I've read all the commentary before the current Reform Bill was passed and have read quite a bit of the flak published since it was passed. The Washington Post writer, Rubin Navarrette recently wrote a long and comprehensive piece which came the closest to a proper criticism of the outcome concluding that we still need immigration reform ! That should tell you something. Let's back all the way up, however, and examine a few aspects no one even wants to look at anymore because it would mean that everyone failed to come up with an answer.
The truth is that the original immigration bill worked because people came here not to change our government or seeking asylum but to embrace the country and its constitution, as is. We didn't have amendments then. What we had was a bill of rights and very few taxes. I lived in San Diego long enough to witness runs of illegal aliens across the Tijuana border, under cover of night, being systematically shot at by border patrol on the TV newscast nearly every night. If we only look at our Mexican border issue concerning immigration, however, we are doing a disservice to the people who come here with the express purpose of making the U.S.A. their home. They may not necessarily want to come here because our streets are lined with gold. Perhaps there is something back in the old country they can no longer abide and feel they need a safe haven. If so, they'll fill out the proper paperwork and do all the necessary matriculation to be able to stay here safe and secure. That's the theory, anyway.
In recent news an Ethiopian immigrant known in Denver as Habteab Berhe Temanu was spotted by a fellow countryman, Kiflu Ketema, who recognized him as a former Red Terror prison guard who, as one of many, tortured and killed dozens of political prisoners throughout the 1970s. He made it to America and has been living here for more than a decade under an assumed name which was done with falsified documents using another man's identification to gain actual citizenship. His real name and background were exposed in Federal Court in Denver recently and after he admitted that his real name was actually Kefelegne-Alemu Worku and that he, in fact, had committed all the atrocities which Kiflu Ketema had accused him he went on further to say, "I apologize for my errors. I simply wanted to live in America." Judge John Kane has urged him to withdraw an offer to plead guilty and to say he wants to go to trial instead. This judge is being kind to a man who, if he does plead guilty, will have his citizenship revoked and be deported to his country where he has already been tried, in absentia , and sentenced to death. Does this sound like the type of immigration reform that is desirable ? This man is not a legal citizen.
The United States has gone through a series of immigration reform bills which have never been enforced in the truest sense. We have never spent enough money for the right or best border patrol and apparently no one thinks it's necessary to pledge allegiance to our country in order to be a bonafide citizen, anymore. Necessary paperwork to become a legal citizen is feasible for those who will go through the proper channels in order to do so. It also reduces the chances that felons and criminals from other countries gain access and credibility in our country. Ellis Island was the original station by which each individual coming to the U.S. was checked for disease and papers from the old country if they had them. (WOP originally was tagged to many Italians who came to the U.S. without a passport!) Observing our official language has been eroded statewide and just by the sheer number of illegal immigrants- 11 million strong at current calculation- we have a language barrier issue that is unprecedented. The current reform bill will be the most difficult reform to enforce ever. What do you think the chances are that it will be enforced properly? Check into U.S. immigration reform history and you'll have the answer.
In France the official language is so carefully guarded to avoid this problem that every bit of published or printed matter is sent to a control center in Paris for approval before it can be distributed anywhere within France's borders. They are serious about making sure that the official language of Le Francais is protected and enforced. Why is that important ? So that, no matter where you come from in this world, we can ascertain your sincerity of purpose in being here by making sure that you can be understood by everyone regardless of where you came from, your personal situation or state of emergency- if that applies. Official languages are kept for a very good reason and observance shows respect for the wishes of the majority of the people who live in said country. Personally, I won't even travel to an area in which English is secondary without learning the language good enough to be understood by the natives. It is a common old world courtesy and should still be observed in my estimation. It's polite if nothing else.
Why don't we just go back to the beginning and start all over again? I'm buying my ticket to Ellis Island right now. English should be a cinch.
Bisous émigré !
The Castle Lady