a day without immigrants?

Yesterday was the self-proclaimed ‘Day Without Immigrants’ – in which many immigrants, especially of the hispanic and latin persuasion, marched to show support for immigration reform.

I have met many immigrants, all of whom have come to this country legally, and they are all working hard to make a living for themselves, and to get ahead in the world. I wonder, though, how many of those who marched yesterday (many with police escorts!) were legally in this country? I hope it was most or all of them. If not, the INS lost a fantastic opportunity to arrest and extradite those who are here illegally.

But the real issue is not immigration reform: it’s enforcing laws we already have. We already have laws to handle becoming a citizen – and I know several people personally who have been naturalized to the United States. It was a fairly simple process, too, at least from what they’ve told me. They applied for green cards, work visas, resident visas, and whatever else they had to to complete the process of relinquishing their previous allegiances, and declaring themselves, before witnesses and with an oath, to be citizens of the United States of America.

America is a nation of immigrants – some of us have ancestors going back to the Mayflower, while others took the oath last Wednesday. But we’re all here – as Americans. Whatever the reason people have for leaving their former country in favor of the United States, I’m happy they’re here. As long as they follow our laws, and come here via legitimate channels, our country will continue to grow and prosper.

But those folks to sneak in and work for slave wages under fear of being extradited, I want them gone. Ship them home – they’re breaking our laws, and are criminals here. People who hire them, knowing they are here illegally, for whatever reason, should be punished: they’re criminals, too.

It’s really not that hard to become a US citizen, or to get permission to be here legally. I just want everyone who wants to be here to follow those rules.