Monday, May 21, 2007

The New Immigration Proposal

The new immigration proposal does not work for me.


Here are some reasons:

1. I am not only suspicious of guestworker programs but the idea that people can be integral to the fuctioning of our country's economic sustainability and yet be considered less important and without the same rights as "citizens" does not sit well with me. If people are contributing to the economic survival of the United States, why can't they also be given some respect, protections, and basically RIGHTS? Oficially, it isn't slavery but am I the only one who sees similarities?

2. $5, 000 and an 8, 9, 10, ... month long trip to one's country of origin no matter what the economic and political situation. Think what you will. I have a good job and $5,000 is still a chunk that is hard for me to save. And the prolonged stay? If someone is escaping a human rights abuse that has yet to be defined by our U.S. gov, will they be sent back at their own risk?:

3. English language fluency, job skills, and basically one's ability to "assimilate" are increasingly defining those who can obtain citizenship and those who cannot. What about the conservatives' big drive towards "the family" when job skills win over family unity?

I could say more but am ready for bed. I will make a point to respond to comments if someone wants to open up to discussion.


Matt said...

Coming from a lets all love one another attitude.. I still think this bill stinks.

Let's face it, this bill has more to do with how many votes politicians can get from them.

Giving them legalized status will give them access to health care, licenses and social security...PUTTING an even larger strain on are already hurt system.

Plus it won't work. As soon as they get legal status, then they will demand more, eliminating the whole reason companies wanted cheap labor in the first place.

Great post, I wish there was something more we could do.

margaret said...

Hi Matt,
Thanks for writing. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I've been swamped. I agree with you that the bill is a compromise.
The reason so many people are coming to this country is because they have to for economic survival. I can only talk about immigrants from Mexico and Central America because their plight is what I am most familiar with. I would like to write a whole post about it later.
I lived in a small isolated community in Guatemala for almost a year and have spent a good chunk of my life working with mostly Mexican immigrants in this country. Things are bad. People cannot make a subsistence living off their land and so those that I have come to know have been forced to come up here to survive. Many use other people's social security numbers and put into the system and never get anything back. Many would much rather live in their own countries.
I think that the problem is much bigger than closing our borders. It's economic. Economic bullies such as the U.S. need to stop pushing trade policies that only benefit a select few.