The United States is a country of immigrants. There are about 42 million immigrants, which accounts for 13 percent of the population in the U.S. This comprises the largest number ever in American history. Many feel that these numbers result in too many people and less opportunity, while others believe it’s beneficial to have such diversity in culture and background. What they can agree on is that there needs to be a way to allow them to gain citizenship officially and legally move into this country without having to take risks or do something illegal.
According to 2013-2014 estimations from the US Census Bureau, there are over 930,000 individuals who are eligible for naturalization but haven’t started the process yet. For some reason, they’re still living in the shadows, one of them being that they don’t know how to get started. Other reasons maybe because they’re afraid of their legal status or simply too busy with work and family commitments. Whatever the case is, the Center for American Progress (CAP) has provided a solution that can empower these immigrants by giving them citizenship without requiring them to take risks.
It’s called the Citizenship Promotion Act, which would provide federal funding to help cover costs associated with naturalization applications, such as fees for English exams and citizenship tests. The bill also provides funding for organizations to host workshops about the naturalization process so people are more aware of what they have to do to become citizens. On top of this, it would establish a national marketing campaign to promote the value of citizenship.
CAP determined that it would cost about $10 million for this bill to become reality. By analyzing the number of immigrants who are eligible but haven’t started the process, they came up with an estimate of 930,000 potential applicants. The average naturalization fee is just over $700, so if these eligible individuals applied, there would be a total of 726,000 applications filed. This leaves only 194,000 spots for new applicants to take advantage of CAP’s proposed solution. Considering this information, supporting this act is worth it because it allows more people within our country registry as citizens and lessens illegal actions anymore.
According to the study conducted by CAP, if this bill were to pass and more eligible individuals applied, it would lead to a $21.8 billion increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the country. More people paying taxes means better funding for the U.S. education system, roads, bridges, and government services. There’s also an estimated $11.7 billion increase in tax revenue over five years that will be used on top of the GDP increase. Economically speaking, this is a no-brainer; we need to get these immigrants registered as citizens so we can make more money out of them while getting our economy back on track and regaining any of what we’ve lost due to recessions.
Aside from the economic benefits, this bill provides by allowing more legal residents to move into the country, it also provides an emotional benefit. Those who are already in the U.S. doing illegal acts with their legal status, such as working under the table for less than minimum wage, will be able to become citizens and be proud of what they worked so hard for. Also, if immigrants currently in America feel down about their current situation then they’ll most likely pass that feeling on to their children. Since there’s plenty of evidence showing how increasing immigrants’ citizenship will positively influence our economy and society in general, passing this act would provide a sense of pride for all Americans.
Thus far, CAP has reached out to numerous members of Congress about this bill but hasn’t gotten much attention yet due to other pressing issues. There are bipartisan supporters for this bill, but when it comes down to putting their money where their mouth is, they aren’t willing to do so.
However, if enough people become aware of the benefits of passing this bill and pressure Congress to get it done soon, we can put ourselves back on track and provide a better life for everyone in America. This isn’t just an opportunity for immigrants but also for our government. People who face illegal acts will be encouraged to come clean and start anew because there’s no longer anything holding them back from achieving their dreams. We can make changes; it’s time we realize that.
There is a lot of information and statistics that CAP provides for this bill. It has obvious economic benefits, not only for the U.S. but also for the immigrants themselves. The majority of immigrants come to America in hopes of having a better life, which means more money in their pockets and less time working under the table. No longer will they be forced to deal with such low income because they can finally get paid what they deserve while not facing any legal repercussions. This act will make everyone happy; we just need to pull through and make it happen.
It’s evident that if we pass this law, it’ll show our acceptance for all people who want to immigrate and become American citizens. There will be no difference between those who were born here and those who chose to be American; we’ll all face the same struggles or happiness. This will make for a better country; more people paying taxes means having money for more programs, services, and supplies. We can only benefit from this act.
However, if we don’t pass this law then things won’t change much because there will still be immigrants working under the table without legal status, but now they’ll have even less incentive to become citizens because it’ll take them longer to do so. If they have children who are already citizens or born within America, their kids could suffer from being ostracized at school simply because their parents lack documentation. It’s a lose-lose situation either way; no one benefits from this except for employers who can pay their workers even less.
For more information, you may ask or consult with Houston immigration lawyers.