Recently, I was asked my thoughts on immigration. My godmother reads this blog quite frequently because I make her laugh, but she also finds my insight to be valuable. Why? I’ll never know. Still, she thought it would be interesting to hear what I thought about people coming to this country illegally. I think this weighs on her mind mostly because she’s a second generation American and immigration is a significant portion of her recent family tree. So, while this topic strays ever so slightly into the political realm and I had hoped to avoid that, it beats the topic I had intended to write about which is the preposterousness of Sarah Palin.
Immigration is a tough nut to crack. On the one hand, I’d say let them all come on in. There’s plenty of room, why not? On the other hand, keep ’em out. We’ve got enough problems without adding more people to the issue. But, that’s just too black and white; too cut and dried to be a fair answer. Plus, it’s really straddling the fence. I’ll be honest, I don’t know the ramifications of the current immigration situation. I know what the talking heads say, but they’re about as reliable as…well, they’re not. There’s always an angle. So, here’s my take…I think that immigrants should be allowed in provided the following:
- They need to be seeking valid citizenship within a prescribed amount of time.
- There should be a limit to the amount of money they can send out of the country.
- They should be law-abiding citizens. And, I’m not talking jaywalking. I mean actual crime, like rape and murder.
- A limit of 200,000 immigrants per year. Preference should be given to the following:
- Reuniting family members
- Individuals who are persecuted in their home country based on First Amendment rights in this country
- Individuals with valuable skill sets who can fill a void in the workforce
- Anyone not following these rules is subject to immediate deportation to their country of origin.
So, those are my thoughts on immigration at 10:15 on a Wednesday after a hellacious choir practice wherein I threatened a headache the entire time. Some of this may actually be part of the current policy, I don’t even know. I think that there are real problems with immigration at the moment and I think that there are some imagined problems with immigration. This is my solution, if you have a better one, I’m happy to listen.
But, if there are people who are literally dying in the desert and in the ocean attempting to create a better life for themselves and for their families in this country, the least we can let them do is allow them the opportunity. It worked for my godmother’s grandparents and untold numbers of immigrants who built this country from the same opportunity. I believe Ms. Emma Lazarus said it best in her poem The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A might woman with a torch, whose flame
is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
See you in the funny papers!