Immigration reform has been a political hot button in America for many years, but it has been usually pushed by Liberal Democrats like Ted Kennedy. However, the debate has changed over the years; and a deal in 2014 looks very possible due to the “evolving” stances from an opportunistic GOP who seek personal political gain. The debate on reform has been framed very successfully by Progressives so that anyone who opposes reform is described as anti-immigrant, racist, and all for persecuting innocent people because they are living in the shadows. The argument is framed that every illegal alien is noble and a good person – after all, America needs these people because they are only doing jobs Americans would never do (and if you listen to John McCain, they are needed to pick lettuce.) They have also been given a lovely name – Dreamers.
That is one side to the story. There is another side to this story that is rarely highlighted in the media. What about the people who are waiting in line to LEGALLY move to America? What about the people who believe they could make a difference in America if they were only given an opportunity? Who knows–one of these future immigrants could have the cure for cancer or be the next great job creator, and this bill could prevent that from happening. So who are these people?
Well, I am one of them. My name is John, I am Irish, and I have waited nearly 10 years in the Green Card Lottery program. One of the most important things about me is I love America. Ireland and America have a very good relationship; and over the years, many Irish people have immigrated to America and helped build many of the cities we know today. My extended family was no different, and they immigrated at the turn of the 20th century to follow their dreams and pass that opportunity onto their offspring. It has been a life-long dream of mine to follow in their footsteps, but this bill will destroy any opportunity I have of moving to America. Let me explain why.
There are three main ways for someone to legally immigrate to America, but the first two are non-options for me. The first is chain migration, where you apply for a Visa if you have an immediate relative living in America. While I have many family members in America, none are immediate family members. The second option is to have over $250,000, set up a business, and employ people – again, sadly not an option for someone like me. The most popular way for someone like me is to be successful in the Green Card Lottery program; the US government currently grants 50,000 green cards a year. (My grandmother always said it was better to be born lucky than rich)
Now let’s do some simple math – If America lets 11,000,000 illegals skip the queue, what will happen to the people in the line? That is 220 years’ worth of potential visas in one piece of legislation. So it comes as no surprise that the bill the Senate approved last year includes a repeal of the green card lottery program (Section 2303). The bill in the Senate seems to want chain migration as the main way to immigrate to America.
I want to be perfectly clear – AMERICA OWES ME NOTHING!!! I knew there was a chance I would never fulfill my dream when I first applied for a Green Card, but all I ever wanted was a fair chance to move there. I will admit that it is a bitter pill to swallow, that a country with so many virtues and principles like America is willing to reward people who are criminals over people who have obeyed and respected their laws. I will never give up on my dream of becoming an American citizen because America is special. Why??
I will never forget my first trip to America when I was a child, visiting my aunt in Florida. America was extremely different to my world in Ireland – it had Palm trees and great weather, food was amazing, and you played different sports. I fell in love with the country straight away and only ever wanted to experience more. I was very fortunate to visit America several times and have many memories.
However, today, I love America for different reasons. I love your Constitution and the history of your Founding Fathers and how they altered the course of history and turned to Nature’s Law instead of Man’s Law. I love America because the people understand how the relationship between man and government should work. America is a place where anyone can succeed regardless of wealth, background, and yes, regardless of your race – If you succeed in America; it is because you earned it. Lastly, without America and your brave soldiers, the chances are I would be speaking German!
Politics is not just about one man, especially a non-citizen like me. If America comes together and decides to pass immigration reform, please do it for the right reasons and secure America, not for personal or political gain. The current bill is a disaster for many reasons. Firstly, I am insulted on behalf of the American people who have politicians discussing immigration reform when you have so many Americans unemployed and record food stamps numbers – what happened to charity starts at home? Secondly, I believe any bill must ensure it is the last time illegal aliens are ever discussed. I believe this is critical as some people are living in economically desperate places – can you imagine if you waited for years to move to America legally, then told there are no more Green Cards available, and you see people who broke the law being rewarded? How are you going to feel, and why would you obey any future laws? This type of bill is like a large sign to the world saying everyone is welcome because America will never kick anyone out – please ensure your borders are secure.
My last hope is the least important – I hope you will consider making it easier for future immigrants to apply and become citizens, and that you will encourage legal immigration. I know I will be in every line, and I hope the invisible hand sees fit to let me live my dream.
God Bless America – the greatest country in the world.
Photo credit: veryliciousness (Creative Commons)