The Impact of September 11th on Immigration
The nature of immigration into the United States has changed dramatically since September 11th, where the role of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and its seemingly inherent problems in screening and apprehending potential terrorist threats suggested that the immigration policies within the United States are lax. The INS that existed prior to September 11th was described by one source as: “[…] such a crazy- quilt collection of unrelated policies and procedures that no one can understand it or make it work coherently to achieve a common set of objectives.” (Endelman: 2002) The immigration situation in turn polarized the country between those that wished to preserve Americans from foreign “threats” and those that wished to preserve the image of the United States as being comprised of members of all nations. Conservative radio hosts such as the controversial Rush Limbaugh argued strongly in favor of creating wholesale anti- immigration standards, while the American Civil Liberties Union maintained that those immigrants already residing in the United States – as well as potential immigrants – should be protected under existing law. (Maher: 2002)
Caught somewhere between these two polarized sides, the INS has worked to adapt new policies that address the concerns of both parties, as well as to ensure the safety of Americans at large. Yet despite the presence of several dramatic changes, the INS is still the target of criticism. This paper shall address the policy changes made by the INS and in what sense these changes have affected immigration into the United States.
Of the long list of policy change composed and implemented by the INS in respect to immigration, three specific policy changes have had a dramatic impact on how immigrants are accepted into the United States. These policies were put into effect after a survey conducted by the INS defined the...