You Have Rights!
You have rights, the right to gather, the right to speak up, the right to a fair and speedy trial if you get into trouble. Immigrants who come to America whose only difference is that they were not born here do not have these rights. Immigrants are not given rights when they come to America leaving them unprotected. People should be allowed to move freely in the World without having to worry about being split from their families, taken out of homes, and being unprotected from rights. Help me spread awareness and help solve this problem by taking the time to look through my page! Thanks so much!
Tell me what you know about US immigration and rights!:
First, put yourself in an immigrants shoes:
So, all in all, what is my problem?
The problem I am focusing on is citizenship in America. The main issues with citizenship in America are; citizenship is directly linked with your rights as a person, the foundation of citizenship is racist territorialism, and the process to receive citizenship takes too long leaving many immigrants left unprotected by human rights for many years.
If you live in America not as a citizen, such as with a green card, any kind of visa, or illegally you are not allowed rights such as, freedom of speech or freedom of assembly because you risk being deported. If someone in that position gets into any kind of legal trouble they are not given the right to a fair and speedy trial or a lawyer. That is just one example of how people who are not citizens in the US are not protected by rights. The idea of citizenship has changed significantly over years but today citizenship is linked to rights giving more rights to native people and less to migrating minorities. Thus for making it more difficult for refugees to get fair rights in America. I am also focusing on how difficult it is to be granted citizenship in the US, including many steps then finally taking a challenging test that most Americans could not pass. Citizenship needs to be reformed because citizenship and rights are directly linked in the US and your human rights should never be stripped because you don’t have citizenship.
Why do I care?
This topic is important to me because my grandparents are immigrants and arrived in the states roughly 40 years ago. My grandparents were lucky enough to have a friend who was a citizen of the US and would hire my grandfather as a chef in his restaurant. My mom and grandparents were able to come to the US through an employment-based immigration. But the process was long and very difficult as they were not able to come directly to the US and had to stop in Japan from Korea on their way to the US and wait there for confirmation that they were able to enter the US. Although my grandparents were lucky enough to have a connection with a citizen family others are not. I am interested in this topic because I think it is cruel to make it so difficult for immigrants escaping unlivable conditions to achieve something as simple as a colored card which grants them space in the US.
Here is some background information:
Timeline of Immigration Laws:
1. The Naturalization Act
1790 was the first citizenship rules that were ever established in the United States. This Act was limited to “free white persons” of “good moral character”. Women were included in this act but citizenship was only able to be inherited through fathers (TimelineJS Embed). This act was the first legal starting point of the idea of racist territorialism and was passed by the United States Congress. The definition of territorialism is a principle or system that gives predominance to the landed classes (Dictionary.com), which the United States Congress definitely achieved when creating this Act. I feel this is a good starting point because it addresses one of my major topics: racial territorialism, and because it provides a foundation of when the perplexing idea of citizenship was born.
2. Hate Against Immigrants
During 1845-1860 is when immigrants started to see a lot of hate and violence directed at them for trying to immigrate to the United States due to anti-immigrant parties. Many violent attacks were made but the largest one was a riot in Louisville that killed 22 people in attempt to stop immigrants from voting. (Stephanie Vatz)
3. The Fourteenth Amendment
In 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment is ratified and changed into “All persons born of naturalized in the United States, and subjected to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”. Which all in all grants all people born in the United States citizenship to the United States. This amendment was even extended to African Americans. This act meant that with the luck of being born into the relative comparative to other countries safety of the United States along came the basic rights including the rest of the amendments which now you have gratuitously been given. (Stephanie Vatz)
4. Chinese Exclusion Act
WordPress, Author: Beth Lew-Williams
In 1882 the United States Congress passed another very racist act called the Chinese Exclusion Act which prohibited all Chinese skilled or unskilled people from obtaining visas for 10 years. This act is not repealed until 1943. This act was passed because US citizens did not want any Chinese people to get any gold during the Gold Rush. The Chinese Exclusion Act foreshadowed many other immigration acts including the National Origins Act of 1929, which only allowed 150,000 immigrants into the US per year and prohibited Asian immigration. (Stephanie Vatz)
5. Immigrant Responsibility Act
In 1996 the punishment increased greatly for illegal immigration in the goal to have less illegal immigrants in the US. This Act was called the Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 which was signed by President Bill Clinton. This Law resulted in a large increase of deportations and criminals facing detention due to be an illegal immigrant. 2008-2012 roughly 1.5 million people are deported hitting a record of 400,000 in 2012 alone. (Stephanie Vatz)
Let’s Fix This!
Inspired by a relatively recent migration policy in the European Union, my solution helps give as many immigrants as possible rights no matter where they are, they are granted citizenship from where they were born which includes all the rights for your country, for example the US rights such as the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution apply to people born in the US, and people born in Mexico the Constitution of Mexico would apply to them. But the people who are apart of North America can move freely between all of North America keeping all your rights from your home country. This solution would be a migration treaty between all of North America and while this does not help all immigrants coming to America it would help all the Mexican citizens who want to come to America and make the system to receive a green card much faster. Almost 40 percent of all immigrants immigrating to the US are either from North America and Latin America-Caribbean. This would ensure that people are always protected under basic human rights and only able to vote once in their home country. For this solution to work everyone in North America would have to agree and decide on any differences between the different constitutions such as gun laws. There are still things that need to be worked out such as where you pay taxes to but all in all this is a reasonable solution solves my problem of citizenship and immigrants in America.
What do you think?–> give me feedback here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeKJGuxGXzdvaFaz72Ufo9yuq5Ky16h69D5zCHLjxyv7mcMVQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
González, Daniel. “Millions of immigrants waiting for green cards.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 23 June 2013
Wall, Alan. “Comparing and Contrasting the U.S. and Mexican Constitutions.” Comparing and Contrasting the U.S. and Mexican Constitutions
Plumer, Brad. “How the geography of U.S. immigration has changed over time.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 17 May 2013
“Chinese Exclusion Act (1882).” Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US, Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), ocp.hul.harvard.edu/immigration/exclusion.html.
Avanzado, Dona Maria. “Dona Maria Avanzado.” UsCitizenship,
“USCIS Early Filing Calculator.” USCIS. www.uscis.gov/forms/uscis-early-filing-calculator.
“Chinese Exclusion Act (1882).” Our Documents – Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=47.
“Green Card Eligibility.” MyUSCIS, my.uscis.gov/exploremyoptions/green_card_eligibility.
“Green Cards and Permanent Residence in the U.S.” USAGov, www.usa.gov/green-cards.