A Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jose Antonio Vargas admitted that he has lived in the United States illegally since he was 12 years old. He is now 30 years old. He’s graduated college, paid income taxes, and has basically done everything an American citizen should with an illegally gained Social Security number.
People will come out of the woodwork in support of him. People will use him as an example as what could be if the United States just made everyone citizens. While I have less of an issue with Mr. Vargas because he actually paid taxes, he actually learned English, and he actually graduated high school and college, I still have issues with “undocumented workers”.
The first major issue is that illegal immigrants are almost impossible to protect from exploitation. Our government has refused to come hard down on corporations and companies who hire illegal immigrants and pay them slave wages. This leaves us in a situation where the government can’t protect people from indentured servitude and people don’t want the government to know they are in the country.
Illegal immigrants are also extremely vulnerable to exploitation by criminals. Thefts, burglaries, rapes, child abuse, murders, etc. aren’t reported out of fear of being discovered. Unscrupulous landlords can keep these people in subhuman conditions while constantly being under threat because illegal immigrants have very little understanding of the laws of the landlord tenant relationship. Again, they don’t want to risk being discovered.
The other issue I have with illegal immigration is cost. I understand corporations and businesses exploit these people economically, but the government does not. The government and the taxpayers pay for the education of their children, pay for their healthcare as they crowd the emergency rooms who can’t turn them away by law, pay for the use of public utilities, pay for their imprisonment and clogging the justice system, etc.
The United States isn’t a limitless pot of money. No country can handle a massive of influx of extremely poor and unskilled human beings. We have our own poor, homeless, and unskilled in this country. To have an unending tide of poor people is not a situation any economy can handle.
The bottom half of the United States’s citizens don’t pay income taxes. Many survive off of section 8 housing, food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid. In an economy that is disintegrating, can we honestly expect the top half of our population to keep the bottom half and illegal immigrants afloat?
Even if we made them all citizens, it doesn’t mean they will be paying taxes. Matter of fact with so many of them in living in poverty and working non-skilled jobs, illegal immigrants won’t even cover their own costs if they did become citizens. They are millions of additional people that put more stress on our land, energy, and other resources.
I don’t blame illegal immigrants for fleeing their poverty stricken countries to provide their young a better life. I would attempt to do the same if I were them. Their lives aren’t worth any less than mine just because I was born in Kentucky and they were born in Ecuador. I understand that, but what people need to understand is the reality of societies.
American citizens born in the United States had parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. who came to this country legally and have paid with their blood, sweat, tears, and often military service to build the society we live in. Just because a baby was born doesn’t mean that the baby is entitled to the freedom that America provides. An American borne baby is provided the privilege of American freedom because it was earned by his/her family as participants in American society and legally allowed by American society.
Americans understand that this is a country made up of immigrants from around the world. Americans understand the sentiments of taking the poor huddled masses of other countries. Americans understand providing amnesty to those being politically targeted by their countries.
Americans also know that this country can only handle so much. Americans also know that we can’t save everyone just by taking them onto our shores. Americans donate more money to causes around the world than any other country on Earth. To stem the tide of people fleeing their home countries for a foreign land, corruption and poverty must be fought on a global scale.
Any experienced and more mature bleeding heart will tell you that you can’t save them all. You have to pick your battles. It’s ridiculously idealistic to expect the United States to shoulder the burden of all the poor of central and South America. It just can’t be done. Poor unskilled Americans need help. If we can’t help our own, why does anyone expect us to help others?
I was born in a family of immigrants. My family is made up of doctors, engineers, nurses, pharmacists, business owners, accountants, lawyers, computer programmers, etc. who have paid more in taxes than we have ever received in government assistance. My family has learned the laws and learned English. We have never demanded this country to open schools to teach our children in our native tongue. We never had street signs, paperwork, or any official forms of communication in our native language.
Every last one of my family members respects the privilege provided to us by the American government and its people when we were given political amnesty to immigrate to this country. We’ve worked hard to pay back that faith and generosity. Fleeing communism, we understand the value of freedom.
It is a privilege. It’s a privilege granted out of generosity and created by hard work. It is disrespectful for people to so readily give that privilege away because they feel an entitlement for it.
Two issues were came up after the initial blog posting.
The first issue is children brought to this country in the same manner as Jose Antonio Vargas. They are citizens of another country. Whether their parents forced them to come here or not, they are still citizens of another country. They may have lived for years without knowing their circumstances. Mr. Vargas became aware when he went to get a driver’s license the first time.
If the country accepts children, where do does the United States draw the line? Under 18? Under 15? Under 12? Under 10? How young and how long does a child have to live in the United States to be exempt from being deported?
As currently constructed, it doesn’t matter. It might be part of the case you plead when you apply for a green card, but that’s it. They are citizens of another country. They aren’t natural born Americans. The United States might be all that they know it doesn’t change the fact that they are citizens of another country.
Every story can be made into a sob story. The more exceptions you create the more it costs to determine each case. It also creates more circumstances where people manipulate the system. There was story I read not long ago about a young man who could not speak Spanish and was being deported. People brought up the idea of giving an exception to those who can’t speak the native tongue of the country they came from.
What’s to stop a person from lying about their fluency in their family’s native tongue? What’s to stop families from bringing kids over and forcing them to only speak English to keep them here? More exceptions create more opportunities for exploitation.
Another issue brought up was illegal immigrants having children in the United States. Under current law, these children are Americans. I understand that and accept that. The issue is that these illegal immigrants show up pregnant, have the child, and try to anchor their family around the fact that the child born here is a citizen.
These parents have no business being in this country. They shouldn’t be able to give a privilege that they don’t have to their child. I feel the law was created in good faith to protect children who were born in this country in circumstances beyond their control, but it’s been used as a loophole for illegal immigrants to establish themselves here.
If the law were to change, I don’t feel like it’s a punishment to a child because they were given a privilege that was ill gotten. In no other legal circumstance can something stolen be given to someone’s child without punishment. If parents robbed a bank and gave their children money, the government wouldn’t allow those children to keep the money.
Creating an anchor baby is a crime against the United States and is a legal issue used as a weapon against the sovereignty of the United States. It was a law created in good faith to protect innocents not a law created to be used as a weapon by criminals.
The parents should be deported, and the suffering their child goes through was the family’s own doing and not the government’s fault. If they chose to believe that an orphan with freedom is better than the child having his/her family in their own country, that is the family’s decision.
We don’t keep parents out of prison in the United States because they have children. Why should we show that type of mercy to non-citizens?
I think it says a lot about the type of people these are when they don’t seem know any American laws but know exactly what to do to delay and/or thwart deportation. They don’t respect the country they are entering. They don’t care how it affects citizens of the country they are entering. They see an opportunity to exploit because their situation was worse.