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This essay intends to give solid arguments in favor of giving legal citizenships to children whose parents entered illegally to a country in which they are being raised. However, this citizenship should not be given to everyone, but only to those who are able to achieve a college diploma or serve in the military. The United States and the United Kingdom will be used as examples, given the fact that there are a high number of immigrants among their population.
The DREAM Act presented by ex-president of the USA Barack Obama could have allowed undocumented immigrants to get a temporary citizenship, which could help improve the country in many ways. The New York State DREAM Act bill was first introduced in 2011, and it mandated an end to deportations of, and work permits for, undocumented immigrants under 30 years old, who went to the United States before they turned 16 and who had been in the country for at least five years. They could have no criminal record, and they had to be a high school graduate or have a GED, be in school or have served in the military. However, critics say it is nothing more than backdoor amnesty for as many as two million illegal aliens. Nevertheless, the approval of the DREAM Act would provide hope to the young undocumented immigrants who only know the US as their home, since they did not spend a long portion of their life in their home country, deporting them will therefore seem cruel. Furthermore, this would also go against the basic American sense of being fair when the children are punished due to the choices of their parents. Even though the Act would allow improvements in economics, tax revenues and military recruitment efforts, it has failed to pass.
The process of naturalization in the USA and the UK would be more effective if it was simplified. Firstly, immigrants have to go through a long-lasting and complicated process in order to acquire their natural citizenship. For instance, in the USA, being a permanent resident and having lived there for more than five years are some of the requirements. Secondly, not having a citizenship stands in the way of obtaining good jobs. According to the Forbes Company, most of the jobs available for immigrants are low-paying and the previous education of the person is completely overlooked. For this reason, the process should be simplified by lowering the amount of years necessary to be able to apply. However, the Life in the UK and the US tests ought to still be compulsory in order to get the citizenship.
There are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States and the UK. It is unrealistic and inhumane to deport these individuals from their families and lives in these nations. Therefore, these immigrants should be offered a path to legal status and eventually earned citizenship. This track to citizenship should be realistic, rather than being so burdensome that it prevents integration. Allowing these immigrants to regularize their status would not only strengthen the national security of the countries, but also stimulate the economy and enhance their rich, vibrant, and diverse cultures. Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, an immigration reporter for ThinkProgress said “In another scenario where undocumented immigrants are granted legal status and citizenship after five years, the GDP would grow by $1.1 trillion, there would be an additional 159,000 jobs per year, and add $144 billion in tax revenue.”
Nihil humanum a me alienum puto, said the Roman poet Terence: “Nothing human is alien to me.” In the end, we are all humans. We all deserve the same rights and privileges as anyone else, and we must know that no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. As John Lydon said: “Everybody loves the idea of a homeland. I used to, but I’ve kind of got the bigger picture now. It’s a home planet to me.”
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