Hopefully you made it past the above title and are reading this sentence right now. For the record, I ABSOLUTELY do not feel that way. The sad thing is, a lot of people in the United States do. From talking to a handful of extremely close-minded and ignorant people in my life, the general consensus seems to be "Come on over if your skin is light and you have a sexy accent, but if you're Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, or African then you're not allowed in." Since Mexico is attached to us, and the border can be easily traversed by foot, a lot of the hubbub surrounds Mexican citizens who illegally cross the border. Canada is right above us and also attached to the United States. I can guarantee you that there is a good quantity of illegal Canadians currently residing here. But it's OK right? Because they mostly speak English (albeit North Dakota-English, don't ya knowwwww?), have been wearing flannel long before hipsters have, love bacon, and most importantly, look American. Is Avril Lavigne even a legal citizen? I say it doesn't matter and we should deport her anyway.
|Some Canadian humor to lighten up this post. I was born in Montreal and am a dual citizen by the way!|
I know not everyone feels this way and that there are kind, open-minded people in this country who want nothing more than to have equality. However, every time I hear someone passionately complaining about foreigners, only to rave about how hip and cool people from Europe and Australia are moments later, a part of my soul dies (it's like destroying one of my horcruxes). White people with sexy accents are foreigners too. In fact, WE'RE ALL FUCKING FOREIGNERS. News flash: unless you're Native American, you're a foreigner. Yea, put that in your pipe and fucking smoke it.
And while I can definitely admit that illegal immigrants can take a huge toll on our country economically, is killing or imprisoning them really a viable solution? I ask this because some people do believe that it is. Here's a recent email I received from my father (who isn't the epitome of rationalization and fairness, as you know):
LET ME SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT!!!
IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.
IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.
IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.
IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.
IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.
IF YOU CROSS THE U.S.BORDERILLEGALLY YOU GET
1 - A JOB,
2 - A DRIVERS LICENSE,
3 - SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
4 - WELFARE,
5 - FOOD STAMPS,
6 - CREDIT CARDS,
7 - SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
8 - FREE EDUCATION,
9 - FREE HEALTH CARE,
10 - A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
11 - BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE
12 - AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT
I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION.
Naturally, I had to write back:
A lot of those countries listed are doing terribly economically and socially. Under normal circumstances, people like you think very poorly of countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. Why would you suddenly want our country to be modeled after them?
To which he responded:
Missing the point. Enter LEGALLY.
And my final retort, with some editing from Sam:
Rather than suggesting all immigrants become legalized for the betterment of our nation, your original email implied that punishments (such as death and lifetime imprisonment) are justifiable when someone is an illegal immigrant and said punishments should be carried out in the U.S.
I tried really hard to maintain my composure near the end. I'm not sure if my anger is still palpable. My last response was originally this:
Your original email didn't imply that at all. It probably would've been better to write/send an email laying out how taking care of illegal immigrants is poorly affecting our nation economically, socially, etc. and also include a sentence stating that for these reasons, immigrants need to become legalized. Your email was bullshit Republican propaganda which implied that said punishments that occur in those other countries are justifiable and should be carried out in the U.S. You really think KILLING people or making them "disappear" is a viable solution for illegal immigration? If so, then I feel sorry for you.
I think cutting down the anger percentage was a good choice on my part. He FWDed it to my two cousins in California as well. I rarely ever speak to them (which I should do more of since the two of them, my dad, and myself are the only people left in the world with our last name). I can only hope they don't feel the same way and don't think that I feel this way either. I'm almost tempted to send a response back to the original sender, the elusive Holly, who I've never even heard of. I won't.
Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, why can't we just accept all legal immigrants from all nations? Perhaps we could come up with a more informative legalization movement and an easier way to help those who are living here illegally become legal. I honestly don't think people like my father are against illegal immigrants so much as they are against non-white, non-English-speaking immigrants of all kinds. Again, not everyone feels this way. Not even all right-wing Republicans feel this way. The ugly truth is that there are a lot of people who do believe this. Far too many, in fact (one is too many if you ask me). This sentiment needs to be replaced with love and acceptance. Would any of us be here today if our ancestors or even us, personally, didn't receive love and acceptance in this country at some point? No. We'd probably be illegal immigrants.