Getting the Facts Straight on Illegal Immigration



On the Oct. 3 issue of Hola America I commented on the actions of Marshalltown, Iowa police officers who organized and carried out arrests of 16 people for using fraudulent documents to work in their community.  Even thought the officers didn’t break immigration law in doing so, they did break the trust of the immigrant and Hispanic community and its surrounding areas. 



Ask the immigrant and Hispanic community and they will tell you that it is obvious that the intention was to ultimately get these people deported, a procedure that is out of their jurisdiction.  In breaking that trust, this may lead the undocumented to not report serious crimes committed against them like assault, robbery, and even rape. 



They will now fear those who are supposed to protect them.  All individuals, regardless of legal status, have civil and human rights in the United States and should not be fearful of reporting crimes to the police.   


I was pleased to receive a response to my comments via email by “Miss Wells” who didn’t like it when I said that the officers knew that they helped ruined the lives of those whom they arrested and then gave some justifications for the actions.


“When people do come here illegally, there are consequences; and they should think about those consequences before they come illegally,” she wrote.



People come illegally because if they were to wait to come here legally it could take decades.  Those from Mexico who solicited a legal entry back in 1991 are just now getting the good news that their visas are ready. The idea that coming here legally is as simple as any American getting a passport or filling out some paperwork is wrong and ridiculous. 


It’s not that easy and meanwhile business needs the workers and the workers need the jobs.  While the entry system is outdated and not serving both sides properly they will still keep on coming illegally.



As far as suggesting that people stay in their countries is not very American; the vast majority of Americans can trace their roots to other countries.  This is a nation of immigrants and those who use this issue to divide the nation usually have other agendas.


“Also does anyone in Hispanic countries try to change things over there and petition their government before coming here?  Things can improve.  Look at how America gained its own government and overthrew British tyranny in 1776.” She added.



Latin America is filled with stories of uprisings, revolutions and figures that stood up to the super powers of the world and succeed but there is still a disproportionate distribution of wealth and a very small middle class in those countries. 


The economic hardships of the region should be an embarrassment to Americans because we would rather spend money on a wall that divides us as opposed to using those billions of dollars help those countries improve so that people don’t need come here.  That is how things can improve. 


Now in 1776 America did gain its independence but at the expense of the Native-Americans who were almost wiped out, which was not a nice thing.  But most importantly if we look that far back, the first settlers never asked for permission, they just came here – illegally.  


But it is 2007 and the reality is that there are about 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and we are dependant on them in many aspects.  We need to get the facts straight and at least seek alternate fountains of information so that we can make our own minds up on this issue, instead of letting Lou Dobbs or Bill O’Reilly do it for us. 


I am a firm believer that the best way to understand each other is with dialogue. I do applaud “Miss Wells” for reaching out and do appreciate any form of feedback.  For anyone to get the facts straight they must first ask how these issues came to be, and then we can figure out how together we can improve things.

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