The Immigration Dilema

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In recent years the issue of illegal immigration has dominated the public's eye and the government's attention. Especially during election years the issue never goes away and politicians are astute enough to either stay clear of it or confront it head on.

With millions of Hispanics and other nationals living and working in the United States, however, no politician who has aspirations of obtaining a higher office than the one they currently have must in some way or another address the issue and they often walk a very thin line when doing so.

"Hispanics or Latinos constitute 16.7% of the total United States population, or 52 million people, forming the second largest ethnic group, after non-Hispanic White Americans (a group composed of dozens of sub-groups, as is Hispanic and Latino Americans). Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest of all the minority groups, but Black Americans are the largest minority among the races, after White Americans in general (non-Hispanic and Hispanic)."Wikipedia

So how does one address this pressing issue which rests heavily on the minds of many? I do tend to side with those that say that illegal immigration hurts the economy; number of jobs/number of people vying for those jobs.

But what is to be done with the immigrants who are already in the country, often having arrived years ago, have jobs, have families in the United States, have bank accounts and perform all the things that a typical United States citizen does everyday. Take into consideration that many if not most, of these immigrants go about their regular lives without breaking the law and often perform jobs that regular citizens do not really want to do.

Also keep in mind that the majority of the children of these immigrants go to regular schools in in many cases do very well. There have been some recent cases in which the authorities have wanted to deport not only the families of the children but the kids themselves.

They often do not even consider that a large potion of these students are very fluent in English and not so in their parent's native language. Thankfully most of these cases have been resolved through other avenues that have allowed the kids to stay in the country.

A lot of United States citizens often forget that this country was molded by people who were not originally from here but from other parts of the world such as England, Spain, Portugal and France. This country was founded by immigrants and one should not look at immigration with contempt.

Why not clear the way for those that are here and contribute to the economy and the well being of the country to become legal without all the current obstacles and hefty fees now in effect.

Perhaps allowing all illegal immigrants who are already here and have been for some time, with no criminal records, to stay, thus allowing them the opportunity to legally contribute to the economy by paying a far share of the taxes. I served in the military from 1992 to 1996, I was a witness to the many immigrants, not yet citizens, who voluntarily risked their lives for a country which in some instances, looked at them like third class citizens.

Yes, illegal immigration has to be addressed and a equitable solution has to be found, but it seems highly unfair to penalize others who although entered the country illegally are now in effect, regular everyday US citizens.

Special consideration should be directed at those parents who have children who have spent most of their lives in the US and feel more American than anything else, speak more English than any other language and are for all practical effects, citizens of this country.

Under no circumstances should children who were born in the country be separated from their parents regardless if they are illegal immigrants. Where is our humanity in these cases? Do we throw away everything that the United States stands for in order to deport people and entire families?

The law is the law and the law is one of the cementing factors that helped create this land, but when the law hurts others, often unfairly, then it is time to look at it again.

I have also traveled to several Latin American countries as well as Canada and I have in more than one occasion marveled as to how nonchalantly most of us seem to approach moving to another country and making it our new home.

We often seem to to think that we should be allowed in and immediately given the right to remain and work, "why not we are Americans" it is not the right attitude to take in these cases.

But perhaps the fault is not ours since the large majority of us have never been forced because of economic or political causes to leave our native land and leave everything we know behind in order to move to a whole different country with totally different values and customs.

Only when you walk in the shoes of another can you truly and completely begin to understand what it takes to emigrate.

Family values and keeping the family together should be paramount. Great harm can be done to a child and its parents if they are forcefully removed from what they now call home, leaving their livelihoods, their friends and their memories.

Let's seek a solution that is fair and equitable to all while considering all factors but always keeping in the forefront of the discussion the things that matter most.

(CC BY-SA 2.0
(CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

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Comments 4 comments

Deb Welch 4 years ago

A very interesting read. You wrote - 'I served in the military from 1992 to 1996, I was a witness to the many immigrants, not yet citizens'. I am surprised they were allowed into the military service in the first place without proper legal paperwork. You need picture ID, SSAN, Birth Certificate, school records plus other such documents. Within a program by Glenn Beck - he had another view with illegal immigration - if they come here to the US - they would not find any work and if they found their way over here they can find their way back. I am surprised that an immigrant family that has lived in this country for many years never told their children they did not have the legal documents to drive, go to college, join the military, etc. These young people are just now waking up to these facts. How absurd. Obama gave guidelines and many are following them - that's cool.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Excellent Hub, Luis. We need to come up with a sensible and humane solution. The current hysteria and hatred along with political pandering makes it not conducive to such solutions. That is incredibly unfortunate. There is also a lot of bigotry entailed with the hostility this problem creates.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

Deb Welch: Let me clarify: The ones serving in the military were often children of illegal immigrants and all of them had legal status, but were not yet American citizens. As far as I know, there are times when residents are allowed to serve in the military.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida Author

HSchneider: Thank you

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