I’m a first generation American on my father’s side (Ecuadoreans), and a second generation American on my mother’s side (Hungarian Jews), so I feel pretty close to this debate. In fact, I was recently in Florida talking to my aunt, my father’s youngest sister, who is working on getting her residency. The thing is, she is doing it legally. She visits the country often to stay with my grandmother, who is now an American citizen, and it would be very simple for my aunt to just stay illegally, but she doesn’t. She is going through the required channels to get her residency.
Considering my family background, it should be no surprise that I don’t have a problem with immigration into the country. I firmly believe it is one of our greatest strengths as a nation. However, I have a huge problem with illegal immigration, and no matter how many people march, the fact remains that people who are here illegally are breaking the law, and if you’re caught breaking the law there are consequences.
Now, I may feel compassion for the motivation driving these people to seek a better life in America, but that does not make it right. Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons simply does not make it right. If as a country, we want to open our borders to one and all, so be it. We should pass laws to that effect, and after we change the laws we can welcome all those who come forward. However, we should not reward unlawful behavior with amnesty.
Let everyone return to their country of origin and go through the process to return legally. Would that be an inconvenience, a disruption to many lives? Yes. However, that is the consequence of having broken the law in the first place. If my aunt can do it the right way, why can’t they?