I noticed that you voted to consider the Immigration Bill that is before the Senate. I wanted to voice my opinion, as your constituent, about how I feel about immigration.
It seems that many feel that if you don’t support the blanket legalization of all illegal immigrations you must be xenophobic and obviously racist. Perhaps this might be true for a small minority of the opposition but not the case for all. I am neither racist nor xenophobic. I am an immigrant and new American citizen. I fully support LEGAL immigration. How can I not? This is how I came to the US in a move that I felt would improve my life. I have married a Latino man from Peru. I understand why he and so many others came to the US because I came here for exactly the same reasons. I have understanding for their reasons but not for their means.
The people who have come here or stayed here illegally have broken the law in multiple ways. Some broke the law the second they entered the United States because they did not have permission to enter. If they didn’t break the law as soon as they entered they certainly broke it shortly afterwards by working illegally. Many illegals might say it is not illegal to work but to work without permission is illegal by the laws of this country. Even worse… many of them use false Social Security numbers to obtain work. This is identity fraud. Identity fraud destroys the lives of the innocents who just happened to ‘own’ the Social Security number that an illegal decided to borrow. This is certainly illegal and would put any American citizen in jail if they were to do it. How can it be that an illegal has the right to be forgiven for breaking the law but I won’t be forgiven without an arrest record? Is it any wonder that American citizens are upset with this bill? It gives more rights to criminals than it does to us – those who are here legally and those who were born here.
In my opinion, this bill is a slap in the face to those of us who have and currently are following the law. I sympathize strongly with those children who are separated from their parents because they are in the middle of deportation proceedings. It is unfair that their parents’ sins are being visited upon them. But their parents knew what they were doing and they knew the risks. They knew that this was a possibility. Where is the indignation and concern over those children who are separated from the parents that came here legally? I know a permanent resident who has been separated from his wife and small child for years as he worked to get permanent residency for them. Are you going to tell him that he should have simply smuggled his family over the border? They would have gotten here much quicker and he could have just waited for this bill to legalize them. Is this the message we want to send to immigrants? Surely we don’t want to encourage illegal immigration – do we?
I believe that illegal immigrants should receive no more rights than those that are already granted to workers who are here legally. Should they receive less? I have no idea but they certainly shouldn’t be granted more rights. Citizenship or permanent residency is not guaranteed to those who have work permits therefore there should be no ‘path to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants. I am not saying they should be given no method of obtaining residency but it should have no more guarantees than other types of work visas. Why do we want to reward those who have deliberately broke the law? Why aren’t we rewarding those who have not?
And for those who say that paying a fine is their punishment for being illegal and allows them to be put on their path to citizenship, think of those who are here legally. Believe me, if all I had to do was pay $5,000 to guarantee that I could convert my H1B into residency (assuming background check and everything turned out fine), I would have paid that fee. I am sure there are many other people here on work visas that would gladly pay a fee to guarantee residency rather than go through the uncertainly and possible rejection of the current process.