Immigration splits the globe

Kaitlyn Delaney

As described by the American Immigration Council (AIC), the United States’ immigration policy is complex and often misunderstood. The policy consists of four main principles: the admission of skillful people who are beneficial to the country’s economy, protection of refugees and those seeking asylum, promotion of diversity and reunification of families. There are many facets to the policy, such as family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, temporary visa classifications, lawful permanent residency, refugee protection and the Diversity Visa Program. Notably, those seeking permanent legal citizenship in America must endure a thorough and precise process.

According to the AIC, a foreign resident qualifies for U.S. citizenship when they have had a green card for at least five years, are at least 18 years of age and prove a continuous residency in the country. Along with these criteria, candidates must demonstrate “good moral character,” pass several exams on history, civics and English and pay a $640 application fee.

The topic of immigration splits the U.S. in two, with more than half the population supporting stricter immigration laws, according to NPR. A study conducted by Harvard University concluded that 80 percent of participants surveyed want to close down U.S. borders, 70 percent want to end chain migration and 68 percent want to end the visa lottery program.

Immigration divides other countries in a similar way. In Canada, more than half of the population supports immigration. The Star News reported that 72 percent of Canadians believe that immigration benefits their country more than it harms, and 70 percent saw several benefits to the nation, including economic, political, and social influxes.

It has been 32 years since the U.S. has passed legislation involving immigration, according to Politico. While many view the current policy as beneficial and functional, others believe it is overdue for a revision; revisiting and adjusting this policy may give rest to this dissatisfaction citizens have.