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Regarding illegal aliens....

I notice there is alot of discussion here with regards to the rights that illegal aliens should or should not have. I'm just curious - is the steps that an immigrant must go through to become a LEGAL resident so hard? Are there quotas in place limiting the number of foreign nationals who can apply for citizenship? I mean, if it's within the realm of possibility, wouldn't it just be easier to become a US citizen officially without all the running and hiding? How do they benefit by not following the rules to enter the country legally?

I just finished reading a book about the early 20th century immigration rush through Ellis Island and it didn't seem that difficult - they didn't have to speak english (although it helped) or have to take a citizenship quiz or anything. So what is the problem?

Answer Question

Asked by plylerjones at 2:53 PM on Jan. 3, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 11 (508 Credits)
Answers (26)
  • Below are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen. before they do this they must become naturalized, in which that have to fill out an application, get fingerprinted, get interviewed and take the oath to be a U.S. citizen. I think the biggest thing holding most back is being able to read, write, speak englich etc. plus he application itsself is like 130.00. No i dont just know these things, I googled. :)

    Answer by smnice at 3:01 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • 1. Are at least 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident ("green card" holder);
    2. Have resided continuously in the United States, having been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, for five years immediately preceding the date you filed your application for naturalization, or
    3. Have, after having been removed from conditional permanent resident status, based upon your marriage to a U.S. citizen, having resided in the United States for one year after the date the condition was removed;
    4. Have resided continuously in the United States at all times after your application to the time and date of your admission for citizenship;
    5. Have, during all periods of time referred to above, been and still are a person of good moral character;
    6. Have no outstanding deportation or removal order and no pending deportation or removal proceeding;

    Answer by smnice at 3:02 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • 7. Have the ability to read, write, speak, and understand simple words and phrases in English;
    8. Have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government;
    9. Are attached to, and can support, the principles of the U.S. Constitution and can swear allegiance to the United States.

    Answer by smnice at 3:02 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Wow, that doesn't sound all that difficult. I can read, write, speak, and understand "simple" phrases in six languages. (Plus I can swear in three of them!). And if I wanted to move here and become a citizen, I definietly would want to know how my new government works so I can complain about the right people :-)

    Answer by plylerjones at 3:08 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • The citizenship requirements during the immigrant rush have changed DRAMATICALLY (and for good reason) since the days of Ellis Island! This country was in its infancy during that time, and EVERYONE who came through then was determined to have a better life, and WORK for it, pay taxes for it, and support their families for it!

    Todays illegals are trying to "cut corners" on the system. They want to USE it...make money from it, not pay taxes on their monetary gains, not better themselves or their families, but to take from this country and send it to their home countries. I understand that the process can take 7+ years...they have to take a citizenship test (a test that MANY natural born American citizens would fail!), have to show that they have an interest in working and/or establishing a business and being a productive member of society--bettering themselves and their families in the process.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 3:10 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • I am a us citizen and I tried to apply for anything that would make my 3 biological children and their father legal before we came here (we lived in mexico at the time) at the American consulate in Guadalajara and let me tell you..... they made it impossible for me a U.S. Citizen to do it the right way I can only imagine how many hoops they make non Americans jump through ...I am not ashamed to say That I brought my family here illegally and had them legal within 6 months I imagine any mother would do the same to keep her family together

    Answer by koolest_mom_of4 at 4:54 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • I found a list of the sample test questions on the citizenship test. It is very simple, ranging from what are the colors of the United States flag? (Red, white and blue), to Who was the first President? (George Washington), to How many senators in the senate? (100, 2 from each state). This is NOT a grilling like the SAT! If the people who come here illegally were to come in legally they would actually have many benefits they miss out on by being illegal. Legal immigrants are given free English Language classes, free medical checkups, where if they have any diseases they are TREATED for them, not shipped back, and they get to meet others from their same country of origin and make friends who are already legal citizens and know the rules and culture here.
    The link to the sample test is here:

    Answer by pagan_mama at 5:02 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • you cannot apply for citizenship before you are a legal permanent resident so all the citizenship tests have nothing to do with getting into the country legally you have to have been a legal resident in the U.S. for 5 years before that even comes into play

    Answer by koolest_mom_of4 at 5:26 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • So why not become a legal resident for 5 years? If you plan on staying anyway, and even if you don't, you can still return to your native country before the five years is up.

    Answer by plylerjones at 5:40 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • as far as I know you cannot apply for residency abroad but I may be wrong and most people don't immigrate here because they want to live in a country where they are not wanted they come here out of necessity and wouldn't have the money to pay for a "legal Status before entering the country either way it may not change how SOME people treat immigrants they  will be discriminated against citizen resident ,or illegal my Husband his a hard working quiet legal man and a he is still treated as though he is illegal on a almost daily basis


    Answer by koolest_mom_of4 at 6:19 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

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