Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What we hear about illegal aliens

We hear a lot about illegal aliens these days. It seems that they are the cause of most all the crime and job-loss in this country. At least, that is what has been reported by the media.

The stories many sides
Of course there are several other sides to the story which are not getting much press attention. A major side is that of labeling. Yes, simply labeling! Many so-called illegal aliens were born right here in America. According to the United States Constitution they are Americans by birth. Unfortunately, the Immigration and Naturalization Department (INS), now the Department of Homeland Security, claims that if you are the children of undocumented or “illegal” aliens, then you too are an illegal. The INS seems to think that their regulations are much more important than the Constitution.

The children
Children of undocumented aliens often have difficulty obtaining Social Security numbers (taxpayer identification numbers) and, therefore, remain outside of the normal employment regimen, taking low-paying jobs which pay “under the table.” The lack of a SS number also prevents these people, even the Americans by birth, from opening bank accounts and obtaining credit. This often produces a financial sub-culture where the aliens pay high interest rates from “private financial agents,” and check cashers.

Government created criminals
Although there are certainly some undocumented aliens who should not live in this country, they are not the majority. Our own government has created a class of “criminals” by failing to perform its job. I have first-hand knowledge of our government’s incompetent and possibly corrupt handling of the immigration status of a legal immigrant who was forced to become such a “criminal” by our own government.

A true example of our government’s failures
My friend is an Artist. He was recruited from an international art show by an American entrepreneur who started a business in international art. This entrepreneur’s company sponsored the artist for an H-1B Visa. The artist came to this country legally and worked for the sponsoring company. He obtained a social security card, a driver’s license, a bank account, credit cards, and all of the normal accoutrements of a typical American businessman. Then his mother got sick. He wanted to return to his fatherland to visit his dying mother. Therefore, he went to the INS, plus his country’s embassy to verify that his documents were in order. He was told that they were perfectly in order.

Cannot legally return
My friend took a flight to his fatherland and when he attempted to return he was denied passage on his return flight. He had to stand in line for four weeks, actually paying somebody to stand in line for him, to visit the American embassy. When he finally got to speak to an agent, he was informed that his papers were invalid and he would have to start the H-1B Visa process all over again and, by the way, there is a 10 to 12 year waiting period. This was our American Embassy in a foreign land that was persecuting him!

The Congressman’s help
When I heard of this, both his employer and I contacted our most influential Congressman for help. The Department of Homeland Security’s response was to put the Congressman on its “no-fly” list! Since the artist did not have any home or workplace in the country that was now foreign to him, he had no choice but to return to America as an “undocumented” alien. This is how many of our so-called illegal aliens are created. It is our government that is screwing up.

Horror stories abound
There are tens of thousands of similar horror stories. People from foreign lands emigrate legally, then find that our government turns them into a criminal by rejecting their papers, claiming that their documentation is invalid, or otherwise preventing the emigrant from legally completing the process of becoming an American citizen. In the meantime, they may bear children and the emigration department claims that their children are not Americans even though they were born in America!

No solutions are presently possible because the Department of Homeland Security claims that it can do what it wants, not bound by America’s Constitution.

Change required
Should this change, there is a solution. Just give all the workers taxpayer identification numbers and temporary resident status. After successfully filing an income tax form for a number of consecutive years, they become eligible to apply for permanent residency status. One of the requirements for permanent residency status should be a number of years of continuous employment and the demonstrated ability to read, write, and speak the English language. Nobody with temporary resident status should be allowed to receive any governmental assistance such as welfare and everybody, including wives, are required to work during the initial temporary resident period. If they can’t work, they stay in their parent country until their husbands become permanent residents and can sponsor their stay in America.