Saturday, February 8, 2014

Immigration Reform - The Time Is Now

Ohh boy, I think this is John Boehner really outdoing himself. Earlier this week, he made possibly the LAMEST excuse for not pushing forward on immigration reform. In his delusional mind, since Pres. Obama isn't "trustworthy" in his words, Boehner can't see why the GOP should push to enact any legislation on this issue. Yes. The president who has, all along, been following current immigration laws by deporting people in droves, can't be trusted to follow new legislation. And congress wonders why people find zits and getting fired from their job more likeable.

Something that always leaves me confused is the outright hatred people have for our nation's immigrants. Unless you're Native American, you have no room to complain. It's thanks to them that we are here in America today. Of course, it needs mentioning that the right-wing push back to immigration is due to a few reasons, the main of which is Hispanic immigrants. Republicans are afraid of Hispanic immigrants because of their tendency to vote Democrat (because people don't usually vote against their own interests.) And if the unbelievable backlash against the America the Beautiful Coke ad is any indication, the racist, hateful and ignorant condemnation for those seeking to come here, isn't going to ebb any time soon.

To understand this issue, and really politics in general, it helps to make it personal. Think of where you family came from. Every immigration story has real faces, real people. Anti-immigrant sentiment is nothing new. My husband's family is Polish and Dutch. My family hails from Ireland, Norway, Poland and Ukraine. When my great-great-great grandfather Patrick Murray took his first steps on American soil, he was probably greeted by one of these signs:

But you'll steal St. Patrick's Day and turn it into an excuse to capitalize on stereotypes of the Irish.

But he rose above the hatred and xenophobia and worked hard all his life to provide for his family. And that's what all immigrants are doing. People are immigrating to the United States for a reason. Patrick's story isn't unusual. Millions of people who've come here have faced the same adversity. Here in the US, they can provide themselves and their families with better  opportunities. Everyone wanting to come to the United States to gain citizenship should have that right. If you want a better future, our borders should be waiting with welcome arms. Immigrants pay taxes (i.e. pay for corporate tax cuts and big oil subsidies) buy goods and services (stimulate the economy) and add to the melting pot that is our uniquely American culture.

So in thinking about this topic, I came up with a few of my own suggestions for immigration reform. Some of them you can do on your own.

1. Make the process so much easier.
2. Don't bog people down with years of paperwork.
3. Don't bog people down with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of paperwork FEES.
4. Amnesty is critical. If people are already here and paying into the system, they're as American as anyone else.
5. Stop being a racist dick. Let's get real - GOP opposition to immigration reform comes from the skin color of many people wanting to come here.
6. End the belief that immigrants are 'welfare queens' who are mooching off the system.
7."Tough border security" is code for America puffing up its chest. It doesn't work. It obviously doesn't keep people from crossing the border. And building a wall? Huh. Let's remember how well that worked out the last time a country built a wall.
8. The children of immigrants, all 11 million, need to have fair access to education.
9. Stop getting your undies in a wad over whether or not people can speak English the second they get here. They'll learn. How many other languages do you speak? None? Okay. Than hush.
10. This is one of the most important. STOP CALLING PEOPLE ILLEGAL. No one is illegal. It's a cruel and inhumane term. I hate it.

The Center for American Progress has an extremely informative fact and statistics sheet on America's current immigration laws and numbers that you can access here. Contact your senators and congressperson and urge them to keep fighting for fair, humane immigration reform. Don't let John Boehner win on this issue.

So, next time you want to go tell your new neighbors from a different country how much you wish they'd go back, remember, they aren't stealing your jobs or your tax dollars. The people doing that are  multimillion dollar corporations. Where's the legislative reform for THAT?


  1. Good post but what you don't say is how much America's prosperity relies on immigration. Immigrants are responsible for 4 out of 5 patent applications, half of PhD's, and 28 percent of new businesses. In the lower income range, immigrants are doing jobs left unfilled, paying taxes, and actually consuming less services. With the debt set to become an increasingly higher percentage of GDP after 2015, the work ethic, intellectual capital, and innovative thinking immigrants bring will be sorely needed if we are to continue to prosper as a nation. Ultimately, nativist thinking is rooted in laziness - too lazy to get an education, too lazy to work hard, too lazy to compete. Time to leave these losers behind. In fact, can we possibly export nativists? Why in the world do they deserve the American Dream if they can't be bothered to get off the sofa and try for it?

    1. That's what I got at. The link I posted from the Center for American Progress also went in depth on that as well.

  2. Let’s face it, this immigration thing is a 20th century issue that has slopped over into the 21st century. The time has come to finally resolve it in an intelligent fashion, as three-fourths of Americans favor and Obama confronts head-on. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that helps explain the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for anyone who will benefit from a better understanding. Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also informs those who want to learn more about the last remaining superpower and how we compare to other nations on many issues.
    As the book points out, immigrants and minorities are a major force in America. Immigrants and the children they bear account for 60 percent of our nation’s population growth and own 11 percent of US businesses and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans. They represent 17 percent of all new business owners (in some states more than 30 percent). Foreign-born business owners generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California and nearly one-fifth in New York, Florida, and New Jersey. In fact, forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, creating 10 million jobs and seven out of ten top brands in our country.
    More importantly, they come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, as did the author’s grandparents when they landed at Ellis Island in 1899 after losing 2 children to disease on a cramped cattle car-like sailing from Europe to the Land of Opportunity. Many bring skills and a willingness to work hard to make their dreams a reality, something our founders did four hundred years ago. In describing America, chapter after chapter chronicles “foreigners” who became successful in the US and contributed to our society. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance in Anytown, USA. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, White House/Congress and business/labor cooperation, concerned citizens and books like this can extend a helping hand, the same unwavering hand, lest we forget, that has been the anchor and lighthouse of American values for four hundred years.
    Here’s a closing quote from the book’s Intro: “With all of our cultural differences though, you’ll be surprised to learn how much…we as human beings have in common on this little third rock from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the world is ‘It’s A Small World After All.’ Peace.”