20130319-134003.jpgWith all the buzz around immigration reform I thought I’d throw in my two cents. In the interest of full disclosure I think you should know that I am a Rand Paul fan. I agree with most of what he says including his speech on immigration reform. I know this is a touchy subject with strong opinions on the left and right, so if you want your comment approved keep it polite and intelligent. The conversation only moves forward when we stop calling names and spouting propaganda. Keep in mind that I use this blog as a sketch pad for ideas and as such they may not be fully formed. I invite you to think with me.

Immigration in America is broken. We have laws that are grossly unenforced. We have borders that are insecure. We have one of the most complicated and expensive pathways to citizenship in the world. I believe anyone ought to be able to live and travel anywhere they want so long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights. We are a country of immigrants. I trace my family back a little further than many (16th century England), but my family still immigrated here. Let’s not forget that your family did too.

I used to be against illegal immigrants. I believed they were going to ruin the country and steal all our jobs, but let’s take another look. America is still the land of opportunity even today. Many people come from all over to find that opportunity. As Americans we have a hard time understanding just how bad it is in many undeveloped countries. I’ve seen poverty that would break your heart and wrench your gut. Poverty that would be cause for some to find a way to America any way they can. I don’t condone breaking the law. But I can’t blame someone who just wants to feed their family.

These people will take any job they can find and often jobs that we in the middle class wrinkle our noses at and they work hard. I’ve never met a Latino that didn’t work twice as hard as I could. To say they are going to steal our jobs just isn’t true. Even the educated among them aren’t out to steal jobs. Often they are the ones motivated to start their own companies and create more jobs for more Americans regardless of their backgrounds.

If we can offer a pathway to citizenship that doesn’t punish someone whose only crime is wanting to make a better life for themselves then we can stop this so called glut on our society. If these immigrants were to start paying taxes they would quickly begin of alleviate the strain of unlawful welfare receipts.

I think someone much wiser than I said a country without borders is no country at all. We must secure our borders and make immigration easier for hardworking people who want to be Americans. Without secure borders the problem of illegal immigration will only continue. Without a simple, affordable path to citizenship the problem of illegal immigration will not stop. Without educating Americans against racism and unfounded fears we will always have an illegal immigration problem.

If you are against immigration, ask yourself why. If you want to deport those that came here illegally, ask yourself why. I want to extend the same opportunities that were extended to me to every corner of the world. I want the freedom that I enjoy for to be enjoyed by all people in every nation. One way to do that is to give people a taste of America.