The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has discussed about the Deportation of illegal immigrants and its legality. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.
The subject of deporting illegal immigrants has become a hot topic recently that stirs up strong emotions on both sides. On one side, some people are angry due to all the crimes and traffic accidents committed by illegal aliens. Others are upset because these foreigners are earning money in this country but are sending those funds home to relatives in Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries instead of spending the money to help our sagging economy here.
The majority of these people insist on immediate deportation. On the other side, are those that want us to be more sensitive. They insist that we must recognize the needs of each immigrant. No matter which side you take, certainly we can say that this issue is more complicated than it first appears to be.
It concerns this writer that many are looking for solutions to the illegal immigrant problem without considering all the details. It is hoped that this article will open our understanding a little more to everything that is involved that we might offer a comprehensive solution to the problem.
A Case Study of an Illegal Immigrant
With that goal in mind, it would be helpful to get a better understanding of the illegal immigrant and his family. I’d like to share the true story of a couple that I will call Jose and Maria. Jose served in the military of a third world country but had heard about the United States and the prosperity that many seemed to enjoy there.
His sister and her family, who were already living in the States as legal immigrants, were earning in one week what Jose made in a month. Convinced that taking his family to the States would be the best possible future for his three children, he left everything behind, including a good pension from the military.
Life without a Green Card
One of the first hard truths that he had to face is that the prosperity he had imagined was not easily obtained, especially for someone who did not have his green card. The only kind of jobs he could get was working for individuals who paid in cash.
That card was the key to everything he needed to live in the country. Without it he had no way to get a bank account, obtain permission to drive, or work a regular job. Frustrated with all these limitations, he would have taken his family back to his home country if he could have, but he had no funds to do so and nothing to go back to since he had left everything behind.
Becoming a Legal Immigrant
In order to become U.S. citizens, this family was required to live in the States for ten years. That meant ten years without a driver’s license, bank account, or social security number. For ten years this family had to live the lifestyle of the “indocumentados”, those that don’t have their papers.
So like many others living under the same limitations, they obtained fake Social Security numbers, about drove without a license and lived a life that would not draw attention to their illegal status.
New Deportation Laws
One of the things that has made life more difficult for Jose and his family are the new deportation laws that states are adopting. States like Arizona have adopted laws that allow them to ask people for proof of citizenship and allow them to deport those people without papers.
Other states like Georgia deport them immediately after they are caught breaking the law, usually for a first traffic violation. Still other states warn them that they will be deported if they violate the law a second time. The more restrictive these laws become, the more it forces illegal immigrants into seclusion and makes them feel frustrated.
The Immigration Process
Now that this family has been here for ten years, they are ready for the second step in the immigration process – finding a lawyer, but that is far too expensive for this couple. One lawyer wanted to charge $4,000 per person, which includes the cost for all related fines as well.
But Jose has a family of five. Where is this family supposed to get $20,000? Another lawyer said that he would do all the work for just $10,000, but that is just as impossible for them. They cannot get a loan without a social security card and a bank account.
In addition they need to find two U.S. citizens who will be responsible for them. Jose’s sister, who immigrated here legally many years ago, can be one of those, but who in their right mind would be willing to be responsible for this family? Would you be willing to be responsible for them, for any debts incurred or any laws broken by them? I think not.
A Comprehensive Solution to Immigration
Does America want a comprehensive solution to the immigration problem? A poll on the U.S. Immigration website asks, “Do you think the Obama administration should pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?” The results of this poll indicate that the majority (68%) of Americans support a comprehensive solution.
On July 14 of this year there was an Ethical Imperative for Reform of our Immigration System hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law in the House of Representatives.
During this hearing, the Honorable Zoe Lofgren, Chairwoman of the Committee and Representative of California said, “A recent bipartisan survey found that the vast majority of Americans—over 74 percent—support comprehensive immigration reform that follows the above principles: border security; immigration laws that meet our Nation’s needs and the needs of our families; and a pathway to legal status for hardworking immigrants. In fact, this poll found that 84 percent of people who support the Arizona law also support comprehensive immigration reform.”
Is the Deportation of Illegal Immigrants Right?
During the same hearing, Reverend Matthew D. Staver, Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law said, “America is a country of immigrants, a melting pot of individuals from various ethnicities and cultures… The overwhelming attraction of America is her freedom. As the world’s standard bearer for freedom, America’s light shines as a hope for those around the world. We must never quench the torch of liberty. We must always stand for the freedom that makes our shores the object of desire for people without hope.”
In answering the question given in the title of this article, Reverend Staver said, “I think it is impractical and impossible to just simply deport 12 million.” I think that answers the question.