Immigration Reform

First a little disclaimer. If you are one of the people who think we need to round up everyone who is here illegally you might not want to read any further or you might want to make sure you have taken your blood pressure pills….

The Archdiocese I serve in is made up of may 98% immigrants to the USA from Romania. I also have first hand experience of the immigration and visa situation. My former cantor came to the USA on a R-1 (religious worker) visa four years ago. He intention was to apply for a green card as soon as he was eligible. In the third and final year of this visa he began the process. As immigration seems to be a fluid situation the requirements were changing almost daily. He will fill out the required forms, attach the required check, and send it off. It would be returned with yet more requirements. We had a visit from Homeland Security to make sure we were real. I had to write letters attesting to the fact that he was doing what we said he was doing. Okay all of that is fine, but the process took so long that he visa was about to expire. Remember I said we started this process a year before his visa expired. Long story short (I know too late) his visa expired and he had to leave the USA and return to Romania. Situation resolved and now all is well.

We do need comprehensive immigration reform in the USA this I do not disagree with. We need to find some solution that makes it all work. Do I agree with undocumented people here, well I am not sure. Do I agree with undocumented people receiving benefits, well not in all cases. See it is complicated. But think of this. How much would it cost to round up the more than 1 million undocumented people here and what would that do to our already fragile economy? You see these people do many of the jobs that we Americans no longer do. Who cleans that hotel room you stayed in last night. Who picked those strawberries you put on your cereal this morning. Who cuts your lawn, etc. etc. etc. We need reform yes, but rounding people up is not the best idea.

Okay turn to Arizona. Arizona passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last week. Arizona has a large problem, being a boarder state, that is crippling their economy. However giving law enforcement the power to pull people over just because of a suspicion that they might be illegal is not right. If I am driving down the street I am not going to get pulled over but Jose will. Of course racial profiling will not be allowed but come on! However, I do feel that as a sovereign state they have the right to pass that law. You see I am a big supporter of states rights.

If anyone cares I would like to suggest the following. Lets take a deep breath. Take this out of the political arena. Halt deportations. Keep people working. Tighten the border, and work on getting the illegals legal. If that means they need to leave for a time, okay, but I submit if we make all of them leave our economy will crash.

Yes we need reform but we need compassionate reform. These are people after all in search of the American dream and a better way of life for their family. This about that.


  1. There is a difference between a legal and illegal person.So we need to set up rules then follow through with them,or there is no point in making legal imagrants jump through all the paper work and rules if your going to let people cross the boarder illegaly and they get treated better then the people jumping through the hoops trying to do things the legal way.linda

  2. My Grandfather had to go through the legal process, so shouldn't everyone else who enters this country.

    When I lived in Ohio (for 10 years) I had a contract job with the Post Office in town cleaning 6 hours on the weekend. The part of Ohio I lived in had plenty of Farms and plenty of Migrant workers. These Migrant Workers worked well below minimum wage and lived off Welfare, received free housing and owned very nice vehicles. Seems like everyone benefited from this yes? The farmer who paid his illegal migrant workers below minimum wage, the workers themselves who received free housing and state aid, the mothers who had their children in the USA and the relatives back in their country, because yes, they were sending the money back home…I saw this because these Migrant Workers used to come in the Post Office buy the Money Orders and send them off to home.

    Now, how fair is that to me?

    I will pick strawberries for a job if needed, but wait…the Migrant Worker makes far less than I would so now I do not have that opportunity.

    When I was a single mother working two jobs I needed assistance with food, so I went to welfare and was denied this because I made too much money, yet people from other countries come over here live here illegaly and live off our welfare system. I managed…it only made me stronger.

    Fr. Peter, there are plenty of people in our Cuontry that do live here legally who would be more than happy to pick strawberries or clean hotels & toilets, I know housekeeping was my very first job…

    Our economy wouldn't be stricken down any worse than what it is now if we rounded up the people living here illegally and deported them.

    It would actually make some people honest…and it would free up some work for people that actually live here legally and want to work.

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