Why do people want to immigrate to the United States? One of the main reasons that goal has existed for hundreds of years is political freedom. It’s easy to take it for granted but compared to many countries throughout the world the US provides much more political freedom to its citizens. This is guaranteed nationally through the US Constitution. Here are some of the types of freedoms that are protected by that document:
- Freedom of Speech
This is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, state constitutions, and state/federal laws. The US Supreme Court has ruled that certain types of speech have less/no protection by the 1st Amendment. In general, it includes speech that threatens violent actions towards people.
However, the function of free speech is to cover people’s rights to political speech, commercial speech, and expressive conduct. These are some of the main ways that people are generally protected by the First Amendment. It should be noted that there are exceptions that have been defined by federal and state laws. One example is the US Supreme Court’s rulings on “clear and present danger.” It raises the issue of whether someone’s speech could threaten physical harm to people. Laws like the Patriot Act have been based on this notion but have been controversial due to the issue of whether they threaten civil liberties.
- Freedom of Assembly
This is the right for people to gather together to promote and defend their ideas. It’s protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution and is stated as a political right and civil liberty. The US Constitution provides the right for people in the US to assemble and petition the government about issues they’re displeased about.
There’s often been the debate about the definition of peaceful assembly and there are debates about what qualifies as “peaceful assembly” among other issues. However, what’s important to note is that the general right to engage in the peaceful assembly is protected by the US Constitution.
It’s also a right that’s not available in many countries throughout the world. In those countries, it’s common for people to be arrested simply for doing a public protest even if it’s non-violent. This is one of the reasons many people want to immigrate to the US so they can enjoy the freedom of assembly.
- Right to Vote
The original US Constitution only allowed white, land-holding men to vote. However, different amendments allowed women and minorities the right to vote as well. Today anyone who meets some basic requirements in the US is eligible to register to vote. This makes voting one of the main political freedoms in the US. About 58% of eligible voters participated in the 2016 presidential election.
The right to vote might seem like a basic political right. However, in some countries around the world, it’s one that many people don’t have. This is based on the form of government, laws, and other issues. So it’s yet another reason why many people want to immigrate to the US so they can participate in the political process.