More than a decade ago I stood in the office of the head of the geology department at the University of Texas at Dallas wondering how I was going to pay my tuition. I was a newly arrived international student with little money and had come with the expectation of working and going to school. Oh, boy was I wrong!
During orientation, we had been told that we could only work on campus and will have to be in school for a year before we can apply to work off campus if we ran into economic hardship. For example, if your sponsor dies or some catastrophic event impacts the source of your funding. One year was too far for me, and even if I got a job on campus, the pay was close to minimum wage. That would not have made a dent in my tuition.
The temptation to drop out of school and start working illegally became very strong, but I resisted.
We are living at a time when according to some estimates, between 12 to 20 million people may be in the United States of America illegally. We may go about our day-to-day activities as if nothing is happening, or we can learn more about the plight of illegal immigrants and do something about it. This problem is a ticking bomb that can explode at any time, and the shrapnel will leave carnage in its way. Nobody will be spared.
Saying the problem of illegal immigration is too completed is not an excuse for inaction.
I am proposing the following three solutions to address the issue of illegal immigrants:
Do nothing. This is the most appealing option, and the country has gone down this road for more than two decades. The assumption is that if you ignore the problem it will go away. Unfortunately, the can is being kicked down the road for future generations to deal with. This particular solution in the short run is the easiest, but the ramifications are quite far-reaching. Take, for example, there are millions of would be taxpayers that are living in the shadows of society. They are having kids, and unfortunately, they cannot participate in raising these children like other families are doing. The fear of deportation keeps them away from PTA meetings and other social gatherings. If their children are struggling in school, it will be difficult to intervene promptly. This implies that some of these children may drop out of school, and their full potential will not be reached. They may end up depending on the government to take care of them. We, as a country, cannot afford to kick this can down to the next generation. It is in our best interests to ensure that everybody living here has equal access to resources that will help them maximize their potential. When everybody is functioning at full capacity, the entire nation benefits.
Deport all the illegal immigrants. I hear this one a lot. People make it sound as easy as eating a piece of cake. Just round up all these millions of people, some of whom have lived here for more than twenty years, and send them back to where they came from originally. Deportation may sound straightforward and neat, but you have to take into consideration that some of these illegal immigrants have kids who are American citizens and will need their parents to raise them. Some have suggested that entire families be deported to keep the families together. These families that have kids who are American citizens will raise the kids out of the country. When the kids become adults, they can move back to the United States without their parents. This is not a good idea; you do not solve a problem by creating another. It is not the fault of the kids that their parents came to the United States illegally. These children are citizens and have the right to be raised in the country of their birth.
Declare an Amnesty. A unilateral declaration of amnesty without securing the borders, overhauling the immigration system, and punishing the law breakers is an insult to those who are here legally. All the millions of illegal immigrants have broken federal immigration laws and letting them go for free is a travesty of justice. If we can incarcerate people for possessing a few grams of marijuana, it is an indication that we take our laws seriously. Nobody is above the law, and nobody should break the law with impunity and get rewarded for doing so. America is strong because nobody is above the law; this is not the case in many parts of the world. A strong message has to be sent to would-be immigrants that laws in America have be respected at all times and by all.
When people break laws there is a penalty, either you pay a fine or serve jail time.
In the case of the illegal immigrants, it is not feasible to jail more than 12 million people, for the prison system is already overcrowded. The only option is to ask all the illegals to pay a fine, which will then place them on a path to citizenship. Through the process, they too will learn to stand in line and take their turn.
I wrote this article to encourage you to join the conversation about the plight of illegal immigrants and the impact it is having and will continue to have on this nation.
Call your congressman/woman and the senators representing your state. Email them, fax them. Write and do anything you can to ensure that they take up this issue and resolve it.
The cost of not doing anything is going to be great. For the sake of the next generation, let your voice be heard!
I, and most others who have moved to the United States, know that when laws are broken the system will not work and the result will be anarchy. When laws are broken, everybody, including the law-breakers, will be affected.
You can get the details of my story, Coming to America: A Journey of Faith by Eric Tangumonkem http://amzn.to/2cfa19k
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