Immigration Reform

For the past few days I have been having a discussion with some folks on Facebook about the Arizona Immigration Reform Act. It has raised my blood pressure a little and sometimes that is not good. But discussion is always a good thing. I find some of the comments interesting. There is void between the right and the left, conservative liberal, progressive regressive, point of view or whatever we are calling it now. What is missing from all of this, compassion.

Now I will admit that we need some sort of reform, but it needs to be comprehensive reform. I believe that we need to get folks on the road to citizenship and I also believe that if we round everyone up and send them back our economy will grind to a halt. The folks who are here do most of the tasks that Americans will not do. They are ones that pick the food we eat, clean the rooms we sleep in and cut our grass. They are not the ones laying about on welfare and the like, there are some yes, but more often then not they are hard working folks. What do you do with the children of the undocumented if we send them back. Children born here are citizens regardless of how your parents got here. Another question to ponder.

The problem with legislation is we forget that real people are involved. What makes someone leave everything, or nothing in some cases, and risk their very lives to come to the land of milk and honey, and seek a better life. What makes someone pay another human to bring them across the boarder, in some of the worst conditions known to man. What makes someone tunnel underground or climb over a fence, or push out to sea in a boat, that may or may not make it here. What makes people do this, desperation. This desperation is the same thing that drove the folks from Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, and other places. It is what brings people here to the greatest country on the face of the earth.

I told a story in a previous post, about my cantor who was trying to do the right thing and obtain his green card. What I did not tell you was the coast that was associated with this. Well it was thousands of dollars to do it the right way. You see you need a lawyer and each time they fill out a form for you it costs money. Some have done it without a lawyer but most use one. So if you do not have the thousands of dollars needed, then you cannot do it.

So what do we do? The Arizona law gives the police the right to pull people over, and detain them, simply on the suspicion that they are illegal. It also forces people to carry their papers, not just an id card or passport, but their immigration papers. Now I know the argument that profiling is not allowed by this law and that is fine. But how many illegal Canadians or Russians or Romanians for that matter do you think will be pulled over by the police? Not many I am sure. Approximately 30 percent of Arizona is Hispanic and about 80 percent of undocumented folks are Hispanic so let’s do the math. Does something need to be done, yes it does.

According to Princeton political scientist Douglas Massey, the number of illegal immigrants dropped by 100,000 in Arizona over just the last year, and has fallen from 12.6 million in 2008 to 10.8 million in 2009 country-wide, as the recession means fewer jobs for immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. Things are changing on their own.

The point of all of this is each time we talk about an illegal or undocumented or whatever you want to call it we are talking about people. People who have been created in the image and likeness of God. People who have a soul, people who have the Divine Spark that we all have. America is a great country with opportunities for anyone to make it big. Do we need change, yes we do. But we need to remember that human beings are attached to this legislation. It is easy to not think of it that way and to only think of the numbers, but think of the faces of the men, women, and children who risked their life to come here to try and find a better life. Think about the people and look into their eyes.

1 Comment

  1. Arizona has problems and the working people paying the taxes for all the services can not give any more.
    True illegals are an issue but maybe if all the people protesting would take the time to help Arizonia with the cost of the illegals in thier state they could help change the laws.
    you know desperate times call for desperate means.
    Today I just read,in a Boston paper,that because of whats going on in Arizonia the mayor and representatives have decided that they will no longer ask for papers to prove you are legal and any one in the state,legal or not is now entitled to welfare,state aid,rental assistance and all the perks just like every other person who is legal to this state.
    To me hiring illegals equals low paid slavery.
    Just because businesses choose not to pay minimum wage to workers does not mean the 10 percent of unemployed people refuse to do the work,especially when its not offered to them.
    If illegals are made to be legal then they to will have to be paid a wage comprable to the legals of this country then who will the next slave laborers be?linda

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