Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The United States as a Country of Refuge: A Short Introduction

From the early settlers, to modern-day immigrants, the United States continues to be a country of refuge. Although I heartily acknowledge, as an immigration attorney, that our system has many flaws that need to be addressed through advocacy, legislation, and litigation - the strengths and benefits of our immigration system are many times ignored in the heated debate over immigration.  In the next series of posts we'll touch upon several of the positive factors of our immigration law and policy.  

On the eve of the vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act ("DREAM Act"), it is important to keep things in perspective.  I for one, am a very strong supporter of this measure for many reasons that are outside the scope of this entry. A good place to start would be to acknowledge that the United States admits more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined.  In 2008 for example, a total of 1.1 million individuals became LPRs in the United States as noted in a 2010 Report by the Congressional Research Service on U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions. According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, estimates of the Legal Permanent Resident Population in 2009 are in the 12.5 million range. 

Stay tuned for future posts discussing what specific elements of our immigration law and policy make the United States a country of refuge.