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Sample research paper 2

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Sample research paper 2

  1. 1. Immigration and the Value of American Citizenship April 12th 2013 1,725 PS 101.002 American Government Spring 2013 Mr. Austin Trantham
  2. 2. “For the land of the free, and the home of the brave”. – Francis Scott Key “Star Spangled Banner” Every year the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key is sung at every sporting event from tee ball to the Super Bowl as well as many other events. Every year hundreds of thousands of times we are reminded that we are citizens of “the land of the free”. This song unites everyone that sings it and places them in a special category signifying that they are Americans citizens. The value of American citizenship is extraordinary and the issue of immigration calls Americans to understand the value of their citizenship as well as the diversity of opinion on immigration. This paper will discuss the differences in public opinion on immigration, how those differences are displayed in the political process, the historical background of immigration in the United States lastly my opinion on immigration from the standpoint of a United States citizen. Public opinion, as stated in Keeping the Republic, is the “collective attitudes and beliefs of individuals on one or more issues” for the purpose of this paper the issue is immigration (Barbour & Wright, p.407). Public opinion in the United States is made up of extremely diverse views, especially when looking at immigration. Public opinion changes often and is made up of many divisions and subparts. The most relevant divisions when looking at the public’s opinion on immigration are partisanship and ideology, geographical regions, and lastly economic self- interest. It is clear to see the differences of public opinion through looking at the ideological differences of the public which are mostly demonstrated through the two main political parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It is difficult to determine the stance of an entire political party on one single issue like immigration but after reviewing the platform of the Republican Party it is easier to understand their general stance on immigration. The first priority is to secure the southern border between the United States and Mexico. This would try to prevent anyone from crossing the border and
  3. 3. entering into the United States illegally. This way of entering in to the United States has become a major problem, according to, the conservative magazine, the Christian Science Monitor which points out that “there are currently 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US that came here in an illegal way” (Christian Science Monitor, May 2011). Next, the Republican Party believes that there should not be legislature providing amnesty to those who entered the US in an illegal way. In the 2012 Republican Party Platform explain this further saying “granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking” (2012 Republican Party Platform). Lastly, the Republican Party believes there should be Immigrant worker visas where immigrants will live and work in the United States legally. The 2012 Republican Party Platform goes much more in depth on the party’s stance on immigration but these three points summarize what the majority of the public who consider themselves Republican believe. In opposition to this conservative partisanship and ideology is that of the liberal public partisan with the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party does agree, for the most part, on more secure border to prevent fewer immigrants entering in an illegal way. The Democratic Party is focused on helping the already 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States by granting them amnesty and a path to citizenship versus deportation. Deportation is the process of formally removing a foreign immigrant from the United States (USA.gov). Persaud, an author considered to be liberal, explains the extreme negative impact of deporting undocumented immigrants would have on the economy. To prevent deportations the Democratic Party supports various programs that would allow undocumented immigrants other options through programs like the Dream Act (Persaud, 2010). The 2012 Democratic Party Platform, like that of the Republican Party Platform, goes much further into depth on the Party’s stance on immigration. Political
  4. 4. parties are excellent examples of divisions in public opinion but differences in geographical region create divisions in public opinion as well (2012 Democratic Party Platform). Public opinion varies depending on geographical region. When looking at the issue of immigration geographical region plays a major role in the public’s opinion. The public opinion of those living in southern Border States versus those living in northern states is drastically different. Based on A Rasmussen poll conducted of 500 Likely Voters in Arizona on November 28th , 2007 found that 71% believe that if an illegal immigrant is discovered in this manner, they should be deported (fairus.org). Arizona, a border state, is where many undocumented immigrants enter the United States as of result of this the citizens in Arizona are much more aware of the impacts of illegal immigration. Compare this with the same poll conducted of 500 likely voters in Massachusetts, a state roughly removed from the daily impact of immigration, for that just “43% believe that if illegal immigrants are discovered in this manner, they should be deported”(fairus.org). It is truly outstanding to see how diverse public opinion can be when looking at these divisions. Each one of these examples of diversity in public opinion plays a large role in the political process. The division of ideological and partisanship or political parties are the heads of how public opinion is demonstrated in the political process. For example the Republican Party supports the mandatory use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (S.A.V.E.) program (2012 Republican Party Platform). “S.A.V.E.” is an internet-based system that verifies the lawful presence of applicants (2012 Republican Party Platform). Republican explain that prior to the granting of any State or federal government entitlements or IRS refunds the government must insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems. This is
  5. 5. a way that the Republican Party is demonstration the public opinions of conservatives in the political process. The Democratic Party also has a policy for immigration that reflects the public opinion of liberals, hat is the Dream Act. The Dream Act would allow undocumented students willing to attend college or serve in the military if the immigrant entered into the United States under 16 (Palacious, 2011). The Dream Act is a major part of the Democratic Party Platform on immigration and is a way of involving the public opinions of liberals in the political process (2012 Democratic Party Platform). State laws on immigration in southern Border States are much different that laws in northern states. The differences in public opinion in geographical regions also play a large role in the political process. Arizona for example passed Senate Bill 1070 which allows law enforcement officers to ask to see someone’s papers, indicating they are a citizen, during a lawful stop or arrest (azgovernor.gov). Compare that to Senate Bill 715, which grants driver's licenses or ID cards to illegal aliens who have filed a Maryland income tax return for the preceding two years (fairus.org). The differences in the pieces of registrations are drastic but very much a representation of public opinion in geographical regions. As stated above the United States of America has always been a land of immigrants. Historically since the beginning of this nation people would immigrate to America to seek new opportunities and this has never stopped. The first major wave of immigration was in 1845 when the Irish flocked to the United States during the “Potato Blight”. The Irish received a great deal of discrimination when they arrived which is often compared to the discrimination against Mexican immigrants. Keeping the Republic points out that Mexicans first started to immigrate
  6. 6. to the United States roughly around the year 1942. This was the year when the U.S.-Mexican Bracero Program started. This program allowed Mexicans to come to the United States an work on a contract basis then return to their homes in Mexico (Barbour & Wright, p.42-43). There has been a very long critically historical relationship between the United States citizens and immigration. As a citizen of the United States of America, the land of the free, and a land of immigrants it is important to realize the value of citizenship. Immigration is an issue that relates to the value of citizenship more than any other political issue. Being a citizen in the US is truly everything, meaning you must be citizen to get a secondary degree, to get insurance, financial aid, any government services and many other privileges, but most of all freedom. Citizens of the US, me included, tend to take citizenship for granted whereas so many undocumented immigrants do not. Many of the immigrants in the US were brought to America a young age and they have grown up feeling American but never able to truly be American. Many of the undocumented immigrants long after US citizenship but do not go through the steps of naturalization for fear they will be deported. There needs to be a clear path to citizenship that allows those already living in the US and who truly wants to be citizens to gain that value of citizenship that is so precious. In conclusion immigration is an extremely difficult issue to explain and form an educated opinion on. A result of the difficulty of immigration is the tremendous diversity in public opinion on the issue. The Republican Party represents the conservative ideological public opinion on immigration. In opposition the Democratic Party represents the liberal ideological public opinion on immigration. Public opinion on immigration is greatly impacted by the geographical region. All of these divisions of public opinion are very influential in the political
  7. 7. process. Each of these divisions is demonstrated through the political policies and legislation like S.A.V.E. by the Republican Party, the Dream Act by the Democratic Party, SB 1070 from Arizona, and SB 715 from Maryland. The history of immigration has played a major role in the history of the United States, as the US is a land of immigrants. So often we, as citizens, are reminded of the benefits of being an American citizen through simply listing to the National Anthem. American citizens to realize that the majority of immigrants living in the US desperately want to sing the words of the Star Spangled Banner and have those words ring true for themselves. It is our duty as responsible citizens to help others reach this goal of being a part of the Land of the Free!
  8. 8. References Democratic National Committee. (Eds.). (2012). Proceedings from National Democratic Convention '12: The 2012 Democratic Party Platform . Charlotte, NC. Federation for American Immigration Reform. (2013). State Legislations. Washington, DC. Barbour, C. Wright, G. (2012). Keeping the Republic. CQ Press (Ed.). Washington, DC. McDonnel, B., Hoeven, J. & Blackburn, M. (Eds.). (2012). Proceedings from National Republican Convention '12: The 2012 Republican Party Platform . Tampa, FL. Persaud, F. (2011, April 21). Businesses must take the lead in immigration reform. New York Amsterdam News. pp. 14-30 Palacios, M. (2010). The dream act explained. Journal of College Admission, (206), 2-2. Persaud, F. (2011, April 21). Businesses must take the lead in immigration reform. New York Amsterdam News. pp. 14-30 The Monitor's Editorial, B. (2011, May 10). Immigration reform and border security: Obama's standards. Christian Science Monitor. p. N.PAG The Office of Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer. (2013). Common Myths and Facts Regarding Senate Bill 1070 Phoenix, AZ USA.gov. Immigration: Deportation. Retrieved from http://answers.usa.gov/system/selfservice.controller?CONFIGURATION=1000&PARTI TION_ID=1&CMD=VIEW_ARTICLE&ARTICLE_ID=11397&USERTYPE=1&LAN GUAGE=en&COUNTRY=US

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