Immigration in the US
What do you think of when you think of immigrants to the US? Do you immediately think of the Mexican border and over 5 million undocumented immigrants? Does it matter to you that those individuals are fleeing a country that has such horrid and corrupt conditions that they risk imprisonment or worse to find a better life? What about the thousands of people who take their oath of citizenship everyday after years living in this country? Do those people ever enter your thoughts? What about those who came before us and who helped build most, if not all, of this countries foundations? These are the questions that arise when discussing immigration when it should be embraced and cherished!
Our country, from the very beginning, was designed around the melting pot concept and the accumulation of varied and differing peoples from all over the world who are looking for a better prospect on life and liberty. Immigration should never be frowned upon, or made more difficult, to do so is an insult to the very core of our nations building and does a great disservice to our ancestors and those who came before. We should be celebrating the desire and motivation of other people to want to become citizens of this great country, not making it more difficult and denying people the opportunities to do so!
I, and my mother, are immigrants to this country and we have been living here for over 20 years. For those 20 years, we molded our lives and our futures by the opportunities afforded to us in this country. By the time I was 12, I had swore my oath to this country and when I was 19, I swore another oath to serve this country that has done so much for me! There are many immigrants, many people in this country, who have so much to offer and we cannot, in our hubris and xenophobic tendencies, deny these individuals their chance to shine!
Some of the greatest minds of the 20th century were immigrants, how do you think our world would be like today if we hadn't allowed Einstein to immigrate to the US? What about Madeline Albright? We forget that some of the greatest minds, athletes, and visionaries in our history were not from around here. That is the true tragedy. What's more, the fact that we are xenophobic is an even greater tragedy, and a blight on our culture of diversity and immigration!
I want to afford the same opportunities to the current generation of immigrants and prospective immigrants that our ancestors enjoyed and in fact take that a step further: simplify the process while cutting the cost of citizenship. The opportunities and funding to do so are there. It doesn't, or shouldn't, cost the immigration agencies any more to file a case for a prospective citizen, that is what they're being paid to do. The first step, therefore, would be eliminating the redundant court and legal fees and bringing everything back to the basics: this is what the institution exists for and what they are being paid to do. We should not be seeking a profit off of the backs of people who aren't even Americans yet!
Secondly, many people are against Amnesty or seeking Asylum, and to those people we say you're missing the point. Seeking Asylum is protected by the Geneva Conventions, and Amnesty is granted by our nation to immigrants who otherwise may have broken laws to achieve legal status in the United States! These policies are what separates us from the cruel and heartless. If we are truly to be a land of the free, or one of opportunity, then we must uphold those virtues accordingly!
The Statue of Liberty reads:
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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Either we as a nation believe in this ideal or we do not. I for one never stopped believing in this ideal and is the hallmark of my immigration policy beliefs! The bottom line is we as a nation have an obligation to carry on our rich history and tradition of cultural diversity and encouraging immigration to help bring new insight and opportunities to our country!