Monday, April 10, 2006


Rather than write a long essay about the immigrant movement going on in this country, I will give you my view of the whole thing.

The movement is catching white America by surprise. Not many people expected that thousands and thousands, weeks after weeks of protesters would take to the streets in a peaceful manner. When some people opposed to the marches or to the whole idea of granting any kind of amnesty for immigrants complained that the marchers "should" wave American flags and not the Mexican flag, organizers of these marches asked and suggested to their participants to wave and hold the American flag. Protesters complied and in the last two days, most of the marchers were indeed holding American flags. I suppose that after this weeks protests, the people opposed to the protests will cry "foul" about some other aspect of the marches.

The people opposed to the moveements fail to see that this is not an issue that pertains only to Mexican immigrants. In the marches you will see, besides Mexican flags, Salvadoran, Ecuadorian, and from other countries. But, it isn't just about nationalities or flags.
It is about accepting a group of people into American society. About making them productive members of society who will pay their taxes and contribute economically into the system. I am not suggesting that the amnesty should be given across the board, but rather to those who have been here for a long time, 5 years, 10 years, I am not sure, perhaps at least five years. If the figures being passed around these days are correct, at least 10 million undocumented aliens are living in the country. Of those millions, perhaps the majority have been here more than five years. Drive around any neighborhood in any major city of the United States and you will see many businesses and housing that are owned by immigrants. These people have been working hard and for a long time to attain their dreams. The irony is that many of these people are undocumented immigrants. There are ways of buying a house and or starting a business without having documents. These people have also settled in this country. They have kids who are American citizens and the prospects of going back to their native countries is far fetched. These are the kind of people that need the amnesty. There have to be guidelines to achieve this amnesty. Starting with a "penalty" fee or whatever you want to call it. Say a document fee of $1000.00 or more. If there are at least 7 million undocumented immigrants who will qualify for this amnesty, each paying $1000.00 each, You do the math.
That money will go directly to the tax coffers of the federal government. This can be used to pay back to States that are most "affected" by immigrants or to pay for social services that may need to be provided for many of them. Although, I would suggest that any new applicant or once the amnesty is granted, they cannot receive or apply for social services such as; Medicare, social security, etc. There will always be non profit groups, churches or civic groups that would step in to assist those in dire need.
Yes, they have families back home, parents, sisters, brothers. However, those who chose to stay also have families of their own and the idea of making a deadly trek through the dessert with kids in tow is out of the question.
Most of those daring to come north are single, men and young. The kind of workers that a vibrant economy needs. Now if these people can prove that they have been here at least 5 years, then they should apply. If not, there ought to be other options available that will at least keep track of their whereabouts. At the same time, the federal government needs to do more efforts to seal the border with Mexico.
There are more advantages to granting amnesty than disadvantages.
More of that later...

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