Posted by: Write My Essay on: July 5, 2017
In this essay, I will compare and contrast the Naturalization Act of 1798 and the 21stCentury policies governing immigration and illegal immigrants. The legislation has come a long way since its early days and one of the most revolutionary aspects is the amount of inclusion in immigrating to the United States, compared to the way it was in the 1700s. However, there is a wide range of areas that many stakeholders believe should be changed in order to move past a system that doesn’t value the benefits in areas such as labour that are evident when immigrants are welcomed into the American society. While immigration policy has come a long way, there is much work to be done to truly bring legislation into the 21stCentury.
The Naturalization Act was passed in 1978 and it required those applying for citizenship to have declared their intention to become a citizen five years before applying. They must also have lived in the United State for 14 years before the application can be admitted. All new aliens must abide by this act for consideration, only if the U.S. wasn’t at war with the country they are arriving from during the time that the application was submitted. The act increased the amount of time that was necessary in order for the immigrants to become naturalized citizens in the country. That amount of time went up from five to 14 years. The act was passed with the idea that national security would be protected. However, many historians have suggested that the act was passed in order to eliminate a large pool of potential voters who would vote against the Federalist political party. During the time that the legislation was put into place, there were many immigrants, mostly French and Irish people, who sided with Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic – Republican Party. This party was the opponent of the Federalists, who wanted to stay in power. The act only lasted four years before it was repealed in 1802 by the Nationalization Law of 1802, (US Immigration, 2007).
It is challenging for today’s political leaders to consider how they will handle the amount of illegal immigrants in the country. In considering this, the political leaders need to decide how big they want the population of America to be in the future. Questions about the size of the country’s population and how it relates to the economy are need to be answered. In the next several decades, there will be a large number of people retiring after the baby boom, and this needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with the prospect of there not being enough people to fill the vacant jobs when these workers retire. There will also be the need for income tax revenue to pay for the social services to elderly people. Without adding many immigrants to the labor pool, there might not be enough taxes to pay for the services.
The United States government is faced with many policy options to help address the need for a specific guideline about immigration in the U.S. The option to opening the country to the world, would facilitate closer relationships with other countries, and this would recognize the fact that there is a need to work together internationally in order to participate in globalization. “Some of America’s leading policymakers uncritically accept that an expanding population with increased immigration is good for America, ensuring its prosperity, power and harmonious relations with other nations with little if any adverse effects,” (Chamie, 2009). Globalization is an issue that wasn’t faced during previous legislation, such as the Naturalization Act. There is a whole new set of situations that deemed that immigration wasn’t needed, but that has changed today, as we have seen both with globalization and the need to provide enough government revenue to help pay for the large number of retirees. While the U.S. has long been considered the land of opportunity, it is only recently that the number of people who are actually welcome to experience that opportunity has increased.
US Immigration Legislation Online. (2007). UW Bothell. Retrieved from