Immigration, legal or otherwise, is a huge issue right now. Debates rage about how many immigrants should be allowed into the country and how zealously we should guard out border from illegal intruders. To a point, these people are correct, illegal immigration is something that should be stopped. People should not cross the border illegally or overstay on visits. The important question is, however, does illegal immigration deserve the massive amount of attention it receives? No, it does not. By looking at the respected immigrants of the past and thinking about the issues in a clear and objective way, it becomes apparent that illegal immigration (and legal immigration, for that matter) is not as vital an issue as many consider it to be.
A key point in this discussion is that many of those who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration are also opposed to large amounts of legal immigration as well. These thinly hidden agendas mean that often the debate on illegal immigration cannot be separated from the debate on legal immigration. According to Negative Population Growth (which is a suspect source), Americans are firmly believe in tough laws against illegal immigrants and that 70% of Americans want no more than 300,000 legal immigrants to enter the U.S. per year. In fact, N.P.G. says that 20% of Americans want immigration completely stopped. Taking these numbers as the truth, it is clear that America thinks that we have too many immigrants.
Such a dislike of immigration is interesting considering the success of past immigration. Many people would say that today's immigrants are somehow different than those of the past. However, the truth is that the similarities between the immigrants of today and those of the past are numerous. Their reasons for coming to this country are often similar. Many of the immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were compelled to leave their homes by the rapidly...
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