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  • Edición impresa de Julio 16, 2013

 

By Zulma Prieto

The closer we get to mid August, the more immigration stories are exposed everywhere. One can sense the anxiety and expectation coming from many people throughout the country. Every story makes you realize that we are talking about real people affected by a broken immigration system.

This time there has been an increased push to pass the immigration reform bill, yet, everyday also carries the underlying message that the opposition also increases and creates more and more roadblocks to the bill.

After having introduced at the last minute a huge and cumbersome border security item as the first item to be fulfilled before any immigration reform takes place, I only can agree with the comment stated on Saturday during an Immigration Forum: “After securing the southern border, will they do the same to the Canadian border which is longer? Let us remember that the September 11 terrorists legally crossed that border. Do we need to secure it now, before the reform? And after that how do we secure the seashores, including the Mexican Gulf?” Using the border security as the main issue is also an excuse to continue militarizing the country.

Is it that no more wars abroad are going to be engaged, but we still cannot stop the military and arms business, so the arms and training have to be used somewhere?

I wonder what kind of military security exists in very well developed countries like Finland, Norway or Sweden? What kind of border security exists in Germany, or France? Are all those countries also in the arms selling business?

Even though the steps drawn up in the Senate bill are difficult and hard, even more, they are terribly expensive for let’s say a family of 4. They would have to pay 1,000 dollars or more, per person, every 6 years, in order to move ahead in their 12 year process to attain residency. That means between 8 to 12 thousand dollars per family in order to become a ‘legal guest’. A residence visa means that you have certain legal rights, and it also means that you can be deported at any time for one of multiple reasons, including a change of laws. Maybe if they make it to the citizenship step they will breath easily knowing that they cannot be deported.

During the 12 years of ‘Temporary resident status’, they will face many roadblocks; nevertheless, they are willing to begin the process.

As Napolitano wanted, the immigrants will tell who they are, and where they are. After that we can only hope that it will not be used against them, and they will be able to begin their process. They are willing to be scrutinized, fined, taxed, and above all they are willing to wait long years.

Will excuses like the one about the border, delay more and more their right hopes? We need to keep cheering them, and advocate on their behalf, writing letters, e-mails and phone calling ‘our representatives’ (those elected by us, to carry our voices and create appropriate legislature). We elected them. They must hear our concerns and do their part.

 


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