Leave Santa Alone
Illegal immigration has long been a hot topic in this country & we all know that it will be in the spotlight for the next presidential election. (Yay! Election season! All soundbites & rhetoric, that time of year when facts & intelligent dialogue just fall by the wayside.)
Being of Native American descent, I follow the arguments with both interest & a hint of amusement. I can't help but see the parallels. That said, there's an important point in this debate that nobody seems to want to face. Illegal immigration as a whole is not a real problem in the US. What is a huge problem is illegal immigration of Mexican citizens.
Let's face it, most foreign-born citizens that want to come to the US have to follow a process. There are only two places geographically positioned in such a way as to allow people to sneak into the US illegally & you'll never convince me that large numbers of Canadians are fleeing here.
Since the rest of the world has to abide by our regulations & established process to gain citizenship, why would Mexicans be exempted? It seems really unfair to the rest of the world to let Mexicans just walk right in when that won't fly for anyone else.
It's ridiculous to characterize the problem as illegal immigration when in fact it's not about immigration at all. The real issue is that citizens of one particular nation consider themselves to be above our laws. They want special preferential treatment above & beyond what is afforded to everyone else.
If you have no respect for the laws of a nation, no faith in that nation's due process & no compassion for others (people such as foreigners from countries other than your own, who seek citizenship through proper channels), then why do you want to come here in the first place? Logically, this place isn't for you. You hate it's laws, you hate the people it welcomes, you hate the people who already live there or you'd pay all the same taxes they pay . . .
You're probably wondering what brought this on. I recently came across an article about an anti-Hazleton, PA website which accuses the town of banning Santa Claus because he's not a US citizen. I visited the site & frankly it's pretty stupid.
For starters, Santa is not a good example. He visits everyone once a year for a few minutes, which does not qualify as illegal immigration. Also, I truly believe that Santa not only pays taxes but also that the elves earn a living wage & have excellent benefits.
More importantly, it's a really bad idea to promote, encourage & champion illegal immigration. It does a terrible disservice to potential immigrants from every other nation, for one thing. They may hear stupid messages such as this & think that they aren't welcome here because they're not the preferred race or ethnicity. In some parts of the US, public & social services which exist to help newcomers are overburdened by illegals & not accessible to our legal immigrants.
Just look around the next time you go shopping or visit a doctor. Everything is in Spanish today. Imagine how confusing & frustrating that must be for the hundreds of thousands of people from non-Spanish speaking countries that come here & struggle with language every day. In essence, by embracing the current "movement" put forth on behalf of illegal Mexican immigrants, we're telling people from all over the world that we don't care about them at all. We're telling them that we're only extending ourselves to the squatters & scofflaws.
The solution is simple: don't support this movement. It harms many & benefits only a selfish few. By being illegal, these people are often put in a position where it is difficult or even impossible to assimilate. By accomodating them, we ostracize everyone else. That isn't welcoming to new citizens. It unfairly burdens the law-abiding taxpayers who have to foot all the bills -- many of whom are legal immigrants themselves; What a slap in the face! It does nothing to help the illegals become legal, yet it condones that way of life & encourages the cycle to continue.
It's a lose-lose situation for everyone. And the root of the problem here is the lack of focus in the debate. Obscuring the real issue prevents critical thinking on the subject. No useful or relevant solutions can ever be put forth when all subject matter is completely out of context. We can only help that this issue will be discussed in context as the debate continues.