In his Friday letter to the editor, Andrew Joppa refers to illegal immigrants as people who “have not waited their turn to enter our fabulous country”. This would seem to be a fairly logical statement, except for the fact that there is no line in which they can wait their turn. It is not possible to simply apply to immigrate to the United States and wait for your number to come up. If it were, most would-be immigrants would do just that.
Most developed countries offer legal immigration based on the ability of the applicant to be self-supporting, to provide proof of educational and employment history, and to display the willingness and desire to assimilate. A working knowledge of the language spoken in the country to which one wishes to immigrate is usually required, since the lack of that particular skill would seriously impede one’s ability to work and function socially. History has shown that allowing large numbers of immigrants who do not speak the language of the host country leads, not to assimilation, but to colonization.
In order to immigrate legally to the United States, none of the above requirements need to be met. There is only one requirement – having a sponsor, usually a relative. The would-be immigrant could have a sixth-grade education, no particular skills, no work experience, no money, no desire to assimilate and no intention of learning English, but he is welcome to immigrate legally and become a U.S. citizen.
The current administration, like all others in recent history, is obsessed with family reunification to the extent that those with the ability to contribute to the economy and the cultural diversity of America are unable to legally immigrate. Ordinary folks with a strong work ethic, skills and the desire to assimilate will have to find somewhere else to go. They are not welcome here.
As President Obama considers his options with regard to immigration reform, it’s inevitable that there will have to be an amnesty of some sort but, like the last amnesty, it will only serve to encourage others to come here illegally unless drastic changes are made to impede access and stop enabling those who break the law.
It’s time for Americans to understand that their oft-repeated cry of ‘go home and get in line’ is unrealistic, partly because there is no ‘line’ and partly because those who have been here for years have no intention of decimating their families all over again and going home. But, once those already here have the opportunity to become legal and contributing immigrants, it will be time to stop the ridiculous sponsorship requirement and open up a path for educated foreigners with skills that will enhance the economy to apply for permission to immigrate. Simply having a relative here does not guarantee that one will become a good citizen, but having a provable history of education, employment, good health and honesty would seem to indicate good intentions and the likelihood of continuing in the same vein.
America needs comprehensive immigration reform. It will require a secure border, severe consequences for law-breakers and a fresh look at who should be allowed to immigrate based on what they can contribute. Mr. Joppa said, “The fact that some would benefit from entering my house does not give them the right to do so.” The same goes for the United States of America.