All the articles and opinion pieces by famous and not so famous writers show that most of them are as conflicted as I am. None have solved the problem of what should be done about all the illegal aliens here.Yes, all these millions of people are here illegally ? we all agree on that point. But what should be done now is the confusing part.We can't entirely blame the immigrants for breaking the law and coming here. The people who left the doors open and then gave them jobs are the ones to blame.
We have encouraged them to come, we have let them in, we have given them reason to stay and now we are responsible for the problem.I remember back "in the old days" when no one locked their houses or cars and we even left the keys in the ignitions. Then little by little we had to change those habits and protect our property. Insurance companies started holding owners responsible if it was proved that the thieves didn't break in when they took or vandalized our property.We absolutely have to do more to protect our borders. But the immigrants who are here illegally and have been working hard to make a life for themselves and their families can't be forced to leave now.
We have to find a way to discover who they are, where they are and what they are doing. We have to find a way to let them work here legally and eventually become citizens if they want to and if they qualify. They must learn English, obey the laws, learn about the constitution and our history and become Americans.
That doesn't mean they should deny their heritage or ignore their own customs or forget their language. My grandparents came from Ireland and became Americans but never forgot that they were Irish. I truly don't know if they came in legally, it wasn't such a big deal back then.I wrote recently that it would be impossible to find all of the illegal immigrants and deport them. Then I got emails from people telling me it would be very easy, "just go to the corner or Home Depot and arrest them, put them on a bus and send them home.".
They don't consider how many thousands of personnel it would take to go to all those corners and arrest a dozen at a time or how many dozens there are in a million. They don't consider how many days would pass before those workers moved to different corners, nor do they think about where we would put the people we arrested. They don't consider the cost to find out if they are here legally, where they came from, where they should be sent or the cost to send them there.
Our representatives in Washington are debating the issue and they have to find a good compromise. We have to allow these people to continue to live here if they are employed and law abiding. At the same time, we can't allow more to keep coming without visas. How can both things be done at once?.If we don't protect the borders better, and just allow the ones who are here to remain, more will come every day and expect the same.
One suggestion is to issue a green card to the people who have been here at least five years and make the more recent ones apply from their home land.That sounds fair at first thought, but I doubt the recent ones will leave their jobs and in many instances young families, to travel back to their home country and apply for a work visa. What will happen to all those companies if their workers suddenly leave and go home for a few weeks or months? It sounds like that won't work either.This country has a quota system for immigration and a very long time for people to wait when they apply legally. This country also has many jobs in construction, land scaping, farm work, office and house cleaning, and food preparation and many factories that need these workers.The time has come that legal immigration has to be made easier and faster.
Baby Boomers are aging out of the work force and we need young workers to keep the country running and producing. The more people we allow to come in legally, the more we all benefit.Now back to the problem of what to do with 12 million people who are already here illegally.
We have to allow them to stay. We have to encourage them to move out of the shadows. We have to allow and encourage them to get on a track to become citizens if they want to stay here. The others should be able to work here on work visas and go home when they want to.George Washington stated the classic American policy on immigration in 1783.
He said that our borders were open, not just for the wealthy and educated, but also for the "oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions." The poem on the Statue of Liberty says "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!".This country was founded on the principles of tolerance and equality and we must treat these immigrants with respect and dignity.
We want the rest of the world to think of us as a moral champion of human rights and yet some want to treat millions of our own inhabitants like criminals. These people are living and working here and contributing to our economy and yet have to live in constant fear of being exploited and deported.This is not the American Way..Donna Poisl is President of Live & Thrive Press and the author of "How to Live & Thrive in the U.S.
/ Como Vivir y Prosperar en Estados Unidos". She wrote this reference guide to help immigrants learn our system and succeed in this country. Contact Donna at http://www.howtoliveandthrive.com or her blog at http://immigrantsinusa.
By: Donna Poisl