It's fairly likely that you recently participated in Fourth of July celebrations. It is also likely that there were fireworks, patriotic music and ice cream. If you attended one of the bigger ones, you may have been treated to fighter jets zooming more closely overhead than you were comfortable with and making all the babies cry.
We take pride in being American, some of us do anyway. Being American is about independence, personal liberty, international power. For some, it's about being white and speaking English. That's why we want to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out, and insist upon passports in the hands of every Canadian at the border to the North (they are a bit more civilized than the Mexicans, after all; and might find a wall insulting). Whether the literal and/or figurative walls actually get built, there is no denying that Americans exhibit an overwhelming sentiment against letting large groups of outsiders in easily.
[Here's an interesting immigration antecdote. Stories like this one suggest rather strongly that immigration policy is in need of reform.]
With this in mind, here are some questions for consideration:
- Should the US adopt a policy of amnesty for current illegal immigrants?
- Should the US be responsible for opening her doors to particular oppressed groups (i.e. Iraqis)?
- What other policies might help fix the immigration problem (trade, labor, etc.)?
- Is the government responsible for making the citizenship/immigration process accessible/comprehensible/reasonably efficient?