I was one of the protesters holding a sign that stated, “We are ALL immigrants,” and I will be one of them this weekend as well. I have done my research on American immigration. I learned in my primary schooling years about the many “founders” of this country — the ones who entered it illegally and decimated nearly the entire indigenous population. There is no denying a war on immigrants and immigration (terms that we will all do well to remember is not bound by legality) in recent times.
Recently proposed pieces of legislature are not supportive of legal immigration. For one, the proposed national travel ban, which prohibited green card holders (legal residents) from entering their country of residency had they arrived from one of seven countries.
Several others in our state carry a clear lack of support for immigrants of a legal status, namely, a bill that aims to provide special demarcation on “non-citizen” licenses. This affects only immigrants who have been given permission to stay here, whether that be via DACA or legal residency.
In other words, immigrants who have gone through at least a part of the legal process will be forced into a registry of sorts. I fail to see how creating a registry of legal immigrants, or refusing their entry into this country which they now call home, is supportive of legal immigration whatsoever.
Furthermore, I have personally worked with the immigration process and have seen firsthand how time-consuming, expensive and stripping of a process it is. I did nothing to earn my citizenship here; I was born in this country, I have not been vetted and deemed “good” enough to live here. I believe this to be a dehumanizing process.
I agree the legal path to citizenship is ideal, but I also believe our current legal path to immigration is a migraine-inducing, money-hungry process that leaves families broke and emotionally taxed for years. Measures we are taking to “fix” it are merely creating more cracks in an already broken system.
I urge all citizens to familiarize themselves with the citizenship process and the current proposed legislation, and remember that all of our families were immigrants once. This is a nation founded on immigrants. Immigrants have made this country great, and will continue to do so in the future.
I will proudly stand and support all immigrants in this nation, documented or undocumented, as I believe we should treat others as we wish to be treated, and I never wish to be treated as less than someone due to the color of my skin or the language I speak.
“... no human being is ‘illegal’ ... Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?”— Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor