Every nation on earth, every society, have laws that govern it. Without laws, society will descend into anarchy. It will be a free for all and the weak will always be at the mercy of the mighty. Laws, are what protect the weak from becoming ever constant prey of the mighty. Laws ensures order in a society.
The United States of America is a sovereign nation like many others and have laws that govern human conduct, human interactions, and human-government relations within its borders. Among these laws are immigration laws that stipulates how a foreigner can legally come to this country for whatever purpose, and how such a foreigner can legally become resident in this country, if said foreigner at one point or the other decides that such a course of action is what he or her wants to pursue.
If anyone should enter this country illegally by not having the proper entry documents issued by the United States diplomatic centers all over the world, that person by default have committed a crime against the United States and cannot claim protection of the law of the land because he or she broke the law of the land in the first place by entering this country illegally. And such a person should be removed from the country.
Laws are what guarantees a nation’s sovereignty and security and protects a land from being overran by mischief-makers, and hence must be obeyed. At all times. Laws are not made with anyone in mind and should not be subjected to emotions especially when one deliberately violates them. Laws are not hobbies that one can pick up at one’s whim and drop at his or her discretion. Laws, are, laws.
So, when someone deliberately enter our country illegally, there should be no doubt about the person’s intent – which was to flout our laws – and there should be no sentiment about applying the law to its fullest extent in such a situation.
I had a conversation with a Norwegian the other day regarding immigration policies in nations of advanced economy. I have lived in Europe. I have visited Israel, and I have vacationed in Mexico. And in the course of our conversation, comparing one country’s immigration policies to that of another, we came to the conclusion that the United States of America has the most benevolent immigration policy. Ever.
A naturally born American or a national of those 38 nations that have bilateral visa waiver program with the United States will not appreciate this fact. But to any other foreigner who have traveled the world and archived passports in search of greener pastures, and who eventually made it here, there is no doubt that when it comes to immigration policies, we have the best thinkers who thought through every possible way one can come to this country, legally and illegally, and even in the magnanimity of their heart, created a path to citizenry for those that came here illegally. For example, if you are an undocumented alien that didn’t come here through any of our borders, be it sea, air, or land, and you somehow get married to an active duty military personnel or even a veteran for that matter, you will become a legal resident and on a path to citizenship. Which other country on earth does that?
For the purpose of this piece, I will like to draw a disconnect between an illegal alien and an undocumented alien.
An illegal alien is someone who entered this country legally with travel documents issued by one of our embassies worldwide but who overstayed his or her welcome. And even though the law created pathways he or she can pursue to make themselves legal once again, a permanent resident of the land, and even possibly a citizen, chooses not to pursue those pathways.
An undocumented alien is someone that entered this country illegally, most of the times are smuggled into this country through our land borders with Mexico. As far as the law is concerned, they do not exist. They are ghosts because there is no documentation anywhere in our database of their entry through any of our ports of entry. Yet the law recognizes that they exist and the good people at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still made provision for them through which they can become legal in this country – find an active duty military personnel or a veteran and get married to him or her and they will petition DHS for you to be granted legal status. Could our system get more benevolent than that? And they still would not do it.
Data have it that we have over 11,000,000 (eleven million) undocumented aliens in this country. That is a whopping number and it is economically untenable to deport them. These folks are already in and are potential taxpayers who make a living in this country but do not pay taxes to the government. They are robbing us. And most of them willfully so.
We have the Obama-era DACA program that granted legal status to some of these undocumented aliens and moved them into the tax-paying column. But we are about to lose their money and expertise because of the impasse between the republicans and democrats on this issue.
We are in dearth of adequate workforce in both the IT and healthcare industries because these are field mostly populated down the food chain by immigrants and we are not allowing enough of them in to fill up these spaces. Our borders are still open and porous and undocumented individuals are still flooding into our country.
How do we create a pathway to permanent residency for these undocumented individuals and force those that enjoy the status quo to become legal too so they can pay taxes to the government? How do we secure our borders so we can stop another wave of potential DACA children in the future? How do we figure out a comprehensive immigration policy that is money smart, that can serve our economy the most, and that will strengthen our laws?