When Did Illegal Become An Okay Thing?
I’ve been reading articles all morning about an immigration law in Georgia, including many editorials that are opposing this recent law as well as others that make the life of an illegal immigrant and those assisting illegals more difficult. http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/20/bridges.georgia.immigration/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
I’m a little familiar with the immigration process. I had family from Italy come through Ellis Island; I was able to find my quite great grandfather Domenico Aiello’s name in the passenger records. My mother was born and raised in Venezuela, allowed to stay in the US through marrying my father; I helped her with the test to become a citizen while I was in high school. After high school, three of my cousins moved from Venezuela to Florida to go to college and get a better education; they are now all US citizens. My relatives from Trinidad and Tobago moved to New York in the 70s on work visas and eventually became citizens. I could continue, but let’s stop there and just say that obviously I’m not against immigration.
It boggles my mind when people get upset that laws are being created and discussed that would crack down on illegal immigrants and penalize those who employ or harbor them. If my family lost our home, I wouldn’t be able to break into the Marriott and stay there by using the excuse that I was doing so to help my family have a better life. The problem with illegal immigration is right there in the description: ILLEGAL. Good intentions don’t matter when you’re breaking laws. It would be great if I could rob a bank and get off without penalty because I used the stolen cash to buy food for my son and to pay my rent, but that’s not how it works. Sure, it’s unfortunate that tough laws would mean that people’s friends or employees would have to leave our country, but that’s the end result when you illegally enter another country.
The article by Paul Bridges argued against the new Georgia law, saying “businesses will soon be deprived of reliable revenue provided by the workers — both with and without papers — who contribute to our economy. A farming couple in Graham is sleepless with worry about not being able to repay the federal loan to start their berry business. They fear they won’t have workers to pick their berries.” I sympathize with the people who will face troubles over not having illegals to hire as cheap labor, but I also think it’s a bit silly to worry about it. I refuse to believe that businesses and farmers are going to suffer irreparable damages by losing their illegal workers when the economy is in the crapper and unemployment is still high. When McDonald’s held the mass hiring event last April, they had about 30 applications for each of the 50,000 open positions. I get that it’s hard to hire good people, but if you chose a career that requires you to do so, you need to be prepared to do the work and the research.
Bridges calls these laws “shocking governmental intrusion on one’s private activities” and calls Georgia’s new law “unnecessary, unconstitutional and extremist.” Couldn’t disagree with him more, these laws are totally necessary; as a tax paying US citizen I was denied child care assistance from the state of Georgia due to numerous illegal Mexican immigrants taking advantage of the system, tying up the funds, and eventually locking funds while the state weeded out all illegals to allow citizens access to the funds they deserve. I’d hardly call this a shocking intrusion either, the intrusion happened when people decided to essentially break into our country rather than go the legal route. I realize it’s more complicated to do what my family did and come here legally, but I’ve personally seen it done as recently as four years ago and it’s not as difficult or as unattainable as illegals seem to believe.
Until the day comes when I can use the excuse of trying to improve the quality of life for my family to break other laws, I don’t want to hear that excuse for people immigrating to the US illegally. Until unemployment is non-existent, I don’t want to hear people whining over losing their cheap illegal labor. If families are broken up, that is a sad thing, but it’s also your own fault for thinking you could pop out a kid in the US and earn yourself a free pass to stay. I don’t want to hear claims that this issue is due to racism or prejudice; it’s a response to an ILLEGAL activity being carried out by people who are probably a different race than you. I fully support Georgia’s new law and I hope more states follow suit, not because I think these people are horrible and must be punished, but because it’s the right thing to do when someone blatantly violates the law right in front of you.