Becoming a U.S. citizen

I was one of them before I became the U.S. citizen. It took me about ten years to earn the citizenship which was a lot faster than it can be. Many others never have this opportunity.  You may wonder: Why does it take us so long and why does it matter to America?


Although, there are many ways to become the U.S. citizen; these legal immigrants need to become the permanent residents or the green card holders for a certain period to be qualified to change their status. Additionally, the immigration system is extremely expensive and very complicated for an average immigrant to understand and deal with it on his or her own. They may have to hire an expert or an attorney to help them to complete the process. Thus, the personal and financial hardships that come with waiting for citizenship are not trivial.


Unfortunately, the policy makers are also making the system even harder and more complex for an immigrant or a foreigner to obtain those green cards.  While there are several options to get a green card, the easiest way is to get married to the U.S. citizens or to have a relative sponsor them. Moreover, they could be hired and sponsored by their employers, seek for their asylums, apply for their green card lotteries or invest in their new businesses.


In each of these categories also have their difficulty in themselves. For example, they may have to go for many interviews with immigration officers during their period of married. They may not be allowed to work for anyone else if the first employer has already hired them. They may also not be allowed to apply for a work permit while applying for their asylums. Furthermore, the green card lottery program only allows 50,000 winners per year. Some immigrants who are also the investors must spend $1 million and create at least 10 full-time positions to exchange with their green card. The entire system is becoming such a nightmare for these legal immigrants.


At the same time, America needs the legal immigrants to increase the labor supply to their economy. Many of these foreigners outperform Americans when it comes to education in specialized fields such as math, scientist, engineer, and medical professionals. These highly educated immigrants brought a new idea to help the U.S. economic growth. On the other hand, among immigrant workers with little schooling tend to work as laborers, construction workers, food preparers and housekeepers whose are the occupations that many Americans do not want to pursue.  Besides, these legal immigrants have been paying tax since they got their social security card but, yet they never been entitled to any benefit like U.S. citizen.


In conclusion, I firmly believe that these legal immigrants who were spending countless hours and thousands of dollars to do it right would like the immigration reform to help their struggle too. The policymakers could help them in many ways such as expanding public and private sector opportunities for English language learning, targeting and creating more immigrant small businesses, and improving the naturalization processing time for all legal eligible immigrants.


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