The Path Not Traveled

Three Suitcases and a Laptop

I am a philosopher, I am a visionary, I am an idealist. But my dreams have pestered inside me unable to bring them into fruition. Long ago when in my youth, when ignorant of life, I made a mistake. I have paid for this mistake, and I will continue to pay until my debt with society is fully satisfied; my infraction so great that an entire life and broken dreams be the appropriate punishment.

Most of us have heard or know that we are all “immigrants” and many, but not most understand what this actually means. The history of immigration policy in the United States has been mixed and contradictory. But most people choose to focus entirely on the present day immigration bickering than on a historical or factual immigration history that can help us to analyze, understand and appreciate immigration to this country.

My criticism of American immigration policy might be thought of as subjective, being that I am one of many individuals (11.2 million) directly affected by it. However, I have seen first-hand the positive and negative effects of American immigration policy at work in the lives of many people and in the future of this great nation. My story and the story of many people I know, and the story of others I do not know, being a perfect example. If you look at history, you will see that this great nation, the most powerful nation on earth is a product of immigrants. The continuous influx of legal and illegal immigration keeps this nation young and economically strong. It brings vitality and innovation to an ageing population. And as new waves of immigration from Latin American and Asian countries continue, they bring a flow of young immigrants with it. This immigrants, illegal or not, affect the economy of this nation. One of the most embarrassing and wasteful spending is seen in the continuous struggle to send them back from where they came from. In addition, the children of these immigrants are prevented from contributing to this country’s economy. Strangely, once they have been supported by our schools and motivated to become responsible, contributing adults, they are denied a future once they reach adulthood. They are branded as illegals and prevented from working or pursuing a higher education. In short, after being nurtured into adulthood, they are told to go back to where they came from. In a way, we nurture their minds and we do not rip the rewards, as if planting an apple tree and not eating the fruit.

The United States has spent more than 12 billion dollars to fight illegal immigration, and will continue to spend tax payers’ dollars into the future in a never- ending “war” against illegal immigration. If we restructure immigration policy to make it easy for those who have attained an education and for those who have proven themselves to be modeled citizens to this country, we can begin to see real changes in our economy. The billions of dollars that have been spent in trying to keep illegal immigration out of this country could be injected into our economy, into our social programs, into research. Imagine what we could become if we become reasonable about immigration reform and stop the bigotry and the bickering.

I had dream, a dream so big and clear that illuminated my path every single day. My dream propelled me to obtain a higher education, an education coveted by many, but reached only by few. My curriculum strictly and carefully selected to make of me a thinker, a visionary, which is what I have become. Unable to contribute to this great nation that cradled me into adulthood, I go back with my dreams and my vision somewhere else to plant. My dreams packed into three suitcases and a laptop.

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