For some reason, Immigration is a hot button issue with me. Perhaps it is because my parents raised me to be a law abiding citizen and I view illegal immigration as a flagrant violation of the law and the sovereignty of this country. Or maybe it is because I often have a black or white view of things; there are not very many gray areas. Either something is right or wrong, black or white. I take offense at anyone who knowingly enters this country without going about it the legal (right) way. I view their actions as selfish and self-serving. No one likes a line cutter. Millions of people are waiting to legally immigrate to this country. These people are filling out the proper paperwork; we are getting a background check on them, finding out whether they carry communicable diseases, etc. Plain and simple, I view illegal immigrants, regardless of which border they happen to sneak across, be it the northern one with Canada or the southern one with Mexico, as lawbreakers.
When the issue of offering illegal aliens Amnesty came up, I researched what the proposed bill would entail. Our Senators drafted legislation that would essentially give illegal aliens a get out of jail free card. Please tell me how we are going to enforce these provisions? Let’s face it; illegal aliens are not making the mega millions here. They are working low paying jobs. How are they ever going to afford to save up the $5,000 fine? Who is going to enforce the payment? Will the government sue each and every one of them if they don’t pay? Not only that, but wagging the carrot known as amnesty will surely frighten some away. They will be too afraid to come forward, fearing that they will eventually be deported anyway. Who and how are we to determine if an alien was in country on that magic date of January 1, 2007?
I am generally not overly political about things, but upon reading up on the bill, I could not contain my opinion any longer. I sat down and fired off emails to both Senators of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as my Congresswoman. Thus far I have received two responses; one from James Webb and the other from John Warner. To be fair, I received a canned response from Senator Warner, however, Senator Webb wrote back to me in letter format via email. Mr. Webb replied, and I quote:
“I believe the solution to our illegal immigration situation should be a three-pronged effort. The first task is to gain control of our borders, particularly our southern border. Second, we must find a way to absorb into our society those immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for many years and have put down roots here. For these people, there should be an eventual path to citizenship. Third, we must enforce immigration laws that are already in place, such as punishing corporations who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Additionally, we must engage the Mexican government and hold it accountable for its responsibilities regarding illegal immigration.”
It seems that my Senator does favor Amnesty. The second prong and the third prong he proposes seem to clash. Of course we must enforce immigration laws already in place, but when? Yes, by all means punish corporations who knowingly hire illegal immigrants of any kind. However, what about deporting illegal aliens? The law provides for that also. The Senator seems to want to pick and choose which laws should be followed. You don’t crash a party if you aren’t invited and allowing this country to be flooded with uninvited guests is unacceptable. Our borders need to be secured so that our government can control who is allowed to enter and who is not. We need a fortified border to keep terrorists from sneaking across undetected and be free to wander this country doing whatever they please, as long as they obey the other laws.
I am not cold hearted. I understand that the Mexican economy, in particular, does not afford the opportunities that this country does. However, I will point out that many Irish flocked to America after a potato famine and entered this country legally to begin anew. The system isn’t broken, it is just not enforced strictly enough. No one wants to foot the bill to send an alien back to Mexico or wherever they came from, and surely not so if that same person will sneak back in less than a week. If the system must be overhauled, it has to be done so that any changes are fair to the American public so that we are not forced to shoulder the economic burden of supporting an influx of people who cannot speak, write or understand English well enough to function in our society. Those waiting in line patiently to legally enter the United States, those who are respecting our laws and our sovereignty, they can and must be eligible to receive citizenship status before someone who ignores the laws and comes in the dark of night.
I urge all who share my opinion, or even if you do not, to contact your Senators by email and voice your opinion on this issue. They were elected by “We the People” and must vote according to our will. While like the rest of us, your Senator has their own opinion about what is best for our country, your Senator should vote the conscience of his or her constituents, and be keeping your best interests at heart.