Call me a flip flopper, say I’m like John Kerry – being for something before I was against it. I am. I used to be for illegal immigration and I’m not looking for all the praise from the Right, nor do I seek criticism from the Left. I simply have had a change of mind, not heart. Like many on the pro-illegal immigration debate, my heart goes out to all the people who are trying to come to this country for a better life.
Actually, in a way, in my heart, I am still for illegal immigration, or rather, an easier path to citizenship. Half of my family are immigrants, my father is an immigrant, and even I was born in another country. I was fortunate enough to have citizenship by birth because my mother is an American Citizen. I have seen up close the conditions that many people live in, the unemployment rate that their respective countries often endure. I know how severe the drug lord problem is in Mexico, and if it’s not drug lords, it’s their own governments. Many people risk their lives to come here. Many, if caught, are punished severely by their own government, and then they face the dangers of climate and other humans. If they make it across our border… IF, then they live in fear of being caught and sent back. It’s easy to feel sympathetic to their plight.
However, the solution to our illegal immigration problem isn’t what Marco Rubio and John McCain suggest. If we put these people on a path to citizenship, then what we are setting ourselves up for is an even greater backlog of applications for VISAs, residencies, and citizenship. Once these people have their citizenship, they’ll start to apply for their families to come, and of course they will sponsor them. The increased backlog will only encourage people to come to the country illegally. I’m not for rounding up illegal immigrants and throwing them back to the wolves but I am for discouraging illegal immigration as much as possible.
So what happened to me? Why the change of (not heart) mind? One word, one number. September, Eleventh. Remember that fateful day that we “will never forget”? Don’t feel bad, most people don’t remember either. But I didn’t forget.
You see, I’m not stupid, I know what I look like. If you put a turban on my head, strapped a bomb around my stomach, and put me out in the street screaming ‘Allah Akbar’, somebody is going to shoot me and they ought to. But if it’s that easy for me to look like a Muslim terrorist, how easy is it for a Muslim terrorist to put a sombrero on his head, throw a Pancho over his shoulder and learn to say ‘¿Donde Esta Estado Unidos?’. Suddenly you have a very dangerous illegal immigrant.
You would think that after the Boston Marathon bombing, our Senators and Congressmen would back off of any bill that’s favorable to illegal immigrants, and no, I am not assuming anything about the Marathon
bomber. All I’m saying is that there are some very dangerous people out there.
What I am for is an easier path for LEGAL immigration. It is, after all, better to know something about who is coming across the border than to know nothing about who is coming across the border. Yes, I want people from another country to come to the United States, but I want them to have at least a sense of respecting our laws. We have made it very difficult for people to come to this country legally, often turning people away because they do not have a big enough bank account in their country, or they don’t own property. We have only half honored the Statue of Liberty
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”
At the same time we hold that as a virtue, we routinely deny these very people legal immigration and then encourage them through policy, to put their lives on the line to come to this country illegally. It seems to me that if we really wanted to resolve illegal immigration, we’d make it easier for people to come to the country legally. It is, after all, better to know something about who is coming across the border than to know nothing about who is crossing our borders.
I suppose I can understand Marco Rubio’s position, the tyranny that many Cubans flee is unfathomable to the rest of us. So much so that the Leftists who praise Che Guevara and Fidel Castro must willfully ignore that tyranny. But John McCain, who should know, as well as anybody in the Senate, the dangers of illegal immigration.
While I don’t think that majority of people coming to this country illegally are coming to destroy America, it doesn’t take but a handful to really put our country on the edge. Having a few people with connections to the drug lords or to terrorists slip through the cracks and on a path to citizenship couldn’t do much harm… right?
You see, it’s not about Mexicans stealing our jobs, or whether or not we can have somebody mow our lawn for five dollars, it’s not about racism, it’s about the security of our nation… and, the right disaster caused by an immigrant, legal or not, could have severe implications on the future of immigration. We ought to take a prudent course, a course that doesn’t put our national security at risk, and in doing so, preserves our proud legacy of immigration.