illegal aliens

Fears that America will be damaged or neutered or whatever by large numbers of immigrants who don’t share “our values” as a country and have no wish to do so is not a new thing. According to the article Rise of a New Underclass by Ellis Cose, we have been down this road before and it proved untrue.

Part of our problem today however stems from the fact that there doesn’t seem to be consensus on what it means to be a citizen of the United States. What makes us Americans? There are probably as many answers as there are American citizens, and while many of these definitions are likely quite similar, it make might sense to focus the immigration debate on exactly what we mean when we talk about assimilation beyond a common spoken language. We Americans have this odd sense of freedom that often seems to be something that we want for ourselves and those like us and would like to curtail in others who are “not us” so to speak. And here lies our problem. We welcome those who come and submit to the “American Dream” but anyone who wishes to retain aspects of themselves that don’t fit within the narrow span allowed, or who wish to redefine the dream, are deemed undesirable.

Illegal immigration gets all the attention, but what we have is an overall immigration problem within which illegally entering our country is but a symptom – albeit a large one. And it really all starts with identity. But is it one we all share? And if not, where are the overlaps? How can we expect immigrants to assimilate if we can’t answer that question with a united voice?

Apparently the city council of Des Moines, Iowa is considering issuing an order to the city’s police force that will allow them to not cooperate with federal immigrations authorities during raids the latter might stage in the city to snare illegals. An interesting approach that ultimately does nothing to solve the current dilemma being caused by people who are, and in some cases have been for a long while, living in the United States without the proper Visa or permanent residency papers. Obstructing justice will not bring any sanity to an already insane issue.

Justice, you ask? Where is the justice in rounding up people, many of whom are hard-working citizens, good neighbors and family members and shipping them back to their countries of legal origin? Well, simply put, they broke the rules and when that happens, and you are caught, consequences ensue. It’s not about fair, but if that is the going to be the argument on which leniency or even clemency is going to be granted then think about it another way. What about all those people who are patiently waiting for entrance to this country, spouses and children, who filled out the mountain of paperwork, paid the fees, submitted to the police checks and medical exams, essentially did everything the rules asked? What about them? How is it fair that they did the right thing and have to wait their turn but those who did it illegally are now the recipients of calls for rule changes?

I will not argue in favor of the current system. The wait times are ridiculous and it does not take into account that the U.S. does need unskilled labor (though some would argue that this is the current job of our education system). I do think that the solutions have to be applied farther up the food chain then the current hunting down and deporting of illegals and can only conclude that the current system continues in its broken state because it benefits someone.