Illegal Immigration: Is There a Solution?
When I use the term freedom I struggle to do so with a straight face and without drawing attention to everyone's lack thereof. Seeing as America is meant to be "the land of the free" we'll keep it as simple and respectful concerning the ruse as we possibly can. America, the United States for those more pedantic when it comes to geography, is a wonderful place where we have basic human rights that cannot be infringed upon except in cases we are deemed a foreign combatant and the rare occasion the police decide we are acting up a bit too much and gun us down in the middle of the street. With all this freedom dripping off of us Americans like sweat on an overweight Uncle Sam's brow in the middle of a hot summer, others see us and apparently look at the salty drips of freedom with envy and will do whatever it takes to get their share. It really isn't all that great, it is just more efficient and less violent than elsewhere.
Here in America your rights are delegated out based on your class, and most importantly your birthrights. When equality gets presented as a concept, we claim there is already equity, yet your freedoms are situational and could seemingly disappear at the behest of some vindictive, hyper-sensitive individual. An example of your rights seeming to disappear would be recently when I was discussing the media, among others, using immigrants as a prop for increasing their viewership. I attempted to point out the injustice of using a human as nothing more than a prop to create a spectacle, and one of the HubPages team members stated to me in an email that doing so was "disparaging" immigrants. They took it upon themselves to remove the article from HubPages and continue to seem as if they support the mistreatment of people all the while disparaging those who try to bring attention to said injustices.
Just as HubPages gets to delegate freedoms to its voluntary writers, so does American authority delegate freedoms to its citizens and those who wish to become citizens. It isn't so easy becoming an American citizen, often it's a process that takes someone more than ten years to complete even when seeking asylum for valid and legal reasons. Of course, if you were born here you are automatically a citizen, but if you aren't then you have to hope that you fit the bill for freedom and get it delegated to you by the powers that be. Hopefully you are not one of the many trying to escape a situation that could cost you your life.
I have a friend who emigrated here from Iran, henceforth we shall call him Yamshid, and Yamshid faced a situation that no human should ever have to go through. We'll get into the situation he faced after I give you a little background on the man. Yamshid was a life-long scholar who turned away from the Muslim faith after seeking higher education, but he lived in a violent, shariah law controlled zone of Iran where it was often encouraged to report your neighbors to the nearest authority if they thought something was incorrect. With great bravery he stood against the Muslim faith, and visited the American embassy every chance he could to try to get his citizenship request accepted so he could leave the oppression that would soon threaten his life and damage him permanently. It took him twelve years to get his citizenship accepted, and that twelve years ruined his life forever.
For the first two years of attempting to seek acceptance, Yamshid worked a full time job as a data entry analyst and would sneak off to the American embassy any chance he could to check the status of his citizenship request. This made heads turn and piqued the interest of the local authorities who had him tailed throughout his day, collecting evidence to later imprison him. Yamshid knew the consequences, not only of turning from his religious faith, but also of trying to escape the religion-driven society in which he lived. He would soon understand the full force of shariah law and exactly what gets done to those who besmirch their faith.
Having collected enough evidence to convict Yamshid under shariah law, he was dragged from his home in the middle of the night to a shariah prison for reeducation. Each and every day, for eight years, he was beaten and forced to recite phrases from religious texts lest he be beaten more and even harder. It wasn't until the fifth year of torture and reeducation that he began to pretend to be returning to the ways of Islam, and his conviction remained for the final three years in prison, pretending each and every day to be Muslim once more despite being tortured by those forcing him to do it. Let us not forget that during this entire time, ten years since its submission, his request for citizenship was still pending with no progress. After eight years in reeducation, being denied basic rights and tortured for a religion he did not believe in any longer, he was released back into his community. The torture will have left Yamshid with permanent and degenerating brain damage, and for two years he would have to suffer those effects while pretending to be a part of the community that did it to him.
For about two years after his release from the shariah reeducation prison he still sneaked off to the American embassy to try expediting the citizenship process, during which time he resubmitted a request for asylum. The request for asylum was granted and he managed to escape Iran alive, and with his wife and children in tow. Not understanding how serious his brain damage was, he was excited to get to work in America. He had already learned the English language so he was not worried about assimilating to the culture he nearly worshiped, but his brain damage would prevent him from holding a job for more than a few weeks.
Often times at work Yamshid would wander around aimlessly with a blank stare, he had forgotten what he was doing and didn't even know he was wandering. He would be in tears each time he came out of this trance-like state, because he was conscious enough to know that his brain was decaying but could do nothing to stop it. The manager fired him because he had no medical records to prove he needed accommodations for the disability, but he needed a job to be able to afford insurance (even state subsidized insurance was too expensive), and that was the last I saw of this wonderful man. He escaped tyranny only to step into a new and more efficient form of it. If only he had been given a shot at freedom earlier, I could safely say this saint of a man would have thrived here in America. Yet, how do we discern the deserving, from the undeserving?
Justice and Injustice
Whether or not we feel our country should be without borders is irrelevant, our country has borders and laws protecting those borders and to argue it is meaningless. Those borders protect the country from harm, and had security been as tight in the past as it is now then 9/11 could have been avoided. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies these days agree that stricter regulation was necessary to avoid 9/11 and despite their knowledge of the event before it occurred their hands were tied as far as stopping the event. This leaves everyone with the all-important question of, "Who do we grant access, and who do we deny?"
Combating illegal immigration isn't as black and white as everyone wishes it were. You can't look at someone, hear their story, take some more background information, and then say you understand the intentions and motivations of the individual. Whenever a country chooses to have a lapse in judgement as it concerns their national security, something goes awry and sometimes at the cost of thousands of lives. With the stakes being so high, could we really just start letting people in willy-nilly? No we cannot, but we can definitely call on society as a whole to help combat illegal immigration through easing of standards. How would society go about doing this, though?
Well you see, there are millionaires, billionaires, trillionaires who have the resources and power to vet people much faster than the current system is able to do. In fact these wealthy individuals own companies that already send individuals to turn immigrants into a spectacle we may argue about on our social media accounts as if we were making any meaningful difference, and rather than sending reporters to gawk at these people in dire need they could send social workers to vet these individuals. Rather than shoving a camera and microphone in their desperate, crying faces that only wish for freedom, and turning them into some sort of ratings-gaining prop, they could be shoving clipboards full of pertinent vetting papers into their hands to expedite the process that could take twelve or more years. This is how we combat illegal immigration, by using those who would convince us they are helping while only caring about their own income and leaving us to argue with each other rather than placing blame where it truly belongs.
We all deserve justice in the face of the injustices in this world. Will you let people continue suffering unjustly? The wealthy would and they do, all the while criticizing us. Unite for a better purpose, and submit petitions that will actually make a difference. Think beyond the tip of your nose and outside of the box of social media.