Thoughts on the President's proposed immigration policy

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about here are some links:

I'm conflicted about this whole immigration thing. I've had some dealings with the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) in the past and I must say that I was most certainly not impressed. The ineptitude and bureaucratic backlog at the INS is legendary in the immigrant circles I grew up in. My parents submitted citizenship applications for the entire family and for more than 3 years our applications went back and forth between various inboxes at various INS offices. I was finger printed on three separate occasions because they hung on to my application for so long that the prints kept expiring. My sister just recently concluded a year long ordeal to get them to correct a typo on her certificate of citizenship.

Having said all of that I wonder at the wisdom of giving them more work to do. And I am none too thrilled at the idea that after all my family had to go through to legally attain citizenship folk who ignored the law will get off so easily. From what I've heard and read about the President's proposed new immigration policies I get the impression that most illegal immigrants now in the country will get to apply for citizenship.

Something about allowing people who broke the law by entering the country illegally to remain in this country, and even to receive the benefit of citizenship, just rubs me the wrong way. In fact I would venture to say that it is the most wrong thing that anyone could do where this issue is concerned. I know that some would claim that it is the compassionate thing to do but I would argue that it is far more compassionate to say, I'm sorry but we cannot to allow you to break the law. There has to be a better option than to legitimize their disregard for the law.

The claim that illegal immigrants take the jobs that most Americans don't want is no reason whatsoever to allow them to break the law or to give them amnesty after having broken the law. Legal immigrants also take jobs that most Americans don't want but they have no intention of keeping those jobs. For them they are a step up to the kinds of jobs that most Americans do want.

It is not the fault of the United States government if a Mexican family takes it upon themselves to set out across the southwest desert in an attempt to cross the US border and dies in the process. They chose to take that risk themselves. If any government is to be held responsible for their demise it is the Mexican government. Has it occurred to anyone that if the Mexican government were concerned about it's citizens dieing in the southwest desert they would take steps to make sure that their citizens do not reach such a desperate state?

It is also not the fault of the US government if illegal immigrants pack themselves into shipping containers across the ocean and die in the process of trying to reach our shores. Who is responsible? The governments that do not provide adequately for their own citizens and those who make a living exploiting people looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Sound immigration policy would make sure that the costs of smuggling people into the US (lengthy prison terms or messy deaths at the hands of well armed and well trained border guards) far out weigh the benefits.

The US government needs to send the message to potential immigrants and their governments that any seeking a better life by first breaking the law will not be accepted in this country. We also need to send the message to governments that we will not pick up the slack for poor governance on their part.

I find claims that securing US borders discriminates against immigrants to be completely lacking in any understand of the security needs of the nation. Such claims are steeped in a victimology mindset in which everyone is responsible for the victim's demise except the victim. Securing US borders discriminates against people who attempt to enter the US without going through the approved channels. That kind of discrimination is a very good thing.

In any case, I'll contact my elected officials and wait and see how this thing turns out. I urge all immigrants and naturalized citizens out there to speak up and tell their stories. I don't think most natural born citizens in this country have any idea what life is like for us. And perhaps that's a big part of the problem.


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