Welcome to Paradise…I Mean, America; Welcome to America

Recently, Prince William County in Virginia passed a law that requires police officers to check the immigration status of individuals arrested no matter how petty the offense.  Because of this, the county has seen a huge exodus of Hispanics leaving the area because of what they now consider an unfriendly attitude towards them.  Many have opted to either go back to their native countries or to the southwestern part of the United States.

Supporters of the new legislation say the law is working exactly as it’s supposed to be working.  “The quality of life has improved,” says one official.  There is less over-crowding in the jails.  They say it is not racial profiling because everyone’s citizenship is being checked, whether they are white, black, yellow or purple.

Many Hispanics are completely outraged by the new law.  They report a serious decline in Hispanic businesses, a drop in the number of Hispanic students in schools and lower attendance at Spanish-speaking churches.  Hispanics say their community is in shreds.  They think it’s not fair, that it’s prejudicial and that the law should be reversed, but they do not think those that have left will return.

As a conservative, I do not support illegal immigration.  I do not support the idea that we should grant immunity to the millions of illegal immigrants that are already living here.  Hispanics make up the largest number of illegal immigrants, but my frustration with illegal immigration is not directed at them.  There are other illegal immigrants here too:  Chinese, Russians, Africans, etc.

I guess I’m not seeing what the problem is. If you are illegal, you’re breaking the law.  I understand about your poor country conditions and you want a better life for yourself, but once you get here, you should begin the process of becoming legal.  The illegal immigrants in the Hispanic community of Prince William County did their countrymen a disservice by not attempting to become legal.  It isn’t the fault of the county officials for passing such a law.

Now because they are cracking down, the illegal immigrants have fled, leaving holes in the legal Hispanic community.  They are seeing a decline because many of those people did not attempt to become legal once they arrived.  Did they think they were going to enjoy a free ride forever?

I understand the plight of the illegal immigrant.  Most of the time, they have left deplorable conditions:  low wages and joblessness, political problems, war, crime, poverty, etc.  I don’t blame them for leaving, but you can’t come here and squat for free.  Everyone has to pay their due.

I read that illegal immigrants are now being denied mortgages, business licenses, etc.  Why were they allowed these things in the first place?  If you aren’t a citizen of this country you should not be able to reap its benefits.  I do not mean to say that you should have no rights.  That is a different matter altogether. You’re still a human being, and you should be afforded the rights of being such, but you shouldn’t be able to access the things legal citizens pay taxes for, especially since a large number of illegal immigrants do not pay income tax.

I think the mode of thinking is that if they start paying taxes, then that will be a way for the authorities to find them.  In all actuality, the authorities aren’t really looking for you unless they are looking for you.  I used to do court reporting for a law firm in Rockville that handles immigration cases.  Many of the illegal immigrants who applied for legal citizenship were denied their application because they failed to pay income tax.  The judge will say, “You’ve been in this country for 10 years and you have never paid income tax?”

And on top of that, let’s say you were in this country for 10 years, you applied for legal status on the basis of political asylum.  You didn’t pay income taxes.  The judge will grant your application, but guess what?  The IRS will be in touch.  Now you’re in worse trouble then you were before, because your citizenship can be revoked in such instances.  It’s just so foolish.

This probably will incense a lot of people because they will take it as a personal attack on Hispanics.  No, my statements don’t have anything to do with Hispanics, legal or otherwise.  It has to do with the millions of illegal people in this country who haven’t even lifted a finger to becoming legal.

If you left your country because of unlivable conditions and you are desperate for a better way of life, than becoming a legal citizen should be the most important goal in your life.  If going back to your native country is the worst thing you could imagine, you should be camped out in front of Immigration Services daily making sure you are on your P’s and Q’s and doing whatever it is you have to so you can stay in this country.

Just think about it.  For some immigrants it’s a nightmare to get here.  Thousands of Hispanics kick out their entire life savings to get a spot in the back of some un-air conditioned semi and hope they don’t get stopped by Border Patrol or worse, suffocate to death.  Thousands of Chinese women, each year, sell themselves into prostitution to get here.  Then they sit for 2 or 3 months in a shipping container, fearful that Port Authority will find them.  Russian women barter themselves as mail order brides just to escape the poverty they know in their mother country.  Then they have to worry about a potentially abusive spouse.  Africans offer up their children as drug mules, just so they can get out of a war-torn, famine-stricken country.  Imagine swallowing a condom filled with heroine and praying to God that shit don’t bust in your stomach before you can crap it out.

If you went through all of that, why on earth would you jeopardize your new found freedom by not applying for legal immigration status?  It seems like you are slapping yourself in the face by not bothering.

Right now our immigration process does suck.  We have stupid laws that take forever to apply.  We do stupid shit like allow illegal immigrants to join our military, then when they die in combat and we deport their widows, even though their children are legal citizens.  Thanks for nothing!  It takes years for people to become legal citizens, even when they follow the process properly.  We need to overhaul it, but right now this is what we have to work with and everyone that risked their lives to get here should do their best to work within the wretched system.

If you don’t then you should not bitch when you are deported, or you have to flee yet another home you have made because you are scared of the authorities.  You have no one to blame but yourself.

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