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[DC]A[/DC]merica is an immigrant country. It was founded by the forefathers and immigrants who first set foot on Plymouth Rock. For centuries, it has been a beacon of hope for people seeking better outings their lives, a golden door.

ESTA Application

However, recent developments (especially immigration issues, tough regulations on Visa, ESTA application and ESTA validation) suggest the country is straying away from its once admired prestigious reputation.

Remodeling the countries immigration system has been a key concern for President Trump’s tenure, meaning the forthcoming election is going to serve as a referendum on his actions, and an opening for the Democrats to offer a different path.

How will this affect you? Read on.

The outcome of the 2020 elections will be a turning point for the country. Why? The fate of many immigrants and the lives of many Americans whose colleagues, neighbors and schoolmates are foreigners will be decided.

The outcome of the 2020 elections will be a turning point for the country. Why? The fate of many immigrants and the lives of many Americans whose colleagues, neighbors and schoolmates are foreigners will be decided.

Here’s a look at some of the immigration issues in the U.S.

The EU and the Visa Waiver Program

For a long time, the EU has been trying to encourage America to add more nations to the VWP. Presently, it allows citizens from 38 countries to visit the U.S. without a visa. But they must be traveling for business or tourism (and a few exceptions).

The program has been beneficial to the country’s tourism sector. What was considered a bureaucratic process of applying for a visa via a U.S. consulate or embassy, was replaced by a simple ESTA application (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

What you may not recognize is that if you’re a citizen of one of the VWP nations, you can visit America without a visa, and the same system exists in vice versa. U.S nationals also enjoy visa-free travels under similar conditions. But there’s a controversy surrounding the entire process.

While it’s believed that all nations under the EU umbrella enjoy visa-free travel using ESTA, that’s not the case. AS it is at the moment, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Croatia don’t enjoy visa-free travel to the US despite being members of the EU. In some instances, US citizens enjoy visa-free travel to these countries, whose residents don’t enjoy the same privileges.

For more on Visa Waiver Program read here.

ESTA Application and Validation

ESTA is beneficial to members visiting America from countries under the VWP. First, the online ESTA application process is simple, fast, cheap and easy compared to a visa application process.

You won’t be asked to attend an in-person interview, and it doesn’t take weeks to get a response after submitting your application. The ESTA approval status will be mailed to you within 24 hours. Sounds good, right?

ESTA validation

Once your ESTA application is approved, you’re eligible to visit America for periods not exceeding 90 days at a time. Your ESTA is valid for two years, which is beneficial to frequent travelers.

Submitting an online ESTA application takes around ten minutes, and requires little information from the applicant. For instance:

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The applicant should:

  • be a citizen a national of a VWP country.
  • not in the possession of a visa
  • visiting America for not more than 90 days
  • visiting for leisure or business
  • applying for a single individual or a group of two or more persons

You’ll need:

  • a valid travel document (a passport)
  • valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express) or PayPal to pay the US $14 application fee per application.
  • Your contact data
  • where applicable, your recent employment data

Other immigration issues affecting the U.S. include:

Family Separations

In the summer of 2018, the current administration adopted a zero-tolerance policy on immigrants. It led to the separation of close to 2,800 families that gained entry into the country via the southern border. The move attracted global criticism, forcing the president to sign an executive order in June to stop further separations.

Days later, a federal judge ordered the government to reunite the separated families in a case that goes as far as 2017. Whereas the systemic separation of families ended, Border patrol officers continue to separate migrant families, although in small numbers.

Many people offer different opinions regarding the issues. Some experts suggest the system should be closely monitored by the Congress, whereas we’re waiting to see whether the judges will be forced to approve family separations in the future.

Temporary Protected Status

The TPS program has allowed more than 300,000 immigrants to live and work in America while waiting for their countries to recover from civil unrest and natural calamities. The federal judges blocked President Trump’s attempt to end this program, but the justice department appealed the decision and the case will end up in the Supreme Court.

A majority of TPS beneficiaries have lived and worked in America for more than two decades, and human rights activists say it’s unfair to force them to return back home after establishing themselves in America.

These individuals have children who are U.S. citizens because they were born in the country. Will they take their kids back to their home countries? A new place they don’t know? These are some of the questions people are asking. The major talking point is whether the program should be reformed.

Refuge and Asylum seekers

The government has tried in vain to slow down or halt the ability of immigrants to seek sanctuary in the country. Foreigners who fear persecution in the countries are granted refugee or asylum status. The difference is that refugees make this request while living abroad, but asylum seekers make this request upon arrival in the country.

According to the White House, both programs are abused and are vulnerable to infiltration by extremist groups. They have taken different steps like introducing a contentious travel ban that momentarily shut down the refugee program. They’ve adopted policies that limit asylum seekers crossing through the southern border. Some of these policies have been suspended by the courts.

Key Takeaways

The U.S. faces many immigration issues. This article discussed just but a few of them as the list is endless. In this regard, there’s no room for concession as it’s not a way of cutting through obstinate divides like this. Moving forward, a real agenda should include bringing everybody (immigrants, ESTA, VISA, Green Card applicants, Refugees, and Asylum seekers) on board.

Discussions should be centered on effective border security, regional integration, assimilation, enforcing immigration laws and legal immigration reforms. This is the best way of dealing with some of the immigration issues affecting the United States of America.

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