Immigration Policies

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Immigration policies are determined by the federal government to protect the interests, security, and borders of the United States. The underlying philosophy of these policies shifts according to the thinking of the day, which is often set in response to perceived threats by one group or another. Even yet, Nazi war criminals from World War II, and those who belong to totalitarian political parties (Communists), are not allowed to receive visas for entry into this country.

Currently, terrorism is the top priority of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as it just made clear in a dustup with Southern Californians who want arrests of illegal aliens in the interior of the region to continue. Males 16 years of age and older from countries named by the Attorney General as possible threats to the security of this country must register upon entry into this country. As travelers from this country and other countries can attest, security measures are stringent in certain areas and loose in others, but customs checks are definitely taking longer.

Current Immigration Policies Are Changing

After instituting new immigration policies, laws, procedures, and security measures, CBP has just relaxed enforcement against visa-waiver visitors. Citizens of certain exempt countries do not need visas for travel in this country for up to 90 days. Individuals who were guilty of minor infractions were being handcuffed and treated as criminals. This will no longer occur, and decision-making authority will be returned to customs immigration inspectors at airports so they can be lenient when justified.

Current hot topics include visitation to and from Cuba and refugees from Haiti. Cultural groups and literary figures from Cuba have been refused visas to this country, and the government recently tightened restrictions on American travel to Cuba. Haitian refugees have been turned back from our shores as they attempted to enter from the ocean, and returned to their homeland; the issue that has been raised about Haiti is whether our immigration policies are discriminatory based on race.

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