Sunday, May 02, 2010

Immigration -- Legal or Not?

Fellow blogger and Facebook friend Tom Grover left a status update that made me think:

I can't be sure that all of my family immigrated legally to the US, and neither can you.
Thinking made me fairly suspicious about the legality of one family member's immigration to the US.

My grandmother came to the US in 1939 from Northern England, and by the end of the year she married my grandfather. From outside appearances it could easily have been asserted that she may have been marrying my grandfather for his U.S. citizenship. She was an attractive woman, and he was a half-deaf, nearly crippled man that was 10 years her senior. She also had two sisters in England who later immigrated, and my grandmothers marriage to an American citizen was likely very helpful in securing citizenship for those sisters

Her marriage, even if it had some level of convenience/necessity in 1939, did grow into a 50+ year happy marriage. The children of that marriage all received college educations and the grandchildren have gone on to become successful members of society including doctors, lawyers, social workers, counselors, educators, engineers, and business leaders.

The point is this: America has always been and will continue to be the land of opportunity. The poor and huddled masses want to come here, and they will use whatever means necessary to get in. Should we condemn them for it? The answer should be a resounding no.

We must control our border, but we must also make it possible for the sincere seeker of prosperity and freedom to pass through the gates into American citizenship. While many on the right are calling for tougher laws to crack down on those who entered the US illegally, it must be remembered that someone in all of our ancestries sought to anchor themselves to the land of the free anyway they possible could.

Some of the current GOP senate candidates have used the phrase "anchor baby" to describe Mexican immigrants who come the US to have babies that will be US citizens. The offensive nature of this catch phrase is beyond the scope of this essay. We are all "anchor babies". Stop condemning those who are anxious to enjoy a better life -- the problem isn't with those who want to come to America. The problem is with those who don't believe there is enough prosperity to go around. I believe in America, and that it can bring great fortune to anyone who desires prosperity and has the will to work for that dream.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Thank you for one of the more thoughtful posts on immigration that I've read in Utah's blogosphere. Too many people are reflexively anti-immigration. That is so dumb considering most all of us descended from immigrants.