Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The immigration battle

In my post regarding 'Entitlement versus Responsibility' I highlighted the need for my community in Providence to move from 'give me resource' to 'i will create resource'. In subsequent conversations with many, they were angered by these and similar comments I have made. To that I say, then I'm doing my job. You see, I grew up in a home where my father was told at the age of 5 that he should consider janitor or cook as his best vocational prospects. I grew up in a home where my mother had a full scholarship to a highly regarded New England university, but could not go because her parents were unable to afford to send her. I grew up in a community that was small, mostly white, and where I generally was the only black face in the room. What does this have to do with immigration? Everything. You will hear various people fight, argue, and seek to enable undocumented (aka illegal) immigrants various rights within our communities. This is the 'entitlement' mentality I have talked about. When you feel entitled to be in this country and receive benefits derived from citizenship or legal immigration (and are not either) then, in my opinion, you are the type of immigrant this country does not need. That sounds harsh and it should. Consider that if I was in another country illegally I would be deported. Other countries have taken a much more antagonistic stance towards illegal immigration than the US which is probably why we have so many illegal immigrants. And that's the problem. If we continue to allow illegal immigration, then we must continue to be burdened by their inability to obtain legal jobs; instead, relying on under-the-table jobs which usually pay less than minimum-wage. Generally speaking, companies with skilled workers do not want illegal immigrants. It's something sticky called the law, I guess. However, small businesses seeking cheap labor will hire these people. But it doesn't help. It creates non-taxable income, low income, and people who's opportunities are severely limited because they are living in a constant state of criminal activity. Instead, we should support legislation that would help these folks move from illegal to legal status. We also need to deport some people. 'What!? Don, what are you saying?' Yes, I said deport. Why? Because if we do not demonstrate that we're serious about not allowing people to live in this country illegaly then we will have to make examples of some in order to change the perception that it's ok to be illegal in the US. The thing is, no one is above the law. I'm not. You're not. Yet proponents of legislation giving privileges to illegal immigrants are saying that illegal immigrants are above the law. They are saying that they can spit in the face of the American Legal System and receive privileges as a reward. To me, that's not only unfair to legal immigrants/citizens, it creates an unecessary antagonism between citizens and immigrants. I like the President's idea of granting work visas to people who are here currently. I think that's a good first step. But, our goal should not be to make illegal immigration easier and better for those living as illegal immigrants. Our goal must be a way to ensure a balance between open borders and safe, secure, and legal immigration.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I agree with your notion of focusing on legalizing undocumented immigrants so that they no longer break the law. Yes. I said break the law. Living in this country illegally is ILLEGAL. I have about as little tolerance for this as I do for a convicted murderer getting away with his or her crime. If I was told that a person committing an illegal activity, such as selling marajuana, lying on their tax returns, or armed robbery and they wanted me to help them continue to do so, I would say a stern harsh "No!" Instead, I would offer assistance to them in doing things righteously and according to the law. I do not think breaking the law should be supported; therefore, I do not support illegal immigration. However, I do believe everyone should have a chance at the "American Dream" and immigrants are no exception. I also believe immigrants should have the right (AND ASSISTANCE) in becoming legal citizens. I also believe that once legal citizenship is aquired, it is our moral obligation as a country to not only meet the needs of the immigrant community, but to help them partake in a fair distribution of resources. Do I believe the only jobs illegal immigrants have are under the table or crime related? No. Look at Grace Diaz. She was (and still is) a hard worker.
I know that is not what you are saying Don, but it can come across as such to those who do not know you and your love for your community...but I can see your point. If someone came into my house and said: "I have had a really tough life. I am running from my abusive husband or wife. It is your obligation to give me the same benefits that you would give your own children..." I would probably ask them in a kind manner to leave my property. But that does not mean that I would not have the moral obligation to assist that person in their time of need. This is what I am hearing you say and I agree. Illegal immigrants should "ring the front doorbell" not slip through the back and should go through the process of becoming legal citizens before calling on this country's various forms of assistance. If the issue is the INS and their lack of concern in this area that, in my opinion, is where the issue truelly is and that is where laws should be changed and enforced. If that makes me less of a democrat, so be it. I support open, safe and secure borders where citizens come here legally. If that is not popular that is ok. I stand for what is right. Not for what is socially acceptable.

To all Don's silent critics: I have sat silently while my husband spoke up for his beliefs and hurt over misconceptions of his motives. Thank you for encouraging me to stand closer by his side as he stands for what is right. God bless-

7/21/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Don said...

One correction I'd like to make, honey - I do not believe that Grace Diaz was an illegal immigrant.

But you sentiment is appreciated. This blog is not for the rantings of me, myself, and I. It was hoped that people of many persuasions would see this place as an outlet.

From comments I have received, many people agree with what I say and tell me. Others do not, but tell people whom they do not think are affiliated with me. Unfortunately, I wish those people would visit the blog and write a comment or two - or even become a contributor.

This blog isn't a partisan blog and I would welcome someone in direct opposition to my own ideas.

p.s. I'm still on Vacation....:-)

7/21/2005 07:11:00 PM  

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