Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2008

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Seth N. Asumah

Honors Reader

Prof. John S. Nicholson

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Citizenship and Public Affairs

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | Other International and Area Studies


From the inception of this country, theUnited Statesgovernment has always declared this nation state as a land of immigrants. However, the impetus of immigration during the past three decades has created antipathy among Americans. These antipathy and xenophobic attitudes against immigrants have intensified especially since the events of September 11, 2001. The resentments, inter alia, have significantly influenced the way in which theUnited Statesgovernment facilitates and implements immigration policies.

In this research, I argue that regardless of definitional complexities and functional distinctions between refugees and voluntary immigrants with regard to benefits and legal protection underUnited Statespolicy and United Nations Conventions, the actual experiences of most immigrants and the hardships they face are very similar once they begin their sojourn in theUnited States. Furthermore, immigrant families' welfare in the American society has taken a back seat to strong border protection. I contend that this shift does not need to occur in order forAmerica's borders to be safe.

Through interviews with individual immigrant families, this research presents some of the problems immigrants face. These personal accounts as well as supporting evidence from some scholars in the field support the argument thatUnited States' policies regarding immigration need an overhaul. This action would enable immigrants to transition smoothly into the American society and decrease the percentage of immigrants who enter the welfare system.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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