This quote below is from the President Bush’s radio speech on Saturday.
“In addition, this (Immigration) legislation will clear the backlog of family members who’ve applied to come to our country lawfully and have been waiting patiently in line. This legislation will end chain migration by limiting the relatives who can automatically receive green cards to spouses and minor children. And this legislation will transform our immigration system so that future immigration decisions are focused on admitting immigrants who have the skills, education and English proficiency that will help America compete in a global economy.”
While this sounds fine on the surface, the devil is in the details.
On a scale of one to 10 my anger level and sense of righteous indignation is at an 11.
Does no one in Washington, D.C., remember the reasons behind the current practice of allowing family members to help other family members come to America, i.e. “chain immigration”? The amount of pain, anguish, suffering and anger caused by the previous “old” policy that did not allow the unification of families was extraordinary. The current policy, while better than the policy 40 years ago before it was changed, causes millions of immigrant American citizens to curse their new government in frustration because of U.S. government obstructions when trying to help siblings and parents. This aspect of the new policy is unbelievable and a step in the wrong direction. Have most of the folks in Washington lost their minds about what is humane and fair?
Why should any immigrant family, who are now U.S. citizens, working hard, bringing a lot to the U.S. economy, and trying to enjoy the good life, be happy if they cannot at least bring a few family members, slowly over time, out of the hell holes they may have left behind? Are the authors of this proposed immigration bill nuts or being just plain mean and nasty nincompoops? Families are readily able to help new arrivals assimilate into American society. Plus it is just the “Christian” thing to do. The end result being that we all quickly benefit from these new young, productive workers becoming taxpayers. Clearly, their value must be obvious to the folks in Washington in that changing the American age demographics will help alleviate worries about how to pay for Social Security as the ratio of pensioners to younger workers increases with the retirement of the baby boomers.
It would be nice if our elected representatives would please fix some of the idiocies in the proposed immigration bill being debated in Washington with my chief complaint being the inability to permanently reunite families. Do you realize that currently siblings or parents of U.S. citizens from all over the world cannot come to America even for a visit in many, many cases? How would you like not being able to see your sister, brother, mother or father for 10 or more years solely because of government bureaucracy? Or as I have seen happen when my graduate student was unable to have her own mother at her wedding in Columbia? Under the new bill it would be even worse, in that they could never get a visa or green card so that they can travel freely between the old country and the U.S.
Pass this bill as it stands, and it will hurt the U.S. as well as anger the entire immigrant community — just a reminder that we are talking about millions of immigrants from everywhere, who are now already legal, productive, voting U.S. citizens. While at the same time, this new bill rewards the illegals and screws the folks who have been waiting impatiently for the chain to reach them so their families can be reunited. It is possible to deal fairly and humanely with past and future immigrants from every country, their families, U.S. employers and help the U.S. economy. The proposed immigration bill does not do this.
Thanks for listening to my rant. And perhaps there is something I do not understand. Maybe there are loopholes which, for political reasons are not advertised, will really allow families to be reunited. I sure hope so but I do not think so.
Dennis Lubahn is a resident of Columbia and teaches at MU.