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Illegal Aliens: A Problem of Immigration

             Control and enforcement of immigration legislation present ample opportunity for problems. Legislative abuse occurs when a political party is in power and laws are passed to create an atmosphere favorable to the majority party. Biases of those in charge of interpreting legislature adversely influence enforcement and exemptions. Bypassing legal channels to immigrate into the United States also present a problem. All of these problems have the effect of creating the illegal alien.
             The United States of America recognized the need for immigration control shortly after its inception. Congress attempted to regulate, on a national level, the naturalization of immigrants by passing the Naturalization Act of 1790. An immigrant could become a citizen of the United States after a relatively short time of two years. In 1795, congress amended the act of 1790 by increasing the length of time from two years to five years (Immigration Laws 1800-1900). Modifications of immigration laws and new immigration laws were just beginning and so to were the problems.
             Federalists, having a majority in the Congress of the United States in 1798, passed a series of Immigration Acts known as The Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798, which included the Naturalization Act of 1790, Aliens Act of 1798, and the Alien Enemy Act of 1798. These acts increased the residency requirement for citizenship from five to fourteen years, required aliens to declare their intent to acquire citizenship five years before it could be granted, and made persons from enemy' nations ineligible for naturalization. The Federalist Party was alarmed at the increasing number of immigrants who joined the Republican opposition party. The Federalists saw the influx of foreigners as evidence of a relationship between foreigners and disloyalty - as a result the Federalists argued for greater restrictions against foreigners and the critics of federalist policies.

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