The grounds of immigration law are based on two concepts: right of the soil (jus soli) and right of blood (jus sanguinis). These two concepts are an accepted means of determining one’s citizenship on principal, internationally. Simply put, a person’s birthright can be determined by where they are born or where their ancestors were born. These two concepts are often intermingled when a nation is attempting to validate a person’s right of citizenship in their home country and/or that of a foreign one. And while these two concepts are cut and dried, the act of legalizing someone as a citizen in a foreign country, especially that of the US has become a very controversial matter.
The question stands: on what basis should an immigrant be legalized as a US citizen?
As of 1965 when the nullification of ethnic quotas in immigration occurred there has been an influx in the United States. In fact this country has the highest acceptance rate of legal immigrants as citizens. However, it also has the highest amount of illegal immigrants as well, leading to a demand for stricter immigration laws and closer adherence to the existing ones. This subject is split down the middle however, with recent arguments focusing on the benefit to the economy that illegal migrant workers give. The farming community especially, makes use of migrant workers, with lower wages, no taxes, hard workers who will do menial jobs that US workers don’t want. In some ways though this is unethical in terms of worker rights-the employees reap all the benefits while having to do little for their workers.
To counteract the negativity surrounding the influx of illegal immigrants, the government of the United States has begun working towards a common ground. One suggestion is the policy of the guest worker. This involves issuing prospective constituents with a visa that allows employers to temporarily hire such immigrants for specialize jobs. However, once employment has ended the worker must either reapply under another form of citizenship or find another job that falls within their visas guidelines. This involves quite a bit of red tape and can be very time consuming. Plus, it doesn’t always go through- which makes this compromise somewhat unbalanced, leading to the continuation of illegal immigration.
In other ways the US has tried to uphold their immigration laws by blocking access to their borders. This included building a ‘wall’ between the Mexico and US border. This however fell through as well and construction of the wall was stopped. The question is still posited-what is the best way to deal with immigration in the United States. It is obviously going to lead in a change of immigration law, but which way will it sway? Towards leniency and compromise seems to be the best option. However, there is the popular opinion that stricter laws and closed borders would be the best option for the US. Considering the economy as it is, with immigration, the former seems to be the more practical, but then how should the US handle this influx in population? In the end, those focused on immigration law seem to be at a standstill when it comes to making a decision.