I‘ve watched and read a great many reports and debates about the issues surrounding immigration that have exploded their way into the general consciousness of the American public over the last year or so. There are three things that I can’t get past, three items that are sticking in my craw about the people who say they represent various ‘immigrant rights’ coalitions.
#1: The problem that a large segment of the American public has with people who cross our borders from any direction has nothing to do with people who have gone through the proper channels and enter the country legally. The problem has everything to do with people who have made a conscious decision to make their first act of pursuing the American dream a crime in progress. There have been many debates about who pays into the system, who contributes to what, who is the largest growing segment of our population, and so on and so on. But all the taking points that both sides of the issue are immediately nullified and made moot by the fact that by entering the country illegally one has broken the law; by breaking the law, one is a criminal. That’s the end of the conversation, at least from my humble perspective.
#2: Additionally the ‘immigration rights’ groups have fallen back on the guilt laden stand-by of calling anyone who disagrees with their stance a racist. This just plain out makes me sick to my stomach. I do not agree, in large part, with the Republican party; this does not make me unpatriotic. I do not, in large part, agree with the Democrat party; this does not make me a hatemonger. I do not agree with people crossing the border of our country illegally and using resources provided out of the tax dollar of the American citizen. This does not make me a racist. I find it disappointing and unnerving that in these times in which we are slowly losing the freedoms and rights promised us in the Constitution, that the best some people and groups can do to defend their position is to deny the rights of opinion and speech (via the use of negative branding or moral implication) to those who disagree with them . If that is the only defense that one can muster in support of ones position, then ones position is not all that strong to begin with.
#3: The last thing that has grabbed my attention is a point that I haven’t seen addressed in the press from either side of the issue. There have been massive protests by immigrants (both legal and not) in favor of simply allowing people to enter the country at will, as well as for those who have already entered illegally to simply be allowed to stay. These protests (one numbered approximately a half-million people if I recall correctly) were very well organized, well funded, and obviously well attended gatherings. With all the energy being devoted to try to pressure the government to allow something that our laws state is illegal, why are these protests not being held in these poor countries that people are attempting to escape from? Wouldn’t fighting for ones rights and liberties in ones own country be of more import and significance for oneself and future generations as opposed to demanding rights and privileges not afforded due to one having entered the country illegally?
There are many issues that I take issue with concerning the problem with illegal immigration, but these three have been gnawing at my brain the most.
Just a thought…