- Politics and Social Issues
Immigration: My Take
Qualification of the Author
Before anyone gets all up in arms about my writing on this subject and starts sending me critical comments let me explain where I am coming from. I am married to a Peruvian woman with whom I have four children. I used to work at a research laboratory run by a Chinese lady, who happens to be one of the most intelligent people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life. In the Laboratory there is also a post-doctoral fellow who is from China as well he is also extremely intelligent. I have friends from places as diverse as Iraq, Syria, France, Peru, Columbia, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Nepal, and several others. My friends range from religious backgrounds of Atheism, Islamic, LDS, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and agnosticism. Not only are my best friends’ immigrants but my wife also. Therefore I know firsthand what the process is like when immigrating and why overwhelmingly Legal immigrants do not support amnesty for people who did not come here legally.
Let me say that I have been happily married to my wife for more than 12 years, and just a few days after I got married my parents disowned me because they did not want to be around a (racial epithet) so we cut ties and have nobody but each other and some family(hers) in Peru. In no way can someone call me a xenophobic or something along those lines at least not if they are intellectually honest with themselves. With that being said I think that Immigration is good for the country, we should try to attract the best and brightest from all other countries in the world and this would do two things. It would bring in more tax revenue. It would advance the intellectual capital of the nation as a whole.
Do you believe that it is ok to break the law?
Ellis Island a symbol of hope to Immigrants of the past!
The question of national sovereignty is one that must be addressed in this debate because it is one of the things that all other topics hinge on. First of all, let’s establish for the record what sovereignty is for the topic at hand. Merriam-Webster says: Sovereignty is a country's independent authority and right to govern its own people. In the case of our country, the government is granted this right by the citizens of the country. As citizens of this Country, we elect leaders to represent our interests before the government, and there are some that do.
There are few that question the right of the United States to govern itself, but there are some that believe anyone who supports only legal immigration is xenophobic, and isolationist. I for one do not believe that it is a question of xenophobia or isolationism, it is much simpler than that.... the question that demands an answer is does the United States have a right to regulate who settles in the country to live or not? There are many that say no.
Just one of the problem areas in the discussion of immigration.
Crossing the Border Illegally.
A Nation of Laws
Without laws and borders, one cannot have a Nation. The nation is sustained by laws, they are the substance that makes a country either desirable or not. Think about it I am sure that there are some great things about living in Saudi Arabia, but some of the laws, particularly for women are so harsh that there are few people who would want to leave the United States and move there. The same goes the other way. There are things about the United States and the Laws here that make the US very desirable to people looking for a place to settle. Not only is the law an item on the radar of immigrants but the finical stability of the country as well.
What do laws really do to attract immigration, good and bad, or in other words both legal and illegal immigration? Let’s talk a bit about illegal immigration first. The laws of the United States encourage Illegal immigration in several ways. Some of the laws that govern the social programs like food stamps and housing assistance forbid agents to ask for proof of citizenship before or after assignment of benefits. This is an outrage and there is no wonder that nearly 4 million people cross the border illegally every year.
The problem does not just lie with the people who are here illegally either. The problem extends to the companies and individuals that hire them to do whatever work that they are qualified for. This perpetuates the problem; if they couldn't find work when they came illegally then they would not be so anxious to steal across the border. That being said the companies and individuals that are hiring them are in violation of the law as well. While I realize that most of these positions are unskilled laborer positions that pay very menial salaries that are irrelevant. With the unemployment rate sitting at around 5 % and the illegal immigrant community composing about or a little more of that workforce according to the border of labor and statistics if the illegal immigrants were no longer able to work then unemployment should disappear in theory at least for law-abiding citizens.
The argument is often made that the immigrants that come here illegally are family people who live and work in the communities that they move into and that they are engaged parents etc... Well by definition these people cannot be law abiding. They are here in violation of the law. Their mere presence in this country means that they are criminals. Many in the media want to play on the emotions of their readers and run stories about poor Jose who got deported like he should if he is here illegally, and so the rest of his family had to move to Mexico to stay together. They will tell you how much it hurt the children to move to Mexico. Not that I am sure that it is not true but that is the fault of a criminal, not the government. The government cannot be held accountable for such things, and we should not have to pay for them to live here either.
Is it ok for a person to come to the United States illegally?
We all have the right to our own opinion of course, but what we need to concentrate on is not whether it is fair, but whether it is just and legal. For something can be fair but not just and legal and vice versa. For instance, say someone killed a relative in a car crash, the person was sober but was driving too fast for conditions and lost control, and the relative was on the sidewalk and was killed, while the driver was fine. The driver is charged with vehicular manslaughter. That may seem unfair because the driver lost control, but he was breaking the law by going too fast for conditions, therefore it is just and legal that he be charged.
Now consider this there is a member of a local family that is killed by someone who was driving while just under the legal alcohol limit. This person who was killed stepped out in front of this car from between two large vehicles there was nothing the driver could do but he appeared drunk according to the officer who responded. However, he tested just under the limit. Because he was not speeding and was not over the legal limit he could not be charged, even though the officer testified that the driver appeared to be drunk. This is an example where what is fair and just seem skewed. Add an element in that the driver should not even be in this country because they are here illegally. What is just? What is fair? Are they the same?
Are you or are you an immediate relative to a first generation immigrant?
Just ask anyone who has recently immigrated or is related to someone who has and they will tell you that there is a significant cost involved with the immigration process. While if you can do the paperwork yourself you save lots of the cost associated with the filing of the papers you still have application and processing fees. These may not run into the thousands of dollars but by the time you take into consideration the travel time to and from the office for interviews and biometrics along with the work that you must miss to do these things it adds up to a significant amount of money. While I do not like paying fees and such they do help to support the portion of the government that is processing the papers, therefore lightening the burden on the taxpayers.
This is a great reason to encourage immigration of the legal sort and discourage the illegal sort because one deposits money into the government and the other takes away from the government. In Missouri alone, the government pays out nearly 325 Million Dollars per year for "benefits" such as welfare, food-stamps, Medicaid, etc. for illegal immigrants. Now that that has been said, there will be those who say that you can’t get government benefits if you are not a citizen.
Wrong! if you have a green card you have promised to not rely on the government for support and you have a sponsor of some sort, whether it be an employer or a friend, and this sponsor had to sign an affidavit of support for you to stay here legally. The Illegal need not go to this trouble and they can also live off the government while they are here living free of application fees, and the like. Many Illegals also seek out communities of like individuals to befriend. This almost completely brings to a halt any kind of assimilation into the rest of society and serves to isolate them even more.
Should immigrants Without permission from the federal government (illegals) be allowed to stay here even though they have clearly violated the law?
While there are fewer people who do not opt to either go to college or some sort of trade school there are still some who do not take advantage of these resources. These people are low wage earners, like illegals the uneducated populous need employment. When Illegals cross the border, breaking the law, and find work, they deprive an American unskilled worker a job. This is yet another way that this epidemic is an outrage.
On the other hand, legal immigrants contribute to social security, pay taxes and many time create jobs. I know several who are innovators in their fields and some that are very successful as business owners. Likewise, I know several people who are here illegally, while they are nice people the government allows them to draw welfare benefits, which creates a drain on society. If a legal immigrant applies for assistance while they are in the process then they can lose their green card and be sent back to their home country. Something an Illegal cannot be held accountable for. This is backward and needs to be changed to bring equity in the law.
What should be done with respect to families that have children that were born in the United States?
Resentment in Society
All these inequalities and injustices do not help to improve the plight of the illegal; they only serve to drive a deeper wedge between the classes. These things could be solved simply by the offender agreeing to go back to where they came from, but why would they? They have it good living tax-free enjoying the fruits of the labor of all the taxpayers in this country, i.e. the protection that is offered, parks, etc...
What would be the solution? Every person with a brain knows that this is a problem. Can we let thousands and millions of people get away with breaking the law, and taking jobs away from unskilled American workers? Can we allow companies to get off without penalty after using illegal immigrant labor? Can we deport all 12 million illegals in this country? What about refugees, can we bring them in without checking them out? Are we asking for trouble if we do nothing?
Yes, we are asking for big trouble if we do nothing! We must crack down on all companies that use illegal immigrants. We must send them back and ensure that they cannot get back on our side of the border again. We must make sure that each person that enters the country does so legally, and that this entrance will do something to help this nation. This may sound self-serving but we do not need unskilled labor. Those jobs are what high school students should be doing to earn money for cars, dates, etc.
This topic is a source of great resentment between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. Let’s uphold the hand of the ones that did it the legal way, and not give a free ride to anyone!
Thanks for reading!
How many generations ago did your family Immigrate?
© 2015 William Lee