Friday, July 3, 2009

The bogeyman of illegal immigration

The Houston Police Department, playing on the death of one of its own, is asking the mayor to allow them to ask residents about their immigration status.
“We need to reinstate the (cadet) classes, reinstate the overtime that’s making up for the 1,200-officer shortage, and back off this immigration policy so our officers can be safe. Quit handcuffing our officers so they can identify these criminal aliens, and get them off the street before they can kill police officers.” - Gary Blankinship, Houston Police Officer's Union
It is not against the law for someone from another country to be in the United States without permission. It is against the law for an employer to hire them. It is against the law to use forged paperwork to obtain a job. It is against the law to be here on an expired visa. It is NOT against the law to be here.

With the exception of the Native Americans, we are all the sons and daughters of immigrants - some legal and some not. My ancestors came here from Ireland before the Civil War and made their way down south. I have no idea whether they were here legally when they stepped off that boat. Furthermore, I don't care.

Emma Lazarus' beautiful poem The New Colossus greets those who go to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty speaks and proclaims for all to hear:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Nowhere does it say only if they have a green card or a visa or some other document giving them "permission" to be here. The United States is unique. We've never erected walls or barriers to prevent people from leaving. People want to come here. People want to be here.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "all men are created equal." The word "citizen" is nowehere to be found in the Bill of Rights.

Go celebrate the Fourth of July. Celebrate freedom. Celebrate liberty. Celebrate Emma Lazarus' words. Celebrate this long-standing experiment in democracy. Celebrate those who gave their lives for this country. Celebrate that your ancestors were welcomed to this land.


Anonymous said...

You are living in liberal fantasy land. We cannot allow the rest of the world to come to America without regulation. We cannot afford it. We cannot afford the people we have here now. Without control over our own borders, we will cease to be a country. We have enough criminals and deadbeats here now. We don't need to import them. When you ancestors came here, they did come here legally because immigration was not regulated at that time. It does matter that people obey our laws, and I would think that you, being an attorney, would understand that. Or do you want anarchy and chaos? Do you want the USA to become a third world country? Perhaps when some illegal kills one of your loved ones, you will get the message.

Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy, said...

Thank you for you comments but I think the odds of being the victim of a violent crime by a citizen are higher than by a non-citizen.

Immigrants come to this country to make a better life for themselves. They take jobs that no one else is willing to take.

Ours is a richer nation because of the diversity of the people living here.

gorden said...

Really nice article...The manner in which you write is pretty interesting

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