There is a fire burning inside of me. My heart is consumed with grief, over the banishment of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. I feel a pain that is not mine. It exists in the wastelands. It is a territory that is vast, sinful and dangerous. I see faces of children dieing and their mothers letting them pass, as if there were somewhere better then the hellish spawn in which they endure. These children are also in the wastelands. It is a land that has gained no promise… and no pity. It is the land that is north, south, east and west of were men and women take for granted all that their country should stand for.
It’s not far away… it’s very close… it’s simply across any American boarder. There was a Lady that held a torch, a torch that absorbed this pain. She wanted all who dreamt of crossing the boarder to do so, with no questions asked. The lady new that “this land… was made for you and me. ” I thought that it included everybody? I was wrong. There is a select few that are not welcome to cross the boarders. The individuals consist of everyone that was born on the other side, especially if they are tainted with poverty and possess little identity. An injustice is being performed. “Someone must help! ” “Help! “… “Help”…
“Help”… and no one hears this cry. So I turned to the lady… the lady holding the torch, the lady who stood for liberty, but when I turned, I was frightened to see that the lady was dead. In America we make several assumptions. The biggest one yet is that this country is only for those who are born here. There could be nothing further from the truth. There are those who feel that immigrants are not real Americans. They claim that those who are born in the U. S. deserve more in life. It is even sadder that most of our country’s leaders feel the same way. There was a label created that marked certain immigrants as criminal.
I’m sure you’ve herd the label, “illegal immigrant” tossed around before. This label applies to those who come to this country in pursuit of something better and have not asked for permission because they would most certainly be denied away. These immigrants are considered a threat to national security and prosperity. I feel there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant. There is nothing illegal about it. Let me take you on a tour of what is truly unjust and what really builds prosperity. The laws that govern immigration in the United States are anti-immigrant to say the least.
Some of the most impacted are gay couples. Yes, one might say, “how is a gay couple affected? ” Well it’s quite simple. Have you ever fallen for (or in love) with an individual that you knew couldn’t be yours, either because of distance or circumstance? If you have, then you can imagine what a gay citizen of the United States feels like when the INS (immigration and naturalization service) takes that loved one away from them. You may also be wondering how this can be when couples get married all the time to sponsor the immigrant, which usually has a happy ending.
Well this is not the case for gay couples. The INS has these very asinine rules that do not allow gay couples to follow the procedures that would make this necessary. Just when we thought gay people had rights! Whether or not you believe that gays should have as many rights as heterosexuals is beside the point; that is another debate. I am giving you a clear understanding of the cruelty shed by the INS department. In 1952 the Immigration and Nationality act was created. This law was designed to allow a certain amount of immigrants per nationality into the US.
This was looked at as a breaking point in the government’s resistance to naturalization. As proud as our government was of it self this was a very anti-immigrant approach. Saying that only a designated amount of immigrants from select nationalities can enter is similar to how an Army recruiter operates in order to meet his quota… and we all know those guys have a grand reputation for doing things. Many modifications were made to that act. In 1965 congress allowed skilled craftsmen and laborers into our country in addition to the quota of nationalities.
So first they put a limit on how many people can enter and then they only allow people that can fill an economic need for cheap labor. Seems a little selfish to me… not to mention prejudice. Congress also has a nasty habit of ending naturalization rights to countries whose foreign policy does not agree with ours. In 1934 the Tydings-Mcduffie Act, changed the Filipino quota to fifty a year because of the independence from US colonization. Hmmm… what do the people of the Filipinos have in common with their government? Not much if they are trying to start a life in the US.
So why punish them. I once knew a Filipino girl named Laya. She was a Medical Assistant, as I was and worked in the same clinic as I did in San Jose, California. She often grieved about ancestors that never made it to see the American Dream that she says she takes for granted every day. She told me stories of hardships and wasted efforts of long dead relatives. I thought that it was interesting because I don’t even know my grand parents on either side of my family. She is more familiar with her family history than I am with the back of my hand.