illegal immigration

someone said:“President Obama will soon be addressing the immigration issue, and opening up a pathway for illegal immigrants to become citizens.”

my thought:This issue is one of the few ways in which I am NOT a stereotypical liberal.

In most ways, I am about as “far left” as you can get: I think taxes are great and I gladly pay; I think that health care and education should be available to anyone who wants them; I believe in the idea of a “commons”, a set of resources maintained by the government for the benefit of everyone; I enjoy diversity and happily live in a community with different opinions, lifestyles, and religious views.

But, when it comes down to jobs and citizenship, I’m a bit protectionist, and even a bit nationalistic.

My mother, and my father’s parents, were immigrants. They came here legally, and it was a pain for them to go through the process. But they did it. And I think it’s an insult to them to allow illegal immigrants to by-pass the process just because it is “hard” or takes a long time.

I also worry about a lack of integration among illegal immigrants. No, I am not stereotyping and saying that no illegal immigrants bother to learn English. But some of them don’t, and I think that’s a problem. I’m not stereotyping and saying that all illegal immigrants isolate themselves and refuse to integrate culturally. But some of them do this, and I think that’s a problem.

Neither of my parents “renounced” their cultures. I was brought up learning both Ukrainian (dad’s side) and German (mom’s side) culture and traditions and languages and history. But IN ADDITION TO recognizing and respecting those cultures, I was brought up as an American.

We DO need more of a national identity. We need to be biased. We need to tell companies to hire American citizens, instead of outsourcing. And we need to tell illegal immigrants that the first step on the path to citizenship is NOT breaking our immigration laws.


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  1. virtualjustin says:

    My grandfather was technically an illegal immigrant to the United States back in the 1930s – but this was because of the Chinese Exclusion Act having been codified into law in 1882. Being an immigrant is not easy – regardless of one’s race, religion, or ethnic background. That said, I do think it easier for white/European immigrants and their descendants to pooh-pooh the notion of non-integration into mainstream society.

    There is an old problem in America (as clearly evidenced by the CEA being enacted back in the 19th century) as to who “belongs” in this country. In my opinion though, this definition usually stems more so from bigotry and ignorance versus any real notion of national interest. Tangentially, it’s also not easy to become an American citizen. Instead of trying to build “Fortress America” and keeping our country “for Americans,” I’d like to see a different model of naturalization be adopted by this country!