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History of Immigration in the U.S.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Only the Native Americans are indigenous to this continent, and at some point in their history they may also have come to this region from Asia across the Bering Strait or by some other means. In this century, consecutive waves of immigration from different parts of the world created tensions with Americans already living in this country, for they believed that the immigrants were taking their jobs, gorging the welfare roles, and somehow reducing their overall standard of living. Even many of those who support the values immigrants bring with them have emphasized that no nation can allow unfettered crossings of its borders and that some sort of immigration policy has to be set in place and enforced, though what is an acceptable policy may differ among groups. Illegal immigration is costly to government and to society in a number of ways, and for this reason every effort be made to control the borders and reduce the influx of illegal immigrants into this country.

Brent Ashabranner cites the case of Roberto, who lives in a Los Angeles boardinghouse and who leaves his home each morning to walk to a street where mostly Hispanic men in work clothes gather on the sidewalk and hope for work. Most are illegal immigrants, as is Roberto, and they wait for a labor recruiter to come by and pick them for a day's work on a construction job. Hiring illegal aliens is against the law, but some employers take the risk because these workers do the job for less pay and expect no job benefits. Roberto, like many illegal aliens, lacks much education and could not find work in his native Mexico. He knew he would never be approved as a legal immigrant and so crossed the border illegally. He works two or three times a week and barely makes enough to live on, but that is still more than he could make in Mexico.

This shows the rationale for crossing the border for most illegal aliens, and that so man...

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History of Immigration in the U.S.. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:40, May 20, 2019, from