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 illegal 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!

This is the unfortunate image that comes to mind when many Americans think of immigration!

This is the unfortunate image that comes to mind when many Americans think of immigration!

We tend to forget that our nation was literally built on the backs of immigrants and migrant workers!

We tend to forget that our nation was literally built on the backs of immigrants and migrant workers!

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, and to those people we say you're missing the point. The point of amnesty is taking the process of lawful immigration and giving those who came here illegally an opportunity to do it the right way. Furthermore, what makes more sense, allowing a significant percentage of workers and people to take advantage of government benefits without paying into the system that supports it, or granting 5 million non Americans citizenship and obligating them, the people who hire them, and the communities that encourage them to be a part of the big picture?

That's a cold way of putting it, but fundamentally, the issue isn't that illegal immigrants reside in this country, it's that they aren't able to obtain legal status and furthermore, don't pay taxes which causes a strain in those areas where they reside. The logical solution, therefore, would be to grant these people citizenship, or at least green cards, and have them beholden to the same laws as the rest of us, while simultaneously becoming productive members and contributing members of society. This is not only possible, but a much better solution than filling our prisons, tearing families apart, or sending them back to deplorable conditions that would commit them to death sure as if we executed them ourselves.

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!