Bush: Paving the Way for Naturalization
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According to the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, an estimated 7.2 million of the 11 million
illegal immigrants are working in the United States. Most illegal immigrants work in the farming industry and construction jobs. This corresponds to approximately 4.9% of the entire U.S. working population. However, illegal immigrants earn considerably less, and most of them have no health insurance and fewer rights in general. Protestors in the May 1st marches across the country want to increase awareness of social issues and civil rights. One of the Denver protestors, Maria Chavez (34) from Nicaragua, moved to the United States eight years ago and became a U.S. citizen. She has participated in all of the immigrant marches in the last few weeks, because she believes that too many employers exploit undocumented workers. “I want the employers to treat our people better — pay them better, support them," she said. "Most of the people don't know they have rights, vacation pay or sick time, and that's because employers are taking advantage of them."
The immigrant protests have sprung up across the country this spring due to plans in Congress to tighten immigration laws. The House of Representatives announced their intentions to treat and punish immigrants like criminals and to deport them. Companies that hired illegal workers and activists groups that support them should be punished. The Senate is still debating. However, Liberal senators want to pave the way for illegal immigrants by making them pay a fine before they can apply for United States Citizenship. Paying back taxes, learning English, remaining employed, be crime-free, and getting in line for naturalization would also be conditions of that compromise. While the House of Representatives is ready to block illegal immigrants the right to U.S. citizenship, President George W. Bush argues for a guest worker program that also allots fines but will ultimately give most illegal immigrants the opportunity of becoming U.S. citizens.