Are Immigration Laws Too Strict in the US? 25 Facts


Are Immigration Laws Too Strict in the US? 25 Facts  

Immigration law has undergone considerable development, appealing, and repealing in the US; but foundationally, what remains is the country’s resolve to attract talent. Recent world events have necessitated tightening up of some immigration policies to ensure security but whether US immigration laws are strict or not depends on one’s point of view. Below are 25 facts that will inform on the same.

Naturalization period

Initially, in the 18th century, the naturalization period was only 2 years, but it was increased to 5 years, followed by a subsequent increment to 14 years due to xenophobia. With time, lawmakers came to their senses and returned the duration to 5 years.

Racial-based naturalization

In the beginning, naturalization was only open to whites, but that law was eventually changed in a bid to end racial profiling.

Conditions for naturalization

Conditions for naturalization are actually not tough to achieve. They include proper conduct, good moral character, being of sound mind, gaining legal entry into the country, etc.

Family immigration

Immigration laws have a provision geared towards reuniting families where nuclear family members can facilitate their kin gaining entry into the country.

Softer rules for broken families

Non-citizens, married to US citizens, only have to wait three years before applying for citizenship via naturalization which points at a pro-family immigration approach.

Labor immigration

Among all visas, the H1-B visas are the most popular as they grant the opportunity to work in the US mainly for tech firms. The country’s immigration policy mirrors the goal of attracting foreign talent.

Immigrant student laws

The US is inviting towards foreigners desiring to study in the country. However, there is a tradeoff: such students pay as much as triple in tuition compared to natives. This can be looked at as a form of indirect strictness.

Green card visa slots

The visa slots up for grabs via the green card lottery have reduced in addition to a quota system of 7% being implemented to ensure balanced allocation in a seemingly anti-immigrant move.

Temporary protective status

Beneficial to aliens, those with expired visas can extend their stay by applying for protective status based on natural disasters, war, or horrible conditions back home.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act

The above act resulted in the legalizing of millions of Illegal Latin persons not so long ago.

Percentage of legal migrants

Contrary to all the fuss, a whopping 75% of immigrants are legally in the country; a fact that passes a definite message concerning the accommodative nature of the country’s immigration laws.

Reason leading to illegal immigrant status

Of the remaining 25% who are illegal immigrants, 40% achieve such status only due to expired Visas!

Free borders

Up until 1882, US had an open border policy. Laws to change the same started from then due to the high number of immigrants who were flocking into the country.

Naturalized immigrants

In 2014, an astounding number of immigrants – 20 million to be precise – were naturalized. Surely, this would not have been possible if immigration laws are too strict.

Increased border patrol

Due to illegal immigrant concerns, border patrol and checks have consistently increased. It will probably peak further with Trump taking up the presidency especially if he pursues his stern immigration policies.

Visas for religious leaders

Religious leaders have an easier time and fewer conditions needed to acquire the R-1 cleric’s visa, which points out the nation’s immigration outlook regarding religion.

ID cards for immigrants

Some states have passed indirect anti-immigrant laws. Utah, for instance, requires immigrants to have an ID card that costs $1000 and a whopping $2500 for illegals.

Checking of immigration status

Several other states have made it mandatory for companies to check one’s immigration status when hiring which alludes to xenophobia and tightening of indirect immigration rules.


Obama’s regime deported 2 million illegal immigrants: the biggest number since the country was established. It is evident that implementation of the set alien laws is being enforced more strictly now.

Total Immigrant population

The US has approximately a population of 42.4 million immigrants. An all-time high that raises doubts concerning most people’s concerns that immigration laws are becoming too strict.

In-depth background checks

Off late, immigrants are being subjected to more thorough background checks and tests before gaining access into the country: to some, it reeks of ‘suspect-treatment.’ With the threats of terrorism, however, it only makes sense.

Immigrants from terror-prone areas

In line with avoiding importation of terrorism, aliens from terror-stricken regions are an unlucky lot since they have to undergo extra scrutiny to ensure they do not have ties to terror networks.

Sealing of visa loopholes

It is no secret that some immigrants have been abusing visa laws to gain entry into the country. There have been efforts to rectify the situation with Trump promising to streamline visa allocation.

Immigrant tax contributions

Lawmakers take into consideration that immigrants contribute between $90-140 billion in taxes; which, is a considerable economic contribution. As a side note, almost half of the country’s top entrepreneurs are non-natives.

Visa extensions

Immigrant laws make it easy for students trained in the country for science, engineering, and mathematical based courses to extend their stay in the country for 29 more months provided they secure employment.

It is true that with time, immigration laws have become stricter. However, they have not become too harsh to the point of eliminating genuine contenders. With Trump, everything immigration is still up in the air, but for now, genuine immigration applicants can be sure of okay treatment and a significant chance of getting into the country legally.