Immigration reform has been a political hot button in America for many years, but it has been usually pushed by Liberal Democrats like Ted Kennedy.
However the debate has changed over the years and a deal in 2014 looks very possible due to the “evolving” stances from an opportunistic GOP who seek personal and political gain. The debate on reform has been framed very successfully by Progressives in both parties, so that anyone who opposes reform are described as anti-immigrant, racist and as persecuting innocent people because they are living in the shadows.
The argument is framed that every illegal immigrant is noble and a good person - after all America needs these immigrants because they are only doing jobs Americans would never do including picking lettuce. They have also been given a lovely name – Dreamers. And no one wants to kill someone’s dream!
This August 15, 2012 file photo shows young people waiting in line to enter the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) office in California, on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
That is one side to the story. There is another side to this story that is rarely highlighted in the media.
What about the people who are waiting in line to LEGALLY move to America? What about the people who believe they could make a difference in America if they were only given an opportunity - who knows, perhaps one of these future immigrants could have the cure for cancer or be the next great job creator and this bill could prevent that from happening.
So who are these people?
Well I am one of them. My name is John, I am Irish and I have waited nearly 10 years in the Green Card Lottery program. Ireland and America have a very good relationship and over the years many Irish people have immigrated to America and helped build many of the cities we know today. My extended family was no different and they immigrated at the turn of the 20th century to follow their dreams and pass that opportunity onto their offspring.
I was a very fortunate child because I saw the wonders of America from a very early age. I will never forget my first trip to America when I was a child, visiting my aunt in Florida.
America was extremely different to my world in Ireland – it had palm trees, great weather, the food was amazing and you played different sports. I fell in love with the country straight away and only ever wanted to experience more. I used any opportunity I could to visit the greatest country in the world and as I grew up it became a dream of mine to one day become an American citizen.
Protesters join together in front of the office of Sen. Maro Rubio (R-FL) to keep pressure on him and the others working on immigration reform on June 13, 2013 in Doral, Florida. The group of protesters included DREAMer moms (mothers of undocumented immigrant youth). Credit: Getty Images
Jeb Bush might think illegal immigrants act out of love, but it is my love and respect for the American people and the U.S. rule of law, that has kept me in the line to do things the right way. The current immigration laws in America reward people willing to commit a criminal act, and any immigration reform will likely destroy any opportunity I have of becoming an American citizen.
Let me explain why.
There are three main ways for someone to legally immigrate to America, but the first two are non-options for me. The first is chain migration where you apply for a Visa if you have an immediate relative living in America. While I have many cousins in America, none are immediate family members. The second option is to have more than $250,000, set up a business and employ people – again sadly not an option for someone like me.
The most popular way for someone like me, is to be successful in the Green Card Lottery program where the U.S. government currently grants 50,000 Green cards every year. My grandmother always said it was better to be born lucky than rich.
Now let’s do some simple math – if America lets 11,000,000 illegals skip the queue what will happen to the people in the line? That is 220 years’ worth of potential visas in one piece of legislation. So it comes as no surprise that the bill the Senate approved last year includes a repeal of the Green Card lottery program (Section 2303). The bill in the Senate seems to want chain migration as the main way to immigrate to America.
I want to be perfectly clear – AMERICA OWES ME NOTHING. I knew there was a chance I would never fulfil my dream when I first applied for a Green Card but all I ever wanted was a fair chance to move there. I will admit that it is a bitter pill to swallow that a country like America, which has so many virtues and principles, is willing to reward people who are criminals over people who have obeyed and respected their laws. I will never give up on my dream of becoming an American citizen because America is special. Why, you ask?
A fallen barbed wire fence is the only barrier between Mexico and the United States as illegal migrants cross near the town of Sasabe, state of Sonora, Mexico in this file photo taken Thursday, April 1, 2004. U.S. Border Patrol officials are seeing a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants being smuggled through what's known as the Sasabe corridor southwest of Tucson. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
I love everything from how the Founding Fathers altered the course of human history, to your Constitution which speaks about Nature’s Law instead of Man’s Law. I love America because the people understand how the relationship between man and government should work. America is a place where anyone can succeed regardless of wealth, background, class and race – if you succeed in America, it is because you earned it.
Politics should never be about just one man, especially a non-citizen like me. If America comes together and decides to pass immigration reform, please do it for the right reasons and to secure America’s future, not for personal or political gain. The current bill is a disaster for many reasons.
Firstly I am insulted for the American people who have politicians discussing immigration reform when you have so many Americans unemployed and record food stamps numbers – what happened to charity starts at home?
Secondly I believe any bill must ensure it is the last time illegal aliens are ever discussed. I believe this is critical as some people are living in economic desperate places – can you imagine if you were someone who waited for years to move to America legally, but were then told there are no more Green Cards available and you see people who broke the law being rewarded. How are you going to feel and why would you obey any future laws?
This type of bill is a like a large sign to the world saying everyone is welcome because America will never kick anyone out – please secure your borders to avoid this!
My last hope is the least important – I hope you will consider making it easier for future immigrants, like me, to apply, become citizens and that you will encourage legal immigration. I know I will be in every line and I hope the invisible hand sees fit to let me live my dream.
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