Planet News Views

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

U.S. Immigration Reform Must Be Fair To All Immigrants

Commentary
By Scott McLean

The United States is a country of immigrants and people coming here from many other countries have helped maked the U.S. a great country.

When many cultures come together it promotes cooperation, understanding and tolerance, with potential for harmony and unity.

Unfortunately the "melting pot" image has been tarnished by massive illegal immigration. To give immigrants who arrived here without documents the same status or rights as legal immigrants cheapens the process of becoming an American.

The United States is a country with borders, and those borders should be respected and protected against terrorists and criminals.

That is why the immigration reform must include significant funding to hire several thousand more border patrol agents. The goal would be to keep out people trying to sneak in as millions have already done.

Undocumented immigrants must not be treated harshly, but stopped at the border or escorted back across the border if they enter the U.S. without a passport and visa.


The question remains, should they be returned to the countries they came from and then have an opportunity to immigrate legally in the near future, or is granting automatic citizenship the right approach?

The latter would be unfair to people from other countries who have been waiting to immigrate to America.

Allowing the millions of illegal immigrants to become citizens now without having to go back or at least go throught a lengthy process of becoming citizens would also send a message to millions of others that they can sneak in too because the U.S. will let them stay.

That perception must change to achieve that goal, employers must stop hiring illegal immigrants. Another point is many immigrants are coming here to make money, many of them sending it back to Mexico, but not integrating into American society.

Right now it's obvious that far too many immigrants remain isolated in their own little communities and do not function well in American society. The U.S. government needs to address this issue, not just for illegal immigrants but all immigrants.

Immigrants should be required to learn English, and that is for their own betterment.

Success in America requires the ability to communicate in the English. The language barrier really is a barrier to finding good, living-wage jobs and for those with families, that is all the more important.

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