Monday, May 01, 2006

All LEGAL Immigrants Welcome!

OMG! I can't believe the protests by ILLEGAL immigrants who want legal rights ... and even legal status!!! Ok, I can believe they want legal status, but what's wrong with obtaining that the LEGAL way, instead of "shortcutting" the rules and system.

Don't get me wrong - I'm definitely not a bigot; rather I'm probably one of the least bigotted persons you will ever know. I tend to make decisions on the people I meet on an individual basis, independent of race, creed, religion, sex, etc. And there is nothing wrong with anyone wanting to seek a better future and life for themselves and their families. But that quest should take place within the framework of the established rules.

As a third generation descendant of legal immigrants, I fully understand the desire to seek out better opportunities and a brighter future. My ancestors had the same dream, but they sought to conquer that dream legally. For the record, my paternal great-grandparents emigrated here from Germany, while my maternal great-grandparents emigrated to these shores from Ireland and England. Granted, they had little choice but to emigrate to the United States legally, since they didn't have the option to run across a shallow river at a poorly patrolled border.

First of all, there are very real and valid reasons people want to live in this country. They may want to escape religous persecution. Or they may want to seek the freedom to express themselves without fear of political persecution. Or they may seek the freedom to live their lives in freedom, relatively unencumbered by fear of retribution from an oppressive government or regime. In fact, in a large way, all the previous reasons cited are what led to the formation of this country.

Secondly, those seeking "amnesty" are asking the government to waive the rules that the illegal immigrant sought to circumvent. Isn't that very ironic? The government makes the rules by which an orderly society needs to live by and that prevent chaos. Now those who sought to detour around those rules want those rules waived. Imagine the chaos that will occur. It will effectively open the borders to any and all who want to come here, sending the message to subsequent illegal immigrants that the rules mean nothing and that they will also be welcomed without having to assimilate into the American culture and without having to embrace American laws.

Already, it is virtually impossible to go anywhere in this country without seeing a business or governement agency touting, "Se hable espanol." My ancestors emigrated to this country and took the time and effort to learn the English language. That is the language on which this country was founded. And, it is the language in which both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution is written. Part of assimilation into a culture means adopting the language of the land in which you have chosen to live. And there was something about American culture that became the catalyst for others to seek their opportunity to live here. Thus, that American culture should be embraced completely, not "piece-meal" as you choose. That means leave your OLD culture at the border and prepare to embrace the American way of life AND assimilate into that American culture.

Third, as much as illegal immigrants are willing to work at "menial" jobs that no one else wants at a wage higher than they may receive in their native land, they cost this country many times more than they contribute. The cost of medical care, education for their children, welfare programs, bilingual services, access to social programs (welfare, housing and food assistance, etc.), law enforcement - to name a few - far outpace in costs any financial contributions illegal immigrants make to the American economy. As a people, Americans are a charitable lot and will go to great lengths to extend aid to anyone who is in need.

Fourth, as they exist, countries have borders. Either we have them or we don't. Last time I checked, we in fact did have borders. And as a country, our government has every right, even an responsibility, to protect and secure those borders to keep those out who do not embrace (even despise) American laws, life and culture. Since 9/11/2001, the protection of those borders is even more important to keep out potential terrorists, who's only intention is to spread terrorism and destroy the American way of life. As it exists today, our southern border is essentially an open door, through which anyone can waltz through virtually unchecked.

Fifth, granting "amnesty" to all the illegal immigrants now in the US serves as an insult to all those immigrants and descendants of immigrants (me included) who bothered to arrive here by working within the rules and the system set up.

Sixth, isn't it ironic that many of those protesting here in the US would end up in prison for doing the same thing in their native land? And many do so waving the flag of their native land?!?! If you want to protest and change things, then they should be doing so in their native land. Create an environment of prosperity and hope THERE, instead of expecting those who are native to THIS land to change to suit them.

I have nothing against immigration, as long as it is legal. Already, America has given the illegal aliens much more than they contribute. They have been catered to with access to entitlement programs, bilingual government and business services, access to medical care, education, housing assistance, food assistance, legal assistance ... and many more "perks" than even I, as a native-born American, have access to. If you want to come to work or live in this country, then respect the laws of this country and seek your opportunities within the laws, rules and system already established.

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