“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!”
Anyone else have a problem with the fact that our immigration and border control systems are inhumane? It seems as if all chances of humane and rational immigration reform died when the conservative House shot down a comprehensive solution. Come on, we have to get our act together here. Undercover federal agents smuggled a dirty bomb over the border over the summer, proving the fact that we need to defend ourselves. Carlos the migrant farmer is one immigrant, but Osama the bomb-maker is a totally different story. Why on earth our troops are serving as the militaries of Japan and Iceland while our borders are cheesecloth is beyond me.
I have to say that border control and English first are great priorities, but why is it that a path to citizenship and a guest worker program are so unpopular among politicians? Polls have repeatedly shown that most Americans support reforms allowing immigrant workers and farmers to be legal and have a shot at citizenship. I’m sick and tired of hearing politicians brand this kind of thing as amnesty. We’re talking about making immigrants live here for eleven years, learn English, pay back taxes and avoid breaking the law, then letting them become citizens after taking civics and history courses. How many natural-born citizens can say they’ve done all of that? This is not amnesty. This is sanity. This is letting the dedicated men and women who work here and contribute to our communities reap the benefits of their work. This is providing a better way to improve a human life than dashing across the desert hiding from law enforcement. It’s a rare day when I actually quote George Dubya in an argument, but “family values don’t stop south of the border.” There’s no reason that these people who we depend on in our economy, agriculture and industry can’t have a chance at the American Dream.
America belongs to anyone willing to come here, work and contribute to our communities. That includes trabajadores y labradores mexicanos. Libertad para los inmigrantes ahora. Freedom for immigrants now.