- Cullman, Alabama

September 15, 2013

Playing games with lives

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — After a few rounds of elections at the national level, including a lot of debate and high words about immigration reform, an estimated 11 million undocumented individuals remain in American society.

The inaction of Congress and President Obama concerning the immigration issue is creating a deep division within American society. With a large majority of the undocumented residents being Hispanic, there is a natural tendency for the millions of legal Hispanics to support measures that would grant citizenship or a speedy road to citizenship to many of the visitors.

At the heart of the issue is the fact that many children were born in the United States while their parents were here filling employment needs in various business sectors. The children had no choice in the matter and many of them know the United States as home.

The parents of these children should also be treated with leniency as well. For years American businesses and farmers courted workers to come here from other lands to carry out important roles in the workforce. While this was happening, the Republican and Democratic leadership in this nation were largely ignoring the open borders, particularly along the southwest portion of the country.

Now that immigration has become a political issue created by politicians, the history of why so many undocumented workers reside in the United States is being ignored. Some political opportunists like to paint a picture of hordes of illegals scaling an imaginary wall and invading the country with evil intent in their hearts. That’s far from the truth. They were encouraged to come here and now they are becoming objects in political posturing on Capitol Hill.

Resolving immigration through reasonable paths to citizenship and revised guidelines for visiting workers would go a long toward healing relationships in the Western Hemisphere. The moral implication of playing games with the lives of people who were largely encouraged to come here is not representative of American values.