1952 Naturalization Act should not determine immigration policies today

Erin Downey

In Nov. 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border. 

These actions included deporting felons instead of families and requiring certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

The plan was presented to the Federal Appeals court in New Orleans which shut down the plan under the justification that the president was overstepping his executive boundaries. 

According to KUT, the court ruled that the Naturalization Act of 1952, which outlines when an immigrant can remain in the country, says the president, “cannot unilaterally change that, even if Congress refuses to enact new immigration laws.”

However, Judge Carolyn Dineen King included in the case that: “I have a firm and definite conviction that a mistake has been made.”

Many, including myself, agree with her. There is absolutely no harm in granting citizenship whether it be temporary or in some cases, permanent to immigrants. 

The only immigrants who cause harm to the United States’ national security are criminals, and Obama has vowed to take actions to deport the violent offenders.

Obama deserves recognition for an intelligent political plan to help working families who have come to America for economic prosperity. 

It is not 1952 anymore and we are not in the midst of a Cold War. It is inaccurate that the court ruled that the president was out of reach of his jurisdiction when the act itself denies immigrants who are unlawful, immoral or politically radical and abide to not let them in. Obama therefore, was not violating the act.

Right now in 2015, we are in no need to combat communism like we were during World War II and the Cold War. Children, families and working people should not be shipped out, as much as Donald Trump and other extremist right-wingers would like to see happen.

It is immoral and against the U.S. ideals of liberty, equality and democracy to destroy the Hispanic working families who want to reside here peacefully.

In a summary of the Naturalization Act of 1952, Wade Johnson, U.S. Immigration legislature, explained, “President Truman originally vetoed the law, deeming it discriminatory; however there was enough support in Congress for the law to pass.” This serves as evidence that the formal act itself was controversial.

It is not right to abide by this act when it is so out of place with the times today. We as a developing people should reform the laws frequently to fit the time period of the world and the current issues facing people today that were nonexistent at the time the act was passed.

Obama is not letting this plan go, promising to take it to the Supreme Court, as he wholeheartedly should. This is not a debate about policy or political advancement; it is about the people.