Sunday, November 27, 2005

Illegal Immigration Is Not Immigration

I am sick and tired of those who paint those who oppose illegal immigration as opposing immigrant. I am a first generation immigrant myself and very much in favor of immigrants. It fills me with joy every time I read about successful immigrants who realize their American Dream. But I strongly oppose to illegal immigration – whether mass amnesty or the refusal by our federal government to stop it at the borders.

By endorsing illegal immigrants, the US government is violating the “equal treatment” clause by creating two separate standards for immigrants – one for legal immigrants like me and one for the illegal immigrants.

My journey to the US was not an easy. I risked death and imprisonment to escape political oppression in my birth country. We escaped on a small wooden boat – and most of us did not make it. After a harrowing experience - I sat in a refugee camp for almost two years – going through various screenings and interview (by the UN and the US). Only after careful review – an US entry visa was granted.

I was eager to go to the US and the condition in the refugee camp was horrible. But I waited patiently through the process. And my patience was rewarded. I know many others who waited even longer in the camp. One of my friends waited for more than five years. His patience was also rewarded. He is now a successful physician in California. And as we speak, there are oppressed people all over the world who are sitting patiently at various refugee camps waiting patiently to go through the process. They, like generations of immigrants before, respect the laws of the US. These are people we want make fellow citizens – people who respect our law – not people who disregard our law.

It is inherently unfair that special treatment is given to people who simply decide to disregard US law and cross into the border illegally. If the victims of the genocide in Darfur have to go through the process, why can the people of Mexico or El Salvador? Why are they rewarded for breaking the law? And by rewarding illegal immigrants, we are in effect are punishing the aspiring immigrants who follow the process and procedure.

And there are those who are accusing people who oppose illegal immigration as isolationists, anti-capitalists, and anti-free trade. I am a strong advocate of free trade and globalization. Like most consumers, I like inexpensive goods - and the only way of getting them is by importing. But I also want the goods that enter the US to be inspected for health and safety reason. How many of you who want to eat imported meat and dairy that were not inspected? Please raise your hands. I did not think so. The same reason can be applied to immigrant. We want to inspect the people that want to enter this country to eliminate undesirable elements.

And if our labor market is demanding more low waged unskilled labor – let increase the number of legal immigrants. Double or triple the number of immigration visa annually, if need be. Let make it easier for employer to obtain worked visas for their foreign employees (after appropriate background check). But let grant visa to those who respect and value our law; and I even argue that we should make our fellow citizens. But those who show no regard for our law do not belong here.
UPDATE: Pedro makes a good point that illegal immigration is cutting in line. It is therefore absurd that the media keeps refering to those who support illegal immigration as "pro-immigration." Supporting people who cut in line and stole other immigrants chance of comming to America is in fact anti-immigration.


Blogger Pedro said...

Great post. I could not agree more. My parents came here through legal channels. People who come here illegally just cut in line and make it harder for those that follow the laws.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Artfd said...

Your headline is the clearest summary of the key fact about illegal immigration. Somehow no other commenter has made it that clear. "Illegal immigration is not immigration", but an invasion.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous tyree said...

Thank you.
As I was listening to the President rehash his guest worker program I had one thought. Let's enforce the current law, and then think about writing new ones.

3:13 PM  
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