Immigrant "Friendly" U.S. City
More cities like Baltimore should think about welcoming immigrants in the same manner. During the time that I worked on immigration issues for the federal government in the 1970s, I was and still am, of the firm belief that once immigrants, legal or illegal managed to find their way into this country we must treat them humanely and encourage them to become a part of American society. It’s more beneficial for our country to have an educated, hardworking and healthy population, than not. If we continue to pass laws that don’t allow immigrants to work, to go to school or to obtain health services we are left with a population that will contribute little or nothing to the country. In Baltimore, some of the immigrants are working toward their GED’s, while others are working in low skilled jobs while still others are opening their own small businesses. This is typical of immigrants that are in this country today. Aha! But who will pay the “Bill” many will ask? Republicans and Democrats have sunk billions, if not trillions, in helping countries around the world with nation building—it’s time to bring the nation building concept home and to enact hardnosed sensible policies for our South of the border neighbors, for starters!
Certainly there is the criminal element that can drag the law abiding and hardworking immigrants down. And it is the criminal element above all that should be dealt with swiftly, whether that means incarceration or deportation to their native countries. We shouldn’t confuse the two; there are the hard working and there are the criminals.
Of course there will be those that will say that Baltimore’s current open arms policy will only attract more immigrants many of which may be illegal to settle there or in other cities with similar open arms policies. It’s always been the job of the Border Patrol to patrol our borders and if they can’t do their jobs by allowing scores of illegal immigrants to come into this country then what? What is a country to do? It’s not as simple as ABC to track
down the supposedly more than 5-10 million illegal immigrants. Actually, I am not sure anyone really knows how many illegal immigrants there are in this country nor do we know how many jobs they actually take away from Americans. What we do know, is that those that come to this country do so because they want a “better life” than the one they led in their native countries. They take risks coming to America—just last week 15 immigrants lost their lives in a truck accident outside San Antonio, Texas. They were somebody’s child, husband, brother or sister, they weren’t just legs and arms, ready to use in the type of jobs that many in America don’t care to do; they had souls and they were children of God just like all of us that believe in such a supreme being.
The negative tone toward immigrants, legal or illegal should be left for those that come to America with intent to destroy it. During 9/11 all of the terrorists in the airplanes that killed thousands were from Middle East countries, but are we seeing that particular population being tracked down and deported in the same manner as those from Spanish speaking countries? We act as if America is going to fall if more Hispanic immigrants come to this country especially from Mexico, yet we form a queue for a bit of Mexican food and can’t wait for Cinco de Mayo to come around. Let’s start treating our immigrants from South of the border the way we do their native food, with gusto!
By Grace Flores-Hughes
This article can also be found on VOXXI.
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