Analyzing the Definition of Illegal Immigration and how Immigration has Affected American Value

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Updated: Oct 19, 2023
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Analyzing the Definition of Illegal Immigration and how Immigration has Affected American Value

This essay seeks to provide a nuanced understanding of the term ‘illegal immigration’. Beyond a simple definition, it discusses the legalities, global variations in interpretations, and the fine line between asylum seekers, refugees, and illegal immigrants, offering a more comprehensive perspective on the term. At PapersOwl, you’ll also come across free essay samples that pertain to Illegal Immigration topic.

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The focus of our group for this project is illegal immigration and how it has shaped the mindset of people in America today. Our research question following the topic is, “To what extent has immigration affected American values and how do people define immigration?” For the purpose of this paper, this definition will serve as a guideline: Immigration is the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country. Embedded in this definition is the questionable interpretation of the word “action.

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” The differences point to a debate about the two distinct points of view on the entry process. Recently, the concept of immigration has moved from the original definition to one that stirs controversy. Division occurs when one group believes that the United States should enforce laws that protect the borders in order to prevent further illegal immigration into America, and those who argue that immigrants should be welcomed into the country. Over the course of many years, the discussion surrounding illegal immigration has become a controversial subject. The team will be analyzing the various options for immigration and evaluating the parameters of illegal immigration. A common rationale for allowing immigration rests on a study that reveals the positive impact on the economic base. The argument centers on the premise that, despite the fact that immigrants constitute only 13 percent of the population, immigrants encompass 16 percent of the labor force.

Immigration is the international movement of people into a foreign country of which they are not locals or where they do not have citizenship in order to settle or reside there. Their rationale may be to establish permanent residency or become naturalized citizens, or to seek employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker. The team chose this topic because it is such a widely discussed subject and studied through a range of perspectives. Given the various sources of information and differing opinions on the reasons for immigration, there is no specific consensus as to the reasons for immigrants to abandon their native home in order to rebuild a life in a foreign environment. However, due to the fact that illegal immigration has been an ongoing inconclusive argument, clarity in language may help in understanding this complex issue. In order to review the complexity of immigration, the team elected to review the options through the political, economic, historical, and social lens. This paper will focus on the cultural and social aspects, with insights on the humanistic facets of immigration from the perspective of an observational journalist. While reviewing the multiple outlooks on immigration, one must consider that the populace in America is composed of immigrants who have shared their morals and values and ingrained these ideas into American culture. Studies indicate that immigrants chose to integrate into the mainstream culture while maintaining aspects of their heritage from their country of origin. As such, this paper will analyze how recent immigrants have affected American value and adapted to American culture. The team has researched the interview process for legal immigration and asylum seekers.

Currently, the four main questions explored by governmental agencies and private entities include: (1) “In what ways are illegal immigrants being dehumanized and misinterpreted?” (2) “What are the different types of immigration?” (3) “Why do immigrants feel the need to travel to a foreign country to reconstruct their lives in a new place?” and (4) “How have immigrants adapted to American culture while still maintaining their own?” The rationale for seeking answers to these questions rests on clarifying misconceptions about the issue of immigration. Results from these questions may provide the populace with insights into the psychological reasons for immigration. In addressing the components of the first question, the US Department of Justice highlighted the argument on July 25, 2018. In order to provide clarity to the status, the DOJ has instructed US attorneys not to use the term “undocumented” immigrant and instead, refer to illegal immigrants as “Illegal Aliens”. Using the United States Code of Law (aka US Code) as justification, the US DOJ has deemed all undocumented persons residing on US territory as “Illegal Aliens”. The clarity is still muddled because the language does not consider the circumstances of different people migrating from their home countries and into the US. From a humanistic viewpoint, one can consider this change in language as a form of dehumanization towards foreigners. When addressing the topic of immigration, the US Government fails to distinguish the contextual nuances in language, discards the individual’s situations, or reasons for crossing the border into the US illegally or without documents. The term lumps the asylum seekers with the illegal immigrants; therefore, the distinction is muddled. An outcome of this language is one of confusion for the populace as they view every immigrant as an illegal alien.

Addressing and deconstructing the second question, according to the recently shared data, the number of asylum seekers granted documentation hovers between 9-11%. The Attorney General of the DOJ reports that seeking asylum in the US occurs when the United States recognizes the right of asylum for international individuals as specified by federal law. Asylum has two basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that they fear persecution in their home country. Second, the applicant must prove that they would be persecuted on account of one of the five protected grounds: religion, race, nationality, a particular social group, or political opinion. Often, asylum seekers are forgotten as those who have a legal right to be here because they are not citizens of the United States and are not separated from the general “definition” of an illegal immigrant. This ties into the stereotypical societal views of illegal immigration, which is often underdeveloped due to the lack of enlightenment. A significant portion of the US population forgets that the United States was founded on the arrival and migration of asylum seekers. In 1620, the Mayflower brought 102 asylum seekers from religious persecution (aka pilgrims) to what is now known as the United States of America, marking the beginning of US history. In contrast, illegal immigrants refer to the migration of people into a country in defiance of the immigration laws of that country, or those who remain in a country without a legal right to do so. A violation can be as minor as the expiration of a visa card (which allows them to temporarily enter a country and stay there for a specific amount of time), which then categorizes that person as an “illegal immigrant”. However, many people hold biased views on illegal immigration without a complete understanding of the subject.

Trying to understand the third and fourth questions explored by the governmental agencies and private entities, one must view these questions through a sociocultural lens. Migrants have been making their way to the United States even before it was a country itself, drawn by the premise of a land of opportunity where they can better their social, economic, financial, and cultural wellbeing. This very premise is written on the Statue of Liberty and into America’s founding documents as a democracy. Many aspects of our Constitution and Bill of Rights have a pull on those who lack the same promises in their own countries–promises that we as Americans sometimes take for granted. Our freedom from worrying about repressed rights ultimately creates a barrier between our mindset and theirs, as we cannot entirely connect with their personal experiences. This disparity shapes America’s often inadequate views on immigration.

Those who have settled in the United States have adaptably soaked in American culture while preserving their own. In big cities, you can find ethnic subsections like “Chinatown” or “Little Italy.” Immigrants’ lives are a dialectic between the memories of the world left behind and the struggles of adapting to a new society. Mastering a new language, living and working among strangers, and coping with the unfamiliar, immigrants generally adjust to American culture. Even though migrants have, in a way, blended in with American society, you can still identify the diverse foreign contributions they have made to American culture. However, since foreign cultures are so intertwined with American culture, it becomes difficult for Americans to appreciate these contributions that they encounter on a day-to-day basis.

The definition of immigration is not yet clearly outlined in the United States for the public’s full comprehension, which is why further research and clarification are needed. With more discussion and improvement on American values, we could better discern the legal and illegal aspects of immigration within the populace, provided that social and cultural differences are resolved.


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Analyzing the Definition of Illegal Immigration and How

Immigration Has Affected American Values

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Analyzing the Definition of Illegal Immigration and How Immigration Has Affected American Value. (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved from