As I See It

Many of you might not know that my family came as German immigrants to this country.  You also might not know that I am married to a Mexican-American.  I am telling you this so that you understand why this white guy you see in the picture above this article is giving his point of view on immigration.

America is divided.  It is so divided that much of America cannot debate an issue without abandoning the facts and turning to political attacks.  If America is to survive, we must all start discussing the issues in an honest manner.

How do we define immigration?  I believe most Americans understand that immigrants are the foundation of new blood in our country, but we must define what immigration is and what it is not.  There is a difference between legal immigration and open borders.

Legal immigration is a system in which a country can set standards for those who come into its society.  This is important because this country is our home.  We need to know who is entering our home and what their intentions are.  Do those entering our home want to live by our laws, do they want to contribute to a better and changing society or do they want to live off of the producers and not contribute?  These are important questions that must be answered before they can live in this country we call home.

I would fight for an efficient, less bureaucratic and quicker immigration process. The question of their intentions should be answered, but the process should be humane as well as reasonable.

We also need to provide a process for those who want to work in this country but have citizenship in another country. An effective work-visa program should be established.  Individuals should be allowed to enter this country to work for a period of time and then return to their own nation.  They would not be seeking citizenship but rather the economic advantages of employment in America.  America would benefit from their skills.  This type of program would supply labor needs in both professional and trade areas of America’s economy.  Visas would be issued in various job sectors depending on the need and availability within America.  This process should be regulated. If visas are just given out to anyone regardless of need, it will take jobs away from those already in America.

A fair and better road to citizenship for those who want to legally immigrate to America should be put in place.  It is a meaningless process unless we actually have closed borders. Why would anyone want to go through the legal process if they can just walk across the border illegally?  Without secure borders, the benefits of being a legal immigrant disappear.  There is one simple fact: there is no prosperous industrial country that has open borders.  There is a reason for this fact – open borders mean chaos and economic decline, that America will not get the best and the brightest, but rather those who wish to live off the system rather than be part of the system.

America has given more opportunity and freedom to more people than any other country.  It is a country with faults because it is made up of men and women with faults, but it is also the land where people immigrate to for a better life.  If we don’t insist on a sound legal immigration system where people living in this country want to contribute to these American ideals, America will no longer be that city on the hill that so many have left comfort and home to say I sacrificed, went through a process and now can say, “I am an American.”

America is a profound combination of many people and cultures.  It has always worked up until now because America believes that all people are important, and we, as a country, can work together to make a better world.  I am proud of America.  We have made grievous errors, but as a people, we have also tried to correct our mistakes.

If we secure our borders and fix a broken immigration system, we can still be the land of opportunity.  If we allow citizenship to mean nothing, then America will become further divided, we will fall into ruin and we won’t need borders because we will not be a center of freedom and opportunity.

Graham Hetrick

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