There continues to be a lot of discussion about comprehensive immigration reform. Unfortunately the discussion has turned to how it won't pass based on detractors myths and pushes for a piecemeal rather than comprehensive approach. Let me show you how they are just plain wrong.
Let us talk about some myths:
It will steal our jobs, specifically low paying jobs. Wrong! First of all, do you seriously think these million are in the country with no current job. No, they are currently working illegally. Of course this statement generally comes with a dose of racism as well. Something along the lines of how blacks having low paying jobs and its racist to take away their jobs and give it to illegals and how dare Obama. No, No, No! They are racist to imply only blacks have low paying jobs. Pushing against comprehensive immigration reform isn't going to help minorities. The opposite is actually true, as is pushing for affirmative action. One should also note that immigrants tend to work rural low paying jobs in agriculture. The poor and working class tend to live in the cities, so it would be wiser to focus on jobs in inner cities and regenerating cities or even raising the minimum wage.
Democrats are only for immigration to increase their voter base. Wrong! Democrats support comprehensive immigration because its the right thing. It is about keeping families together not tearing them apart. It is about recognizing that people came for better opportunities, something America has always been about. In fact, once the immigration issue and its racist element are removed you are more likely to see that immigrants are conservative not liberal. Certainly on issues like abortion, where they will be of no help to Democrats. But that doesn't mean I should work to keep them out of the country, rather I hope the freedoms in this country will persuade them.
Legal immigrants are against amnesty and immigration reform. Wrong! While there certainly is not a blanket support for immigration reform, I would argue that vast majority are for reform. Both me and my sister are immigrants and green card holders and understand how complicated the process can be. Reform would certainly help the process and make it more fair, not less. In addition we understand that families deserve to stay together and that will including giving amnesty. In fact my sister got denied the first go around and got legal advice that helped her get approved. Unfortunately some will get lost in the bureaucracy and decide to stay here illegally rather than be torn from their families.
Illegal immigrants are criminals. Wrong! Actually overstaying your visa is a civil and not a criminal offense. Going further, opponents talk about removing all criminal immigrants. This is not fair, as many citizens also break the law. We need to look at the character of the person and realizing situation like driving without a license should not be held to the same level as violent crime. Especially when states did issue license to illegals and then removed them, making it difficult to get to work without breaking law. Don't get me started on public transport in rural America. And speaking of criminals, what of all the businesses and citizens that employ illegals? They wouldn't be here without the opportunity.
Why do we need comprehensive rather than piecemeal?
Because the only thing that makes sense alone is additional border security, and most of that has already been passed and done in the wake of 9/11. In fact our borders have never been more secure. Sure the Senate package included more, but I would argue it was a show of force more than actually making a huge difference. Those against the reform definitely argued that it wouldn't do anything. Which begs the question, why we would spend that much? In fact I'd argue that making employment eligibility verification thru E-Verify mandatory would do a lot more to stop the opportunity and incentive.
Which brings me to my next point. Republicans are itching to pass employment eligibility verification on its own. But that means they win. It would basically create the self deportation that Romney argued for and ultimately lost the Hispanic vote over. And of course Republicans refuse to pass the DREAM Act which would allow those brought involuntary to the country to stay. Obama went around them with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but that only gives temporary reprieve from deportation and temporary work permits. It doesn't give a sense of permanency to young Americans trying to plan for the future, many of who are graduating with honors from US colleges and universities.
It also doesn't solve the current unfairness nor does it modernize our system. Sure you could trying to modernize and make the system more fair piecemeal, but that is actually the majority of comprehensive immigration reform. The small details are about amnesty. But it is that small detail the finished out reform and create a system where those who deserve to be deported are, but all other immigrants are given a fair chance.
We need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that takes in the concerns of all immigrants. We can't favor a certain group before others. We can't divide families. I do find it amusing that most of the detractors are middle to upper middle class and white. For starters, their jobs are safe. So is it racism or servitude? Because they certainly benefit off the labor, especially when it comes agriculture. Immigration reform makes those workers legal and allows guest workers in the future to enter legally, help our economy and return richer to their own.