Road to Citizenship: Old Family Legends/New Immigration Realities

By Andrea-Teresa "Tess" Arenas - 04.28.2010

The new immigration bill just passed in Arizona –considered “Draconian” by many— places our national immigration policy once again in the forefront of U.S. thinking not only in the White House but also on college campuses and family conversations over dinner.

Whether I am teaching college students at a predominately white campus or consulting with businesses, it is not uncommon to hear people saying, “The undocumented need to get in line and apply for entry into the US like the rest of our families did.”

Another common comment is a similar spin, “My family came here legally with nothing and so should the Latinos.”

I truly understand any frustration, concern, and the like associated with the hot topic of Latino undocumented as the debate on immigration moves forward within the Obama Administration.

However, there are very important differences between the immigration process and criteria in place in contemporary USA society and when the country was founded and opened the doors to waves of immigrants from Europe.

The criteria in Mexico and the USA to apply to immigrate to USA include: owning a home and having a bank account.   Read more »