Canít We Try To Just Get Along?
Recently, I have heard all manner
of disparaging remarks concerning "illegal" immigration. Most made no
distinction between legal and illegal immigration. I will address this
oversight only in passing with mention of the long list of foreign born
American citizens awarded Nobel prizes, etc. Let me make clear at the outset
that after practicing immigration law for about 35 years, I am opposed to open
borders and believe everyone should only enter the US "legally".
Employing undocumented workers was federally outlawed in 1986 as a
provision in Regan's amnesty legislation. Nevertheless, many U.S. businesses
continued to spread their "Help Wanted" message beyond our borders without
regard for how workers might enter the U.S. These employers have done so with
almost complete immunity because our elected representatives have refused to
insist upon enforcement of the law. Many employers have done so to remain in
business when there were no U.S. workers willing to accept their on-site,
labor-intensive jobs (jobs that can't be out-sourced to India) even at fair
wages. The consumers' single-minded drive for lower price has contributed to
the problem (think Wal-Mart), and our politicians have only exacerbated the
difficulties by failing to adequately revise and expand existing legal
temporary worker programs to accommodate these economic changes. Instead, they
basically swept this ever-increasing problem under the rug, apparently fearful
of there chances at reelection should an opponent make the claim that "the
incumbent voted to take jobs away from America's sons and daughters!" I think
their fears were well founded.
These millions of "illegal" aliens
didn't arrive in just the last few years, but over the past two decades.
These issues have been elevated to hysterical levels in the public arena out
of our current fears and frustrations borne of 9/11 and perfected in Iraq. I
haven't seen such an atmosphere of fear, hate-mongering, racism,
profiling, and proliferation of "Jim Crow"-type laws since the beginning of
the civil rights movement (remember the fire hoses and federal troops
escorting black students in Little Rock?). I won't even try to address
the multitude of horrors inflicted on Native Americans.
were the head of a poor household in Mexico, and you wanted to provide more
for your wife, children and for yourself. Would you not respond to job
opportunities in the United States, as have so many millions of others like
you? If you would not, I doubt you would earn much respect or admiration
from those around you.
Until our current immigration mess, to
which we have all contributed, is straightened out by reasonable people and
their elected representatives in a sane and humane manner (legalization,
secure alien ID, future strict enforcement), can't we try to just get along?
This article was first published in The Oklahoman.
About The Author
Vance Winningham is a member of the first Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Law Foundation. He has been listed for more than 10 consecutive years in The Best Lawyers in America ©. Mr. Winningham is also former Chairman of the Texas - Oklahoma - New Mexico Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and founder and Administrator of internet based network of prominent immigration lawyers (AmericanVisas.com).
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
Share this page
Bookmark this page
The leading immigration law publisher - over 50000 pages of free information!
© Copyright 1995- American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM