A friend and I were talking about immigration this past weekend. We agreed that the new AZ law would promote racial profiling and that is was the first step in requiring all citizen’s to carry around their national ID. We both agreed that was bad. Then she asked me, “What about illegal immigrants, how do you feel about them? They are in this country illegally?”
It took me a little bit to put together my thoughts and it came out something like this:
I am under the impression that illegal immigrants or undocumented workers, the name doesn’t mean much to me, are here because they have a better opportunity to raise their standard of living compared to where they came from. I also assume that were they came from must be pretty dire in order to take the chances they have and come across our borders in order to find a job, any job. I support them. I will support anything that gives them a chance. I would prefer that there be an easier way for them to come here and to make a living but until then, I will be against anything that stands in their way.
She asked about the costs associated, the health care, the education, the bankruptcy of California? I believe there is a cost. I agree to join together with my fellow citizens and pay the cost.
I finally broke it down like this: I don’t for a minute believe that my life should be better than somebody else because of the good fortune I had to be born into this country versus somebody else who did not have that luck. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a fine education. I don’t believe it is my birthright to have these things while denying others the opportunity because they were born in different country under different circumstances.
I believe that there is some finite level of wealth in this world. I believe that we have more than our share. I believe that our standard of living will decline as those in other countries raise theirs. It doesn’t scare me, it will happen over time, we will adjust. I believe that this is what the fear mongers use to scare their sycophants, fear that they may lose something. They appeal to the greed in all of us. My friend stopped me with, “wow, you’ve changed.” I have, I just wish I would have felt this way 30 years ago.
Much better said below the fold:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
a poem by Emma Lazarus