Citizen “Illegal”

17 04 2007

The other day, I was reading this article on the BBC titled Migrant Workers Hold LA Protest, and I was struck by the thought, “Wait a minute! They’re illegal immigrants, but they want citizenship???” Doesn’t it seem absurd that the US is considering giving people who illegally entered their country the right to become citizens? Consider that these people don’t have Social Security numbers, they don’t pay personal income taxes, that they don’t actually exist as they never really entered the country. Yet, they demand recognition??? Why??? Why should they deserve it??? Shouldn’t they be punished for breaking the law? That’s what most other countries do.

But by not punishing these people, does it not, in fact, encourage people to illegally enter the US, as they know that there is the hope of salvation [I can’t think of a better word for this] and citizenship at the end of it? Isn’t the US actually making things more difficult for themselves by legitimizing, and thereby condoning, these illegal acts. Why bother with immigration laws, the INS, border guards, and fences along the Mexico border, and all the other stuff if you’re gonna let people get away with it in the end? What kind of signal does it send if people are encouraged to circumvent the legal frameworks in place? Does that mean its OK to break the law? What does it mean for those who have legitimately entered the US? Don’t they deserve more preference?

Sure, this is how they get their maids, garbage-persons, etc., people to do any other work that Americans consider beneath them. But is having cheap labour THAT important that you’re willing to let these people get away with breaking the law? Why not just put up a sign then saying, “Come One! Come All! We Don’t Mind If You Cross Illegally! We’ll Still Let You Stay. Just Clean Our Shit, Cook Our Meals, Do All The Work We Wont! You Can Be One Of Us!”

It’s the typical type of insanity that takes place when politicians start abandoning logic and sanity in pursuit of getting elected. For god’s sake these people aren’t even allowed to vote. Yet they have so much clout that they can actually stage a mass protest rally against a proposed law that requires them to pay a penalty if they wish to legitimize their status. They’re saying the penalty’s are too expensive. Don’t those who go legitimately have to pay all those fees and taxes for all those years before they can become citizens? How do the “illegals” have the right to question what the penalty should be? If they want something so bad, they should be willing to pay the penalty to achieve it.

Also, one should ask how come no illegals were actually arrested at the rally and deported. Isn’t that within the purview of the INS? Isn’t that what they’re SUPPOSED to do with illegal immigrants. Just what does the word “illegal” mean when talking about “illegal immigrants”? Does it mean, “they broke the law, so its criminal” or does it mean, “they broke the law, its ok. We’ll let this one slide?” Where do you draw the line then?

So, at the end of all these I’m left with more questions than answers. And I still don’t understand how the average American can actually sit by and let criminals be legitimized by their government. I know for sure that if something like this happened in my country, I’d go ballistic that my government is condoning, and even encouraging, this sort of illegal activity. It lessens the value of my citizenship, and does not penalize people for breaking the law, rather encourages them to do so. Makes you wonder why the heck you bother to do things legally in the first place.

Looks like another nominee for the “Monumental Stupidity Awards for 2007”. I’m building quite a list. So far I have sheep fondlers, confused eco-warriors, and now inane politicians. I wonder what the future will bring.




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