Saturday, October 02, 2010

Path to Citizenship

I have remained firmly “undecided” on the portion of the national debate on immigration reform known as “a path to citizenship” until I watched the debate between candidates for Governor of California the other night. The idea that this country would round up and deport millions of people is both ludicrous and horrifying, but the unfairness of allowing people who broke the law to benefit from that action is faintly repugnant. It’s also a bit of a slap in the face to people who went through the process, and it is not an easy one, of coming to this country legally. I would feel that way even if I did not have a family member in that group.

It’s sort of like telling a bank robber to pay a fine and permitting him to keep the proceeds of his robbery, and it’s insulting to all of the people who stayed within the law by putting money into the bank before taking it out.

Nonetheless, my reaction when I heard Jerry Brown say that he favors a “path to citizenship” and to Meg Whitman when she said that she does not, made me realize that I do favor such a component to immigration reform. Yes, I know, my opinion of Whitman is such that I react negatively to pretty much everything she says, but that’s beside the point. I react negatively to Jerry Brown quite a bit, too, so it tends to cancel out.

I do think that such a “path” needs to be tempered by verification that the person has committed no violations of law (other than illegal entry) either in the country of origin or this one, there needs to be a fine paid for the illegal entry, and the person should go through all of the steps required for proper and legal entry.

I also think that the same piece of legislation that grants this “path” should contain a statement acknowledging the many people who have entered this country through proper and legal means, acknowledge their willingness to adopt not only this country but its spirit of honor and rule of law, and commend them for their patience, endurance and integrity.

1 comment:

bruce said...

And all this particular debate is legally beside the point, as it is the Federal government that makes immigration law. States do not.

No, I don't want to debate Arizona right now. That is another ripe bag of... whatever.

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