May 1 is expected to bring the third annual round of marches by those who want immigration reform. Many of those marching are here illegally and rather than work to bring about economic and social changes in their native countries, they are marching in the USA to demand we change our immigration policies to meet their wants.
I am not an advocate or in favor of illegal immigration. Every country has its borders and has the right to determine who that country wants to admit to it (just ask Snoop Dogg who had to battle to get a visa to tour in Britain). Currently if you are an individual like myself who doesn’t go with the flow by supporting illegal immigration, you are called harsh names like “racist” or “xenophobic.”
Many of the arguments against illegal immigration have been stated. Our government has gone to the time and trouble to create all sorts of laws regarding immigration and yet we currently have the largest number of foreign nationals in this country without permission in our history. By far the greatest numbers who have crossed illegally into this country have done so via our southern border. But a huge number came into this country legally and when the time came for them to leave, they chose to stay.
It is very easy to make the immigration issue about individuals or certain ethnic groups. The “Push 1 for English” option is a sore point with many people. Yet rather than blame Latinos, I blame our gutless and spineless politicians in Washington. They have had two years since the first march to address the issue-a march, I might add, in response to a bill in Congress that would have made being in this country illegally a felony. Our politicians have had 22 years since the 1986 amnesty to resolve the ongoing immigration crisis and all they have done is pander to themselves, to big businesses and to the perceived fear of a voting backlash by those in favor of illegal immigration without consideration of those who oppose it.
Why is it that individual states (Oklahoma and Arizona) have had to pass tough laws against illegal immigration while our federal government does nothing? And contrary to what many predicted would be a disaster for a state like Oklahoma, which implemented one of the toughest immigration laws in the country (House Bill 1804), a place where an estimated 25,000 illegals left, Oklahoma’s unemployment figures dropped a full percentage point over a one-year period. Time will truly tell if Americans will do the jobs illegals used to do, but so far indications are that they will.
One of the least talked about aspects of illegal immigration is the human smuggling involved. Almost akin to the slave trade, human smuggling involved hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to people to smuggle foreign nationals into this country. The more smuggled at one time, the more money made. And all of those being smuggled are not individuals who are trying to “feed their families” or suffering under some sort of persecution. Just last month, an aspiring reggaeton (Spanish hip-hop) artist by the name of Elvis Manuel was lost at sea in a failed attempt to try to get to this country from Cuba. He was lured into making the dangerous trip by promises of million-dollar recording contracts. Had his journey been successful, the smuggling operation could have earned as much as a half-million dollars for the smugglers.
The immigration debate will not be fair to the American public until we are presented with news reports that take an honest and hard look at all sides of the story. How is illegal immigration truly affecting America? When identities are stolen and used by others to work, what is it like for the individual who has had their ID stolen? At what point should immigration status come into play when it involves the police? What about those who are criminals in their home countries? Do we absorb them as well? What is it truly costing taxpayers to educate children who should not be in this country? Is the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment accurate when most people ignore the “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause in claiming American citizenship for children born to parents who are citizens of another country? Can American taxpayers continue to pay the hospital bills for those here illegally who can use the services of a hospital like Stroger while American citizens have been forced to lose their homes due to huge hospital bills? Is it the responsibility of American taxpayers to teach English to children born in this country whose parents choose to only have them speak their native tongue, abdicating their responsibility to the school system?
There will be a loser in the immigration debate. The only question remaining is who wins and who loses what!