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US Immigration Laws and Migrant Stories

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    Immigration is defined as the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country, which happens worldwide. Many people love the idea, but many disagree with it, leaving it a problem in the United States. The current U.S. immigration law is very complex, and hard for many to understand.

    Many immigrants are privileged to receive a temporary work visa and asylum. American Immigration Council states, “Temporary employment-based visa classifications permit employers to hire and petition for foreign nationals for specific jobs for limited periods” (3). There are many different types of visas used for different job descriptions. For example, there are L1 visas for intracompany transfers, P visas for athletes, entertainers, and skilled performers, R1 visas for religious workers, A visas for diplomatic employees, O1 visas for workers of extraordinary ability, and many H visas for highly skilled employment and lesser skilled employment. Also, many must leave when their visas are expired or even when their visa have been terminated. Asylum is defined as a protection granted to foreign nationals who have already entered the United States or a border that meets the international law definition of a refugee.

    There are benefits and an application process that they who try to get must go through and what they will receive. American Immigration states, “Asylees may also be eligible certain benefits, such as Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance. After one year, an asylee may apply for lawful permanent resident status (i.e., a green card). Once the individual becomes a permanent resident, he or she must wait four years to apply for citizenship” (1). Along with that the application can vary in two different ways such as Affirmative Asylum or Defensive Asylum. The application can take up to several years to conclude leaving the family at a holt for their pending case.

    Opinions can vary from person to person and everyone is going to have a different outlook on immigration and that is fine but for me it is a personal feeling. I have family that live in Mexico because I am diverse, and it makes it very hard for them to come here and see me and with the problems today it makes it unsafe for me to go there. I also have family in the United States that are here but cannot get their visas or papers because of how long and unsafe the process is for them. I agree that immigrants should come over here legally and work to help the United States but then again disagree on how unorganized and how the United States view immigrants.

    For my two characters I picked Isra’a which is eleven years of age, and Hassan who is an English teacher. Isra’a used to live in Syria and now live in Turkey due to bombing and taking away their home. They are now heading to Germany by a dinghy. Then Hassan is also from Syria and living in Turkey because of all the bombing and the way of living in Syria. Hassan and two friends are planning to head to the UK by a dinghy that will contain 60 people. These two people have faced many obstacles on the way. Isra’a family reached Greece with no problem in their dinghy but as for Hassan their dinghy began to fill with water and topped over leaving them stranded and calling the coast guard and left back at square one. Through time Isra’a and her family went through borders and witnessed many things and even separation from her grandparents. At one border Isra’a witnessed children dying from the cold and rain that she will never forget, and how hunger ate her stomach, and at one time eating burnt corn. But after reuniting with her grandparents they are crossed into Germany and they are now on their way to living a new life.

    As for Hassan he witnessed a much rougher travel. After the dinghy filled with water and he was back to square one he once tried again and succeeded. He was on his way to the UK but there were many bumps in the road. After the separation from his friends he was left alone in the “jungle” where many people are stuck for years trying to cross the border into the UK. Hassan went to the extreme measures to cross into the water with only a trash bag on at night to reach the port to then hid from police inside he trucks. He was never successful with that attempt, but he then got in touch with a smuggler who made him a fake passport to try and achieve his dreams. After being nervous for three days the time came for him to show his passport and be on his way and he was successful. Hassan then entered the UK by plane and began to live his life.

    In conclusion, it does not matter where you are from and how you got here or there, everyone has a different story and it is worth listening to. Immigration has a huge impact on today’s world and should be taken into more consideration not only for the United States but for any country or those who are risking it all and leaving their once called homes to somewhere they want to call their new and forever home

    Work Cited

    1. “Asylum in the United States.” American Immigration Council, 27 Nov. 2018,
    2. “How the United States Immigration System Works.” American Immigration Council, 27 Nov. 2018,

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    US Immigration Laws and Migrant Stories. (2021, Aug 21). Retrieved from

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