Last evening, President Bush addressed the nation on the ever popular immigration issue. It is no secret that Latino immigrants are growing in numbers each day. All one has to do is open their eyes and they will see Latinos doing jobs in most every sector of our economy.
I am torn over the immigration issue. I feel the pain of the immigrants trying to earn a better life in the United States. I often think of my Scicillian relatives who migrated to the United States at the turn of the century. The hatred on talk-radio and the conversations in right-wing circles directed at Latinos is heart-breaking for me because it reminds of what my family members went through while trying to assimilate into the American melting pot.
On the other hand, previous immigrants came to our country and were naturalized in a legal manner. They had to study and learn the customs of our country to obtain citizenship. This process is important because it enlightens newcomers to our country about our traditions, a necessity for any person to to be a productive citizen.
The President spoke last evening about illegal immigrants who have lived in the country for many years. He seemed to be giving them a pass for being here illegally and not getting caught. He failed in mentioning the taxes they have never paid and the services they have received at the expense of working Americans. Is this fair to the hard-working American and the millions of immigrants who went through the naturalization process legally?
If the President wants to grant illegal immigrants who have lived in our country( for a yet-to-be-defined number of years) free citizenship, why doesn't he ask Congress to pass an amnesty law that includes tax leans on income of the newly naturalized citizens made in the future to pay for back taxes and services received during the time they were working here illegally. The President is correct, it is not feasible to deport illegal immigrants who have lived in our nation for years, but the U.S. needs to impose a penalty upon those who have broke our laws.
I am puzzled to the reaction of our nation's leaders in debating new laws to combat this problem. I ask them to enforce existing laws before deciding upon new policy. How can we know what new policy to implement if current laws are not being applied?
This issue is not going to be solved overnight. I have offered one idea to the debate. I look forward to your comments.