Immigration / by kevin murray

Immigration is a complicated subject but it's best to remember this fundamental truth that we are truly a nation of immigrants that founded this great nation and developed it.  The United States has had many periods of heavy immigration from Europe in which some of these periods have been quite controversial.  There was blowback against the Irish, Germans, Italians, Russians, Chinese and the creeds of Catholicism and Jewish peoples.   Yet, through it all we have adapted and grown stronger.  With the symbolic walls of America having grown tall and impregnable for legal immigration which has trickled down to a bare few, we have on the other hand have had gaping gaps in our wall which has allowed a huge influx of illegal immigration into our country during the last half century or so.


Although America is bordered by two countries, the vast majority of the illegal immigration has come from Mexico and not from Canada.  Canada is a huge country, lightly populated, with a standard of living which is comparable to the USA and which also has a vibrant middle class.  Whereas in Mexico, which is a relatively poor country, made poorer by the widely unequal division of income, so consequently most of the peoples are impoverished with little hope or room for improvement.  It is this lack of opportunity that impresses upon Mexicans a desire to improve their lives for themselves and their families by immigrating to the USA.


It is estimated that we are a nation of over 11 million illegal immigrants and although we have a long border with Mexico which is patrolled, has fences, and security, this border appears to be relatively easy to breach.  Not only that, but it's only fair to admit that, virtually all government agencies and employers that need cheap labor are complicit in the success of the illegal immigrants inro this country.  Quite frankly, there simply is no way that 11 million illegal immigrants could be within our borders without the powers-to-be looking either the other way or actively encouraging their immigration.  If this nation truly wanted to do something about illegal immigration it could but it has chosen not to.


Still it is short-sighted for the USA to have such a restricted level of legal immigration, while admitting in through the backdoor scores upon scores of illegal immigrants.  This is not only a violation of our laws, it also has unintended consequences, in which illegal aliens can be exploited by not only the "coyotes" who provide passage into the United States but also by the companies or agencies that knowingly employ them.


Currently, the numbers of illegal immigrants are so large that the only fair solution is an Amnesty program so that these immigrants can be normalized within the United States.  There should be a broad support for legal residency with stricter qualifications being needed for citizenship.  Those that do not meet these requirements can apply for "guest worker" status, and those that are unqualified for any of the above should be deported to their country of origin. 


Current United States policies discriminate against those that follow the rules for immigration, while knowingly allowing others to circumvent our policies.  It is high time to adjust to the realities of our present situation, to make much needed changes, and to update our immigration policies.