A few weeks ago I was able to attend the naturalization ceremony for my friend Joe as he became a US citizen. I’d never seen one before. There were over 80 people in Concord, NH coming from 42 countries. It was a pretty special day and was great to see the families in observance and how proud they were to see someone become a citizen of the United States. I too was proud as I have been pestering Joe to file his petition ever since Kenya passed its new constitution.
Joe is the pinnacle of what immigration reform opponents want in an immigrant. College educated here, works in a STEM field, extraordinarily smart, good family, goes to church, etc.
When we look at Immigration Reform: Guest worker program, paying taxes, keeping top college grads and entrepreneurs here, securing the border, I can’t imagine that any of these are real showstoppers for anyone.
But I do understand resistance to ‘path to citizenship’. Illegally entering the US is a serious federal crime. Since some states prohibit convicted felons from voting, it seems crazy to then say that all these people that have committed a crime, should suddenly have a path to earn our nation’s supreme right. At the same time it is conceivable that someone convicted of fraud in a state court would not be able to vote.
Time for a dose of rationality. Who really thinks that all the degenerate scum that will suddenly be granted permanent residency status will really embark on a 13 year adventure to be a citizen? Would I trade that possibility for the certainty of all the other benefits of immigration reform? You betcha. And what if the border with Mexico isn’t 100% secure? Then as a House oversight member I would insist on hearings to see what companies were hiring undocumented workers in border states. People don’t risk their lives, running all night across an unsafe border for the weather, they come for a job.
Standing for your principals doesn’t mean that you can’t compromise on those things that you feel are important but are less important than other issues. That is the nature of compromise. I hope the House acts rationally and passes immigration reform if for no other reason than to show that it is not more dysfunctional than the Senate.