Undocumented: A Kinder, Gentler Illegal

Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So, one can say undocumented yet it is still illegal. We are a country of laws. Laws that need apply to everyone equally.

If it makes you feel better, call those millions of immigrants undocumented. It won’t alter the fact that they are here in violation of the law.

The question is how to best deal with it.

Although solid numbers are difficult to derive, research indicates a significant number of “undocumented” aliens who are eligible to apply for citizenship do not. The various reasons cited are an inability to speak English, cost (around $680) or just a choice not to bother. (Pew Research Foundation)

I must be missing something.

There are any number of opportunities to learn English. If living in fear of deportation is not a motivation what is? Perhaps we are doing a disservice by having multi-language signs.  If everything was in English, it might motivate people.

And while I realize $680 may seem a fortune to minimum wage workers, it is also something one can save given the same potential for deportation. Offering some sort of discount might be less expensive than building a wall.

I empathize with the so-called “dreamers,” brought here as children and living in the quasi-world of raised in America without the benefit of citizenship. But what have they done about changing their status? That begs the question, why should we help you if you’re not willing to help yourself?

So, perhaps this should be the test. What efforts have you made? Have you tried to learn English? Thrown change in a jar to save for the cost? Made any effort to become a citizen?

If the answer is no, I have no sympathy. It may seem unfair, looking at how many American citizens by birth underappreciate this country. It may seem frustrating that natural born citizens show no interest in being good Americans. But life is not fair. While one cannot choose their citizenship at birth, this country does offer a path.

That path may be hard. It may be steep. It may be long. But there is an attainable goal if you want it bad enough.

To expect us to carry you up the path, or pave it, or shorten it is not fair to all those who have conquered that path before you.

If you want to be a citizen, to contribute to the country, to participate in the great experiment of the people, by the people, and for the people, great.

Show us your willingness to earn it.

If you expect us to simply legislate you in because you want to be here, that is not going to happen.

Wanting to live in this country, with all its opportunities, comes at a price. The price is a willingness to try. Taking those first steps down that path to show us your sincerity is a great start.

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About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of the novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, and Saving the Last Dragon available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working o the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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4 Responses to Undocumented: A Kinder, Gentler Illegal

  1. Walter J Mycroft says:

    I had to read your composition twice, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Does this not bring us to the perplexing intellectual basis of Pluralism v Assimilation? I would never turn away anyone wanting to make America great again, (see what I did there). I also agree we are a nation of laws. Why do we want to suspend and suppress laws for some and condemn others who violate them? I am not the first to mention we have a plethora of laws that are archaic. This brings me to my fork in the interpretation of the Constitution. Is it strict Constructionist view? Is it a living document? As a conservative, I lean to the former. The compassion in me brings me to the latter. People always remind me, do not bring up two things in public. So I leave you, is there really a God?

    • I would say that for a document such as the Constitution to survive, it must be a living document. The world is a continuously evolving place. Many things not in the original have been added by amendment. Slavery and right to vote for women being two examples. The Constitution is a solid foundation upon which our future rests. Damage the foundation, destroy the future. But you still have to add things to live on the foundation.
      As to the latter question, I would argue no, there is no God. Kent Harrop and I discuss these issues (and others) in our other blog TheHereticandtheHolyMan.wordpress.com

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