Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Richard Stahler-Sholk

Second Advisor

Edward Sidlow


With the exception of Native Americans, who occupied the vast area that would become the United States, the Americans of today are of foreign ancestry. Therefore, at a certain point in history, every current United States citizen had ancestors that immigrated to the "New World" in search of a new, more prosperous way of life. Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century becoming a citizen of the United States is becoming progressively more challenging, as undocumented immigrants are being reduced to hardened criminals.

In a poll conducted by the Pew Global Research Center people from several nations of varying backgrounds expressed their discontent with immigration because they feared the loss of culture and tradition that could occur as a result of an influx of immigrants ("World Publics Welcome Globalization-But Not Immigration", 2007). These fears by everyday citizens are reflected in many European immigration policies. North Americans, however, are generally more accepting of immigrants entering their nations because their histories are based upon immigrant populations. Heightened immigration policies in the United States are a result of current attempts at immigration reform.