and South America and are now living in the United States.
  5. 5. While many Americans do not support illegal immigrants being allowed to stay in the country, there are many benefits for the United States by allowing them to do so. A revision of the immigration policy is needed for beneficial changes to be made in order to better the process of people gaining citizenship and improving the relationship between American citizens and the immigrants.
  6. 6. Common Assumptions About Illegal Immigrants  They do not pay taxes and therefore hurt the economy.  They are taking American jobs from American citizens.  The people of America are paying for them to live here.  They bring violence and crime to the cities.  They are all gang members that are involved with drugs.  They are destroying American traditions.  None of them want to conform to American ways.
  7. 7. Statistics  In 1990 around 3.5 million illegal immigrants were living in America. Today, it is presumed there are around 11.9 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.  About 76% of these illegal immigrants are Latino and 59% of them are Mexican.  California has the most illegal immigrants in the country at over 2,500,000 and nearly 10% of the workforce.  Nevada and Texas are close behind California.  Kansas has 65,000 illegal immigrants, making them a total of about 2.5% of Kansas’ population.
  8. 8. The Facts  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that undocumented immigrants contribute more in taxes than the costs of providing services at the federal level.  We are spending more money on securing, finding, and deporting illegal immigrants than they are taking from the economy. A new bill was passed that will be adding 20,000 more border patrol agents and 700 more miles of fencing that will cost around $40 billion.
  9. 9. The Facts Continued  Illegal immigrants work mainly labor intensive, dangerous jobs that most Americans do not want for less money. They work in careers such as roofing, in slaughter houses, in construction, and in road work. These jobs are typically hot, messy, and even dangerous. This opens up better jobs for American citizens.  All crime rates amongst illegal immigrants lowered in the 1990’s and 2000’s when the number of illegal immigrants was actually rising in the United States. The crime rates dropped from 34% to 26%. Even in urban areas there is evidence suggesting that illegal immigration is lowering the crime rates.
  10. 10. The Facts Continued  Gang violence is much more prevalent in some of the southern countries than in America.  Gang membership per 100,000 people was calculated as: Belize 36, Panama 43, Costa Rica 62, Nicaragua 81, Guatemala 111, El Salvador 152 and Honduras 500.  Illegal immigrants are fleeing from their violent countries to America so they can provide a safe place to raise their families without living in constant fear.
  11. 11. The Facts Continued  As for illegal immigrants ruining American traditions, the United States was a country built on immigrants.  The beauty of America is that we are peoples of every race, religion, and language that can coexist together as one. We may have different ideas and different opinions, but we can all live, work, and interact, for the most part, without killing one another.  The only true natives to the country are the Native Americans.
  12. 12. Citizenship  Perhaps one of the reasons they come into the country illegally is because gaining citizenship is too difficult.  One must be eighteen years old, have a green card and lived in the U.S. for five years and be present for a certain number of days, take two tests over American history, take a test for reading, writing, and speaking English, and be evaluated on a good moral standing to become an American citizen.  There are few exceptions and the process could be dangerous because ff the person filing for naturalization has helped anyone cross the border, lied about anything to obtain a green card, and a variety of other offenses, they may be denied citizenship indefinitely and deported back to their country.  A reform could help these illegal immigrants become legal citizens.
  13. 13. Fear  The real reason for all of the discrimination and hate is fear.  People fear what they do not understand. It is natural for people to lash out when they are afraid.  For better relationships between immigrants and Americans, it is essential that this fear is eliminated.  Knowledge and solid facts make the unknown, known and allow the fear to be washed away.
  14. 14. People in America should be more informed for any positive changes to occur between its citizens and its new citizens.
  15. 15.  America was founded so that everyone could have a right to freedom. The immigrants who come here simply want the same freedoms that American citizens possess. The government should not deny these people those freedoms.
  16. 16. “…with liberty and justice for all.”
  17. 17. Works Cited  Arnold, Kathleen R. Ed. Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical  Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California: (Greenwood), 2011. Print.  Becerra, David, et al. “Fear vs. Facts: Examining the Economic Impact of  Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.” Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare (1 Dec. 2012): 111-135. EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.  Cheng, Gracye. “Gang persecution as grounds for asylum in the US.” Forced Migration  Review 37 (1 March 2011): 50-51. EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.  Chirot, Daniel. “Is a Rational Solution Possible?” Society 47 (12 Feb. 2010): 107-109.  EBSCOhost. Web. 26 June 2013.  CitizenshipWorks. Immigration Advocates Network. Web. 28 June 2013.  “Most Say Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, But Citizenship Is More  Divisive.” 28 March 2013. Web. 28 June 2013.  Preston, Julia and Parker, Ashley. “Bill to expand U.S. Database to Verify Hires.”  26 June 2013. Web. 28 June 2013.