Thursday, February 2, 2012

EDITORIAL: Unfair Immigration Practices Used As Cover Up For More Pressing Issues

By Christina Fermin
Society & Politics Columnist

The subject of immigration seems to hit a nerve with folks that I do not quite understand. Maybe it’s because I come from a family of immigrants or maybe it’s because I see things differently, but one thing I know is that this country was founded by immigrants, this country’s economy works off the backs of those immigrants and I believe our recent treatment of illegal immigrants to be very unfair.

If you really sit down to think about it, everyone in this country (except for the Native American Indians) are descendants of immigrants. Many of our traditions, favorite foods and American pass-times were passed down as traditions from immigrants. It is the work, sweat and blood of immigrant families that have made this country so great.

The biggest lie that I see come from politicians and the mainstream media outlets is that illegal immigrants are the reason for our economic depression. This premise is rubbish. The main reason for the 21st Century Great Depression is because of bad economic policies, corruption to the highest levels of government and greed. Beginning with past President George W. Bush and now President Barack Obama, illegal immigrants are being sent home in record numbers on the premise that they are stealing American jobs and are criminals. Many of these immigrants are leaving behind families, businesses and friends. What’s even more devastating is that there are many illegal immigrants being sent over to a country they may have been born in, but share no ties with. Forced to settle in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar language and/or culture with no immediate family, friends or connections.

There are many who would like you to believe that illegal immigrants are using our resources, taxes and taking our jobs. This is not the case. Many of these people use very little resources and contribute to taxes without ever taking out because they cannot since they do not have a social security number. Illegal immigrants work jobs that American workers do not want or they open up their own businesses, usually serving the needs of their communities. Many of these immigrants are serving in the armed services and fighting for a government and people who ostracize their families or culture. So why is it that these people are being treated so horribly? I believe it is to detract from the real problems we face as a nation. These debates are used to keep Americans from seeing the real issues and real problems that are bigger and more disastrous than illegal immigration.

Immigrants, especially illegal immigrants are being used as a scapegoat. Plain and simple, we are expelling entire cultures for being different when they mean no harm and are here to create better lives for themselves and their families. Because of bad American policies towards Central and South America that will not allow those people to have the opportunities they have here, immigrants come to America to live the dream. Instead of pointing the finger towards immigrants, how about we take a look at some of America’s foreign policy issues or the fact that the richest people in this country pay less (or no) taxes than the poor or the fact that lobbying and citizens united, the supreme court case that allows corporations and unions to donate a limitless supply of cash to political causes, has poisoned our politics and created a cesspool for corruption or the fact that our civil liberties are in severe jeopardy, especially with the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the government to detain American citizens indefinitely for merely "suspecting" they are a terrorist.

While some of these issues have been looked at, they have not been examined in detail. They are not the center of Presidential debates or the headline for the President’s State of the Union address. When you ask average people about these sorts of issues their knowledge is usually shallow or mirroring that of which was said in the news. The mainstream news media outlets are tools of propaganda used by the people in power, twisting facts and telling half truths. Soundbites of what we are ‘allowed’ to know are used as an instrument of fear to blacklist a group or culture so that we fear the ‘other’ and grow to have biases against them even though the government was instituted to protect those who do not have a voice, the little guy, the immigrants and minorities of this country.

James Madison once said: “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” We have seen this with the governments bias towards Muslims after the 9/11 attacks and we see this now as we blame our economic woes against Mexicans and other foreign ‘intruders.’ Realize we are to blame for our current systematic failures and no one else. You need to just look at a mirror and decide it’s time to do right.

Foreigners have always been an important component of American society and accepting them into America has always been our greatest quality. It is time we pave a path for those immigrants that have been here for years and re-examine our policies in allowing immigrants to come here to live, work or play. We should strive to keep families together instead of ripping them apart. Isn’t that the Republican mantra?

Family. Do something, be somebody and help change the world!

About the Columnist

With a bachelors degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University, Christina Fermin has always cultivated her love for history, politics, sociology, ancient knowledge and teachings, the outdoors, the ocean and the environment. Christina strives to make our world better by helping us all create a new reality and understanding of all taking place here and now. You can reach her at Christina@MySavvySisters.Com



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