Friday, August 26, 2005

Illegal Immigration Debate -- why should I care?

Robin's Commentary --
I think it is quite interesting that this blog has become more of an issue of immigration than most other issues that need to be covered. I originally started this blog regarding issues about Oregon placing GPS systems in our cars an opinion that the registered guard felt was not newsworthy to print

Do not get me wrong, illegal immigration is becoming a huge issue and is a problem that needs to be dealt with however, we must also look at the big picture as well.

Somebody asked me why I'm even concerned at all about this issue and what effect it has on me. My response was is that it affects me personally when it increases my taxes, I'm denied work because I do not speak a non-native language in my own country and they are breaking federal laws. I am always quick to make the point however that I do not have anything against immigrants in general as long as they are here "legally".

I do however get tired of people trying to make me feel guilty because I feel this way. I do my best NOT to break the law. I stop at stop signs, I do the speed limit, I pay my taxes even if I have to borrow the money, etc. so why then should I support people that are knowingly breaking federal regulations?

Then we have our wonderful governor of Oregon, sleepy Ted who wants to make it a federal crime if we take over-the-counter cold medications without a prescription but yet when asked if he considers illegal immigration and emergency, he responds no.

In today's Statesman Journal , Kulongoski is being asked to issue a state of emergency in a letter sent August 20, 2005 by Jim Ludwick, president of Oregonians for immigration Reform, to follow the recent examples of Arizona and New Mexico.

Anna Richter Taylor, a spokeswoman for Governor's office, said that the letter had not arrived at the capital as of yet, but she said that she was not aware of plans to declare a state of emergency. "This is something that's it's not something that I am aware of as an issue."

To try to be fair to the governor, it is possible that he may have a plan in mind that Taylor is not aware of.

Then we start hearing from our representatives in the federal government and the guest worker program as a possible "solution" to the illegal immigration problem.

One of the things that I get tired of hearing is that having a "guest worker program" would allow foreign workers to take jobs Americans don't want. It is not necessarily that we do not want to do them, sometimes we are not allowed to do them. For example, as a kid, I worked picking strawberries, beans, and grapes. These are the things that kids are not allowed because of child labor laws to do today.

As an adult, to subsidize my income, I delivered papers for over 20 years and I am not ashamed of it. It kept me from being homeless at times.

In a speech by President Bush on January 2004 regarding illegal immigration Link "their search for a better life is one of the most basic desires of human beings. Many undocumented workers have walked a mile after mile, through the heat of the day in the cold of the night.... workers who seek only to earn a living end up in the shadows of American life -- fearful, often abused and exploited. When they are victimized by crime, they are afraid to call the police, or seek recourse in the legal system. [Because they are felons themselves?] They are cut off from their families far away, fear if they leave our country to visit relatives back home, they might never be able to return to their jobs."

The speech continues... "the situation I described is wrong. It is not the American way. Out of common sense in fairness, our laws should allow willing workers to enter our country and fill jobs that Americans have are not filling."

Out of common sense in fairness? Is it fair that I'm going back to school for a bachelor's degree but it will not be any use to me unless I can speak Spanish? Is it fair that I am being forced to learn a foreign language in my own country? Is it fair to me that I have to do all this because other people wish to skirt around the system and requirements to be a citizen of this country that these requirements are placed on me?

No! It is not fair. If I decided to move to another country, I do not expect them to learn my language for my convenience. I would have to make the effort to learn their language and culture to be able to coexist in their society with the emphasis of coexist.

But alas, making people follow our laws is not good enough for the federal government. Senator John McCain has introduced a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they pay a fine and participate in a guest worker program. source

I am totally baffled why after the attacks of 9/11, with the threat of terrorism that our federal and state governments "allow" such large holes in our borders.

In closing, I want to state that we must also look at ourselves as a cause of this problem. For generations, we have turned our backs to illegal immigration because we "allowed" them to come over here, work here in our fields, do the dirty work, and then go home because it was convenient to us and cheaper.

Now, they are wanting more and are becoming more in the mainstream and are starting to affect this outside of the farms and fields. We are just as much to blame for this problem as they are for being here illegally.


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