Saturday, December 15, 2007

A sweeping reform bill failed to pass Congress this summer, leaving communities frustrated over how to deal with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the US.

That has led many to take matters into their own hands, enacting tough new laws to tackle illegal immigration.

Some of the toughest measures have been introduced in Virginia's Prince William County.

"I think it's horrible actually," says one young mother. "I think it's a bill that is not being just to the immigrants and they do a lot of work for us, be it construction jobs to working in McDonalds - things that Americans won't do. So I'm very much against it."

Another resident who emigrated legally from the Czech Republic agrees.

"It's awful, really awful," he says. "Maybe illegal immigration is a problem - but you have to be practical.

"Once the people are here, have lived many years here, have families, you cannot just kick them out."

In Takoma Park, Maryland, the local government has declared the city an "immigration sanctuary".

"People who are not US citizens, whether they are in this country with documentation or not, have full access to all city services," says City Mayor Kathy Porter.

"It also means that our police department does not co-operate with the federal immigration and customs enforcement department in enforcing federal immigration laws."

Ms Porter believes that the federal immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government alone.

"As a local official, my responsibility is to provide services to my residents," she adds.

"And I believe that having an open policy towards immigrants helps preserve public order because it encourages a relationship of trust between the police department and our immigrant communities."

And she would be right.

Making attempts at patching up places here and there will not solve the issue.
"Advocacy groups say the growing patchwork of state and local legislation is not the solution to America's immigration issue."

Congress should know that the reality is that several of the reasons why immigrants come to this country are due to their own international policies, as the countries' citizens they extract rich resources (produce, oil, food, raw materials) from are left without land and even without a job (NAFTA) they have to survive even if it means risking their lives.

It is simple to say these people are coming here to "take away the country and our jobs", but would you rather clean toilets or let someone else do it?

Would you rather take care of your kids or go off and party all your money away?

One cannot blame everything on a group of people that obviously contributes to the economy, many of these immigrants pay taxes, if they had the opportunity, they would do it legally, the amount of "criminals" who are undocumented is less than the amount of criminals who have been born here and are US citizens, all we need to do is look at the two shootings that happened in both Omaha and Colorado, I didn't see any "illegals" shooting people, in fact, most likely they were working at that time.

Blaming is easy, taking care of the problem and facing it is not, the Mayor has it right, because not only is the immigrant community affected and brings back positive things to it, but the rest of the community ceases to be afraid of these "unknown people" and realizes they are persons too, with wishes and aspirations and a good work ethic, they learn from each other and their sense of community is fortified.

I wish the entire country could see that.

This article with excerpts from BBC, for complete story, go here :


Anonymous said...

Some of those laws are unconstitutional and have been ruled such. If enough cities and individuals stand up for what they believe in the feds will have to make changes. It happened with RealID, it can happen with immigration laws.

Also, you'll notice no one is concerned about the second largest group of undocumented immigrants: Canadians. Why is that? I'll leave the guess work to you :)

Fash said...

"Congress should know that the reality is that several of the reasons why immigrants come to this country are due to their own international policies"

That's it right there. When asked what they will do to fix the immigration, politicians usually reply, "First, I will secure the border...", but the real problem begins far beyond the border.

Alex said...

Great article.

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