Immigration Monday

Immigration is the most often used word in the US media today. In some ways it has become a derogatory term, and the reasons for that are vast and varied.

Today on the occasion of the International Day of the Worker, there were massive immigration rallies all over the US, including one in NYC.

The issues in the recent past have been muddled and the actual problem at hand seems to be lost. The issue is not about immigration. It is about ILLEGAL Immigration. Therefore I find it ridiculous that citizens of this country who were at some point immigrants are going out to participate in the protests. Why should illegal immigration be allowed in the first place. How does one justify any illegal activity ?

The illegal immigrants want a quick way in. They want to bypass the line and become legal citizens of the country. Citizens of a country they have no business being in. Of course depending on which side of the political aisle you are, you will have something or the other to say on this topic. If you are a citizen, you may not want the 11 million illegals become citizens overnite. If you are illegal, you bring out the human card, and ask for consideration et al.

In all this, the one person who gets fucked in the backside is the LEGAL immigrant. That is me, my wife, and millions of others like us.

We came here the legal way, followed the rules of the land, paid our dues, but have no say and no respite. Green card applications are backlogged to 2002, as of today. On the other hand, illegals who have been in the country for 5 years want citizenship. So are we the legal gentry, all fools ?? The two of us will pay a whole lot of money to lawyers etc to file for our green cards. We could just stay put, become illegal and then raise a ruckus and hope to become direct citizens. How easy would that be.

As much as America is the “Land of the Brave and the Free”, it is also the “Land of the Dumb, in plenty”. Nowhere in the whole hubris is the voice of reason speaking out for the legals. Most legal immigrants are professionsals, like us; architects, doctors, engineers, designers, lawyers et al. We bring about a wealth of expertise and knowledge that Americans don’t possess in the quantity they would want to. On the other hand, illegals provide service that Americans are too lazy to do; in most cases. Therefore, who really deserves to be here ??

Yes there is a whole humanitarian angle to the illegals and I do appreciate that. No one would want to run away from their land and home, to another alien country and toil endlessly for meagre returns. Its never easy to be in that state. But then there has to be a balance.

And that is the one thing that seems to be lacking. A Balanced understanding of the issues at hand.

Thus if you got caught in the whole news frenzy of immigration, I don’t blame you. But please stop and think about the situation that the legal immigrants are in. They are the ones that really matter.

ps…I address this as an issue. These are not my personal opinions on immigration. Personally I will never relinquish my Indian citizenship for another country’s

8 Comments

  1. Ashish gupta May 1, 2006

    This is one sane voice on this issue. I have been following SepiaMutiny and they are all for illegal immigrants. For my life, I cannot fathom how could one justify granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. To hell with humanitarian angle. Why not transport all Africans and poor Indians and Chinese and USA and feed then for free? Law is a law is law. Being pussyfoot just degrades the value in eyes of law abiding person. USA is doing with respect to Mexican immigrants, what India is doing for Bangladeshis.

    Via Desipundit.

  2. Vikas Chowdhry May 2, 2006

    You raise a valid point. For me, the most frustrating part is that I do want to be in the US for long term because I love this country at least as much if not more than India. Yet, I see people who add very little value to the economy and entered this country illegaly openly assert the right to stay here while people like me wait endlessly for their “priority dates” to become current.

    During this entire debate, I have not seen too many voices from people who rely on employment based immigration (EB) asking that the US fix its EB immigration system and I am surprised. And now we see the entire issue getting hijacked by illegal immigrants.

    I’d be interested in seeking ideas from you as well as other people who visit this blog to find out what, if anything, can we do to have a voice in this debate. After all, this is a democratic country and decisions are made by people who show and speak up. You may send me your suggestions at arthshastra.com@gmail.com

  3. neil montes May 2, 2006

    USA was built on immigration. And no it was not only built by nice, educated Individuals alone. The story of america is the story of first stage immigrants who had the fire to succeed, because there was no other option but to survive. The usual wealth generators are the generation immigrants, while by the 2nd & 3rd generation they are integrated into the american mainstream. This happened with largescale immigration phases by the Irish, Italians, russians, Germans & the Jews and they all came in uneducated,rough and what other countries would call SCUM. but the drive to succeed is the highest in a dispossessed people/refugees(in this case economic). An entrepreneurial study that we had once conducted ,indicated a situation in india wherin the richest people were usually those who were once refugees whether Punjabis, from the partition, Gujaratis & Marwaris from drought impacted areas from Gujarat & Rajasthan.

    So i believe it is wrong to say that the hispanics would provide less economic value than the Indians & Chinese who come in better educated. It is a matter of time and the drive to succeed (fire in the belly) will equalise everything in a period of time.

    Though i believe that immigration has to be done in a more focussed manner , so as to channelise it the way the canadians are doing, by allotting points in the form in which the skills are required. This will have to be supported by strong immigration policing & better border control. but those who have lived in USA for a period of time will have to be given a choice (before being deported) to prove how they had been useful to the Country. (whether by contributing sufficient taxes or by any community service etc)

  4. BD May 2, 2006

    I wonder why hiring an illegal immigrant is also not considered felony in the proposed bill. If that were to be the case, even the residents would join the protest lol. I mean who would do their landscaping!

  5. BongoP'o'ndit May 2, 2006

    A major problem with the current immigration debate is that policies are being been short-changed by election year polical grandstanding. This is particularly true in the Congress – where an united Democratic Party (at least on this issue) is smelling blood and the divided Republicans are jittery. As Neil Montes pointed out, a far-sighted and broad range of immigration reforms aimed at both legal and illegal immigration needs to be undertaken. I do not see that happening before the elections later this year.

    @ Arzan: I feel the pain and frustration of the GC process and the lack of voice for the legals too. Here is an earlier take I had on this issue: The Great American Immigration Debate

    @Vikas: Check out this site: Immigration Voice

  6. Vikas Chowdhry May 2, 2006

    Thanks Bongo for the link to Immigration Voice. I just joined it and plan to be an active volunteer and contributor.

  7. Upset Desi May 2, 2006

    Totally agree with you,Mr.Arzan.
    Not just that, the legal immigrants are paying TAX like an American citizen,but what does these illegal immgs pay ?And they get medical treatment in emergency rooms without medical insurance,and whoz money is that?
    And their children getting educated in PS.Being the one working in the school system here,the ill.immgs offsprings has hardtime learning ENGLISH,hence enrolled for resource classes,and the time and money spent on that ?
    And the medicaid,SSN woud be running out empty incouple of decades.wheres the money for that?
    But whats the way out ?
    Subtlely,deny services in hospitals,schools,guest worker program,and other punitive measures.but no CITIZENSHIP.
    Where would be the demarcation with we legal immigs with educational qualifications,and those illegals that jumping off the fence ?

    And never would i expect to see other countries flag being used in demonstration .Wud u allow a paki flag flying in India for any protest.
    Its like the camel story that finally pushes out the owner of the tent who provided mercy shelter.

  8. thinkInnovate May 12, 2006

    America has seen spectacular growth in the last 100 years due to its ingenuity and the entrepreneur spirit. This phenomenal grown has largely been fuelled by an influx of much needed immigrant population at various points in time — Be it Legal or Illegal. From the tired and prosecuted to the hungry and penniless of the world – America has been a refuge for all kinds of immigrants and is built on the endearing spirit of hope.

    Migrant populations flourished in the new land ever since Christopher Columbus set foot on the Plymouth Rock. Ever since then, any new wave of immigrants is welcomed with a dissenting skepticism. The Italians, Irish, Eastern Europeans, Germanic Mormons and now Mexicans and Latina’s were always dragged into the immigration debate. The Latin population is different though – they have shown be resilient when it comes to shedding their Latina heritage and “adopt” the classical American identity.

    This begs the question – Is being American an expression of homogeneous acculturation or is it an embracement of a spirit and a set of common values. The immigrant populations have different customs and ethnicities but share in the American dream. They bring to this country a strong work ethic and an endearing spirit that has helped revitalize our nation. Some of our greatest sons and daughters were immigrants or 2nd generation migrants carrying forward a strong ethos.

    America is truly the world’s first world’s first true global society – it would be a sad day when we ask migrants to check in their identity at the door and adapt an insipid commonality. This would alienate a large population of hard working migrants that are necessary to power our economic engine and that keep our society vibrant.

    These are my 2 cents …

    http://thinkinnovate.blogspot.com/2006/04/immigrant-america.html

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