Welcoming Immigrants to America
The main reason for success of American immigration is its deliberate policy of patriotic assimilation. America welcomes newcomers while stressing the importance of learning and knowing its civic and political culture. While there have been several debates and differences of opinion regarding the number of immigrants the country should accept and procedures through which they should become citizens, there has always been a widespread thought that those who come here should become Americans.
The result of this assimilation policy has resulted in strengthening of social capital and the expansion of the US economy. The American founders began with equal rights and consent. As the Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." All, not only Americans are equal, because all have fundamental rights that exist by nature.
When America was founded, this American theory of citizenship was new to the world. All citizens, native/naturalized have the right to civil and religious liberty as a matter of natural right. It is required from every immigrant to conduct themselves as good citizens of the US and be faithful to American constitutional government.
Immigrants add to the moral capital of this growing country, bringing with them the attributes needed for the effective workings of free government. Immigration brings a diversity of beliefs to America.
Naturalization is the legal process by which immigrants become citizens voluntarily. The Naturalization process works differently in the US than it does in other countries. A foreigner of any ethnic heritage or racial background can immigrate to the United States and become an American. This transformation is possible in America because of its openness to diverse backgrounds.
Through the immigration laws, the people of the United States approve immigrants joining them, under certain conditions, as residents, and in many cases, as citizens.
As immigrants lack the natural advantage of having been born and raised in the US, they are required to receive specific education in the history, political ideas, and institutions of the United States. Immigrants are welcomed in the US for the many contributions they make and also because they accept the allegiance inherent in American citizenship. The word citizen is associated with membership and participation in one particular political order. So becoming a citizen of the United States means having a primary allegiance to the American political order.
There is a constitutional responsibility to establish an uniform rule of naturalization to ensure the fairness and integrity of the legal process by which immigrants enter the country, become permanent residents and gain citizenship. Naturalization laws must be equitably and consistently enforced to benefit both America’s present citizens and those who obey the law and follow the rules to enter the US.
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