With all the brouhaha about "illegal immigrants" and their so-called rights, I feel that I must weigh in on this one. I live in a largely Hispanic neighborhood here in Chicago, where I have bought my very first home. About 90% of my neighbors and the local businesses are Hispanic owned and operated. So I can speak somewhat knowledgeably about this issue. Here goes:
1) There is a RIGHT way to enter this country. Thousands enter this country the RIGHT way every year. And that rule should and MUST apply to everyone.
2) Anyone who enters this country illegally is breaking the laws of this land. We call that "crimes." Those are largely nonviolent crimes...but crimes nonetheless. And those crimes--and the people who commit them--should and must have consequences.
3) Businesses and employers who provide jobs (regardless of the wage structure of those jobs) to people who are not legally authorized to work in this country are committing crimes. Those crimes should and must have consequences as well. Regardless of who the employer is.
4) If someone wants to enter this country and become a permanent resident here, they should be STRONGLY encouraged to:
Learn the prevailing language of business and commerce: That would be ENGLISH.
Do everything possible to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Ensure that all family members/friends/etc understand that this is a nation of LAWS, and
those laws are not suggestions, nor arbitrary.
5) All 500,000 people who marched in Los Angeles last Saturday and Sunday are FREE to return to their "former countries" as far as I am concerned. If America is so great (and it is), then become an American, or at least come here legally. That means you will display the American flag when you are marching....not the Mexican flag, or from any other country. If you are so in love with your "native land"--then go back. It's that simple.
6) Our economy may take a few hits when we realize that obeying the labor laws is in our national interests both now and in the future. But the economy will rebound, and the nation will be better for it. As it stands now, we are setting ourselves up for a horrific tragedy from which we may never fully recover.
7) Our social and safety nets are there for a purpose. Empowering people to come and reside here illegally is NOT compassionate, socially responsible, or a good idea. We must become a people who respect the laws of this land again. And work to change those that are not compassionate, socially responsible or a good idea.
8) Every person who has ever come to this country LEGALLY from another land is being SLAPPED in the face by those who insist on coming here against the laws of this land. Tell the Pakistani taxi driver, or the Nigerian food service worker-- who has risked their lives to come here LEGALLY--that it can't be done. They have done it....Legally!
I am personally very tired of hearing about "we have the right to....." Because when you break the laws of the land, you have abdicated any privileges and rights that you may have otherwise eventually been able to obtain. No one has the right to break the IMMIGRATION laws of the United States of America, and get away with it.
It's that simple.