Whether you consider yourself a “nation of immigrants” or not, the United States is a country built in part by people who came from other countries. Immigrants are essential to our economy, providing valuable workforce skills and bringing new ideas to the table. They have fueled the country’s technological and construction booms, and they are overrepresented in certain occupations. Forty-four percent of medical scientists, for example, are foreign born, as are 42 percent of computer software developers. Immigrants also grease the wheels of our legal system by making up a significant portion of the population of attorneys and judges.
Generally speaking, an international migrant is someone who moves from one country to another, whether permanently or for a short time. Some migrants are driven to leave their home country by the threat of violence, extreme poverty, political instability, gang violence or natural disasters. The majority of migrants, however, are children, women or men who choose to move for economic reasons.
Many immigrants come to the United States to work, to reunite with family or because they want their children to be able to access educational opportunities that are not available in their home countries. They are seeking a more prosperous and safer future for themselves, their families and their children.
The United States is a nation of immigrants, but its legal system is not always a good fit for everyone who wants to immigrate. That’s why it is important to be a good candidate for immigration, and to know what your options are for becoming a citizen of the United States.
Immigration is a complex subject, and the legal process varies widely from country to country. In general, most international migrants are classified as refugees or asylum seekers if they apply for protection at a border, while those who come to live as permanent residents are called economic migrants. Both types of migrants face a series of obstacles, but both can benefit from the opportunity that is offered to them by a more open and welcoming society.
The United States has a long history of open borders and the welcoming of immigrants. Today, about 14 percent of its population is foreign born, and most of these people are naturalized U.S. citizens or have at least one parent who is a naturalized citizen. This makes it the perfect place to be an international migrant, if you’re a skilled worker and have a strong desire for a better life for yourself and your family. Those who come here are a vital source of the country’s innovation and prosperity, so let’s celebrate this legacy and encourage newcomers to continue their contributions to our society and economy. After all, America was built by immigrants, and we can only succeed when we’re a nation of migrants, too.