21st Century Immigration Reform: Anybody Home? - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2011 Juniper Berry Magazine

21st Century Immigration Reform: Anybody Home?

Emigration and immigration have existed for centuries as man moved about the globe. From early tribal beginnings man was nomadic leaving one area and moving to another in search of food. I am not certain of the earliest recording regarding the replanting of crops or farming in the ancient world, but the embers of civilization in the sense of the rise of villages and the concept of boundaries was definitely a result of farming, which includes olive groves, fruit orchards, grains, dairy products, etc. Clearly, during the Greco ‒ Roman period in history the creation of cities, the outlining of boundaries, the establishment of a government with the concept of citizenship took root. The proliferation of the human race since the death of Jesus Christ has resulted in the rise of many villages, cities and territories with shifting boundaries, particularly in Western Europe and a quest for new lands with their riches began.

Indeed economic considerations were behind the financing of Christopher Columbus's famous 1492 voyage to India by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. Columbus realized that the world was round and determined that he could reach India by sailing west. History tells us that he finally landed in the Caribbean on an island he named Hispaniola and called the original inhabitants Indians because he thought he was in India. Today that island is known as the Dominican Republic. Hence, the Spanish colonization of the Americas foreshadowed the general European colonization of the New World.

Remember, the 3,000 mile voyage of the Mayflower from England to Plymouth Rock happened in 1620. For the most part, the colonization of the New World resulted in many deaths from battles and diseases. Without question, the greatest acquisition of land and the cheapest, from all aspects, in the formation of the United States of America – without firing a single shot – was the Louisiana Purchase, which for a sum of $15 million was bought from the Emperor Napoleon in 1803. The land acquired was 828,800 square miles.

During the 19th century the United States expanded west and southwestward toward the Pacific Ocean. And, yes, there were raging battles for the land between the white settlers and the various Indian tribes. And don't forget the Mexican- American War and the March 6, 1836 battle at the Alamo. When the United States entered the 20th century, immigration from Europe only took 8 days and was much more luxurious than that crossing on the Mayflower. Today the jet plane has reduced crossing the Atlantic to 8 hours and is relatively cheap. The 21st century has witnessed a quantum leap in technologycommunications, medicine and machines. Satellite TV, the Internet and powerful hand held devices such as the Droid allowed people from the four corners of the world to instantly communicate with each other and provide unheard of mobility. The aforementioned advances have become a powerful force drawing people from the four corners of the world to the United States of America to Enjoy and Celebrate Freedom.

U.S. accepts more immigration

Wikipedia notes, immigration in the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior. As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries combined.

Against the historical backdrop of emigration and immigration, new territories and shifting boundaries the United States borders have for more than 100 years been clearly geographically marked. But with an ever-expanding world population seeking to come to America the politicians talk about comprehensive immigration reform and have not, as is now imperative in this Age of Terror from the Islamic Jihad, and the outrageous incursion of drug smugglers, secured our borders in a physical and military fashion. Twenty-eight years ago the Berlin Wall was erected in the dead of night to keep East Berliners from leaving the Russian controlled sector of Berlin to travel westward to freedom and prosperity. It is rather ironic that today America as a result of its continual willful neglect to police its immigration laws must now for the physical safety of its citizens, and to maintain a viable economy, build a Berlin style wall to keep people out.

The term comprehensive, according to Webster's, means inclusive, and to Democratic politicians and President Barak Hussein Obama that means including illegal aliens as a result of some form of amnesty – so that they can vote for the Democrats in the 2012 election. He well knows that the Republican House of Representatives will not take up any type of immigration reform until the boarders are truly secured, but he is pandering to the Hispanic vote. Frankly, the hard-working Spanish people that I know are here legally and many have become outstanding citizens despise his strategy. On May 10, 2011 the great elixir salesman, President Obama, gave a speech in Tucson Arizona on immigration, and he had the audacity to chide the Republicans and insult all Americans, except democratic legislators, by joking that the Republicans may now want us to build a mote in front of the wall, filled with alligators to secure the border.

Having made a cursory review of the present emigration and immigration requirements and different statuses there is no reason for anyone to be in the United States illegally but for the simple truth, that, I note again, our government on all levels, that is, federal, state, county and city has failed to police the immigration laws. Many cities and counties in California such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in New York we have the Bloomberg Sanctuary City – which welcomes illegal aliens – have foisted untold cost upon the taxpayers for social programs, education, housing, crime and failed tax collection, and have violated the federal immigration laws without penalty. In New York State and City, every year, the citizens are subjected to the constant babble about closing the budget-gap. However, the politicians never talk about investigating the huge multi-billion dollar underground cash economy that is alive and well in New York and is supported by illegal aliens.

Who's to Blame?

Any reasonably intelligent person with a basic understanding of surfing the Internet can access the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Website. The site offers a voluminous and detailed amount of information for obtaining a Green Card and applying for U.S. Citizenship for almost every unique circumstance and provides the required forms, documentation and fees including the Biometric examination which costs $85. Frankly, there is no excuse for millions of illegal aliens to be roaming about America – only the malfeasance of our public officials has burdened our America with this blight.

It is now my opinion, after talking with a number of legal immigrants, that lawyers have aggravated the application process for their own monetary gain in a similar fashion to the ambulance chasing lawyers who have unscrupulously driven up the cost of a doctor's mal-practice insurance so that it now requires three months of his income to pay for it. And yet, there is nothing about tort reform in Obamacare.

The question of immigration reform for the United States in 2011 and beyond is absolutely ludicrous until the borders are truly secured and all the people who have illegally entered the United States are deported starting with those who have low level felony convictions. We should keep murderers in our prisons to face our justice. I am not in favor of amnesty in any form that grants citizenship. However, I do believe that thousands of people who have entered the United States legally with a visa and passport from their homeland ‒ but have over-stayed their visa ‒ and do not have a current Green Card but reside in the dark shadows of the ghettos, should, on a case-by-case basis, have their circumstances investigated. Many who remained beyond the allotted time have born children in the United States, paid taxes, committed no felony crimes, etc. After sufficient examination of the case, if all is correct, they should be put on the express track for a Green Card, not given amnesty and citizenship. The Green Card is the moral, legal and sensible path to citizenship. This concept is not the Dream Act; there is no instant citizenship for the parents but the opportunity through hard work and a basic understanding of the English Language to become a United States citizen.

It is my opinion that the present day immigration system is not broken; it just needs to be tuned-up, policed, and provide outreach to legal immigrants so that they can obtain a Green Card. The IRS will do your taxes free, if you make less than $50,000 just walk into any office and make an appointment. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service should and must provide a FREE, but significant outreach and education service that verifies an applicant status and background and assist with the preparation of all required forms. If the IRS can do it, the USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Service) can do it for all those in need making less than $50,000.