With all the recent upset over decisions being made regarding immigration, it has had me thinking. Our immigration system is a topic I've been contemplating for many many years. Living in the state of Arizona only 30 minutes from the southern border of our country, I had the experience to observe what happens with our border.
We lived in Arizona from approx 86 to 2001. About fifteen years. When I first arrived in Arizona, there was already talk about the concerns at the border. Just to give you a mini idea of what some of the issues were, (and these are just facts here) border patrol members getting shot trying to stop drugs coming across illegally, ranch owners having cattle slaughtered, homes broken into, and ranch hands threatened at gunpoint, people being brought across the border in large trucks with more people piled inside and no air during the hottest months of the year. One incident I remember resulted in all the people inside the truck dying.(Think about a vehicle's inside temp when the outside temps are over 100 degrees)thousands of people attempt to walk across the open border throughout the year. Far too many do this during hot months. People are found dead in the desert... young moms, children, etc. Hot months in the southwest begin in April and don't end until October, with May through September being capable of producing temps of 100 or higher. Add to all this the drugs, guns and other illegal items that are carried across the open border and sold on the streets of our country.
The state of Arizona was already making requests for federal assistance to do something at the border and they were being ignored. When we left in 2001, they still had not received any assistance and by that time approx. eleven million illegal immigrants had come across the border.
I often throughout those years pondered the idea that we needed to update and correct our border security and our system of approving people into the country. America has always been a country who welcomes others; we've been known as a melting pot of many different cultures from our early years forward. Most major emigration to our country occurred in the last 1800's and early 1900's. During that period Ellis Island was a central arrival port and there was a clear system in place for those entering this country. (You can read that detail within your own research)If you've ever visited Ellis Island it's a very moving experience. Most of us probably had a relative come through that port.
My mother's ancestors all date back to the original founding our of country, some traveling on the Mayflower in fact. My father's ancestors came both during the very early periods from England and later in the late 1800's from Germany and Sweden. It's fascinating to look back at our ancestral stories and history and discover who they were and how they came to be here.
All of this has kept me contemplating for years why we haven't made our immigration system more efficient. It now takes forever for someone to apply for a visa to enter our country, or a green card, or work visa. It is a costly process, which in itself promotes illegal immigration in order to avoid costs many can't afford.
I haven't shared one particular personal story because it was still ongoing and I didn't want to chance in any way jeopardizing the process. A cousin of mine married a man who is from Brazil. He was here illegally at the time. He spoke very little English, but that aside they fell in love, married, and had a sweet little girl. When their daughter was 2 years old, he became so fearful that he would be caught being here illegally that he didn't want to leave the house. He finally made the hard decision to return himself to his home country and go through the proper process of coming into the country legally. We always loved him..right from the start... but when he made this decision, we loved and admired him even more. We all knew this would be a very hard process and there might even be a chance he wouldn't get back in. His wife visited him a few times in Brazil while they went through all the red tape of bringing him back legally. It took two years. TWO YEARS for a man who had a wife here and a child and was doing the right thing! In this century that is not acceptable. He was finally able to return legally and now has no fear. He is a wonderful, hardworking dad and husband who has his freedom in this country and appreciates it.
So all this said, the recent issues arising from the presidents decision to put a ban on certain countries have raised many people's awareness to the issue. For twenty five years this has been a concern no one was willing to look at, until now...until people feel something has been done wrong by a president many don't like. All of a sudden the media is all over immigration but for years they wouldn't even acknowledge the problems with the system.
We all ought to care for others, no question there. We all ought to never want to see people being killed because of their religion or their nationality, or allegiance, or whatever other reasons there may be. For the past several years Christians have been being beheaded, family crucified, people burned alive, and no on said a word. Where was the media then? Where was our leadership then?
We, the people of the United States, ought to always care and desire to see positive change in our world when it comes to this sort of treatment of any human individual. Sadly, it seems that we are more willing to follow a political party leader (and I'm speaking to all of us) than we are to stand up for what's right even if it doesn't line up with our "party".
I can only speak for myself on this, but I will not ever stand alongside a political figure or party when I believe something is not right.
So, this is what I see right now that I find very confusing.... people in our country complain that they don't want the U.S. to be the "Savior of the world". Yet they want us to be that very "Savior of the world" to large numbers of refugees. We can't have it both ways. That's called a double standard.
When people came to this country early on, they were expected to assimilate into our culture. they could worship as they liked, but they were taught our language, got jobs or started businesses, and paid taxes when that tax program began. (yet another topic for later) People came to this country genuinely seeking a better life. Some today still come here seeking that same opportunity, yet others come here seeking to change our country and not to assimilate at all. Should this be okay? Don't we have a right as a country to protect our citizens and our country as a whole?
And shouldn't we...maybe... halt things at the border temporarily while we set up a better system of checks on people coming in? Shouldn't we...maybe... consider the possibilities to help these refugees in their countries of origin before just bringing them here with no plan? shouldn't we...maybe... consider the fact that our country is already in so much debt and can't take care of it's own, yet we want to care for how many refugees?
If you had four children and couldn't make ends meet and were about to lose your home, would you go through the process of adopting ten more? No you wouldn't...and you couldn't. it's sad that our country is in such debt that we can't do more to help. We already send millions of dollars to other countries...for.... hmmm... not sure.
During WWII and after, many people did emigrate to the U.S. from Germany and Poland and a few other areas. They came in legally and went through a process. The process was quickened in order to get them her sooner. They came and many joined relatives already living here. They were not a burden on the U.S. government to financially support. They made successful lives for themselves.
Another piece of my confusion is that I believe we have two differing views on helping those in need and assisting those who want to enter our country. I believe that many many people genuinely care about the atrocities that have been occurring. I also believe that many of the atrocities over the past years were not known to many due to a lack of reporting on the part of a corrupt media. I believe that political parties along with the media want to promote bringing people int our country so they can align them with a particular party for the selfish gain of power for that party. I don't believe that many aligning with either party see what is being done by corrupt politicians.
So I am trying to work through for myself how we resolve this for the benefit of those in need, and for the good of our country, without rewarding those who would use these horrible situations for corrupt power grabs. How do we do the right thing, with the debt we have, and make sure corruption doesn't control it.This is just a nutshell of my thoughts over the past few days. I'm open to discussion provided it doesn't get nasty. That won't solve anything.
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