I’m extremely passionate about immigration reform and in defending the social justice issues for all immigrants in this country (whether they be here legally or illegally). I am a fourth generation immigrant in this country. My family immigrated here from Italy and Sweden legally only as a formality. At the time of their immigration to this country, restrictions against immigration were not what they are today. Back then anyone who could get here was granted legal status. My ancestors were poor and came to this country for the same reasons the millions of other immigrants came here, because they wanted a better life and opportunity for their family. I am afforded the opportunities this country gives solely because my ancestors came here.
We can argue over the politics of immigration and the strain on resources illegals put on this country. The truth is this country has always been dependent on immigration for its labor (from the slaves of our first century to European and Asian immigrants during our second century). People argue that illegals are taking jobs away from Americans. Well, attention Wal-Mart shoppers every time you put something made in China into your cart – you’re also contributed to lost American jobs. I also highly doubt those who feel illegals are taking American jobs would be willing to pay $4 a lb. for a head of American picked lettuce
Immigration labor is as much a part of America as anything else. We didn’t send all the slaves back on ships to Africa after the Civil War and we’re not about to deport the millions here illegally We don’t have the resources to do it and our economy is far too dependent on the cheap labor. We’re broke as it is and our military is stretched far too thin for us to start rounding up illegals.
Speaking of our military, are you aware that 8% of our active personnel in the military is made up of foreign-born soldiers (of which 13% are illegals)? Does it seem justifiable for men and women to serve and die for this country and not be granted citizenship? Should children brought here illegally by their parents be punished for these actions as adults? The DREAM Act legislation hopes to create a conditional path to citizenship for these types of residents. We definitely need immigration reform and the DREAM Act hints at what this could look like. Read my Examiner article about it and let me know what you think.