Many individuals in the Los Angeles area participate in the labor force illegally as local vendors in an attempt to provide the bare necessities for their families.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The issue in discussion is the passing of an immigration reform and the logic behind it. The targeted audience is members of the Republican Party and any other affiliates against an immigration reform.
Imagine waking up on what appears to be a typical day and coming across your mother’s usual routine of baking pastries before she departs to sell them to local vendors in an attempt to receive earnings that will help your family get by. Your mother goes about the same pattern on a daily basis as she is unable to obtain employment due to her legal status in the country. Your world is thrown into chaos as your front door is abruptly obliterated and several US Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents enter your home and arrest your mother. Your mother is then placed in prison and is in the process of being sent back to her native Palestinian city of Ramallah. Now, you as a 16 year old female will soon be left in a country with no mother, a disabled father, and two younger brothers. Keep in mind that your mother has no criminal record and, more than likely, you and your siblings will all soon be taken into custody by social services. This was the case for young Jana Hakkim whose mother, Faten, was sent back to her native country after having no criminal record and simply being guilty of only trying to make a living for herself and her family. Hakkim’s case is not an uncommon happening. According to FOX News, Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that as many as 45,000 parents were separated from their children due to deportation in just the first half of 2012.
Asking for a bargain or new privileges to undocumented individuals who hold criminal convictions or are a threat to our country and society is completely illogical and ridiculous. However, that does not mean that all undocumented individuals currently residing in our country fall into that category. There are an abundance of individuals who are the sole providers for their families and currently participating in the US’ labor force because they have no other choice but to take the commonsensical route and struggle to get their families ahead. It is time to acknowledge the major difference between an individual in good standing in society and a criminal; the difference at both ends of the spectrum when observing undocumented individuals. And, in doing so, one must recognize that time for an immigration reform is now. A reform act that doesn’t encourage criminals and terrorist; but a reform act that provides opportunities for individuals to legally work and make a living without living in fear.
The feeling of distress is almost indescribable upon hearing that your parent(s) have been sent an order of deportation and soon you will need to let go of everything you called home and start from scratch in an unfamiliar territory. I, personally, experienced this feeling first hand as my father stood in front of a judge who was responsible for making a decision that could possibly alter my life drastically. At the age of 10, I attended a court session and I testified in front of a judge on the many different opportunities that this country could provide for me. I attested how moving to Mexico would completely shatter my life goals and how difficult it would be to adapt to a new lifestyle with a new language, culture, and people. I expressed how great my father was and how he was a productive member of society with absolutely no criminal record or bad habits. The feeling of distraught that overwhelms your body is not an amusing experience.
There are over 9 million undocumented individuals currently residing in the US. Out of those 9 million, over 6 million are employed; that is over 67% of the undocumented individuals participating in the labor force illegally. These are individuals who are getting paid cash, under the table, and possible receiving extremely low wages and are victims of exploitation. The immigration trend shows that as we make our laws at the border stricter, as we hire more personnel to protect our borders, and as national security becomes one of the top priorities in the US, we still see a growth in the number of individuals who are entering the country illegally. Judging from statistics, most of these individuals are out to obtain jobs and participate in the labor force as that is their primary reason for entering the country. We have already made an aggressive attempt towards eliminating the issue of illegal immigration and have had negative results. What are our other options? How can we make the best of this problem? The logical solution is to pass an immigration reform where these undocumented individuals can legally participate in the work force and therefore contribute to our economy by the ways of taxation. The country would benefit by attaining more income and the individuals would benefit by receiving better working conditions and wages.
"The time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time," are the words of President Barack Obama.
Immigration is not on its way towards disappearance. Immigration has always been a part of our country’s history. It is on the idea of immigration that our country was founded. History has proven that immigration is here to stay. It is only human nature that while opportunity is available, one will seek that opportunity. Individuals from all over the world will continue to make attempts to enter our country now and in the many years to come. As a country, we must begin to think reasonably and consider adopting methods that will make the best of our situation at a time of such staggering economic crisis.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Speaker Daniel Barrajas is a male, possibly in his late 20’s or early 30’s, who comes from a family background of migrant, field working parents who followed crops according to their growth seasons around the country. Barrajas is perhaps a college graduate or college student in the field of political science or a related field. Barrajas is speaking in in Florida, in front of the Orlando City Hall, outside of Senator Julio’s office in an effort to seek justice for undocumented workers participating in the labor force. Barrajas is determined to promote a full immigration reform (and not a partial one) by asking Senator Julio to endorse their message and remind President Obama about his pledge to authorize an immigration reform, a short time before President Obama’s inauguration. Barrajas’ message is directed towards President Obama, Senator Julio, and the group that makes up minorities and participants in the labor force who are undocumented. His past experiences include witnessing friends who feared the border patrol, friends who have come home only to find out that their parents have been deported from the country, honor students who are forced to work in the fields due to their legal status in the country, and his own father being deported from the country despite being born in the U.S. His speech addresses the issue of the many immigrants who risk their lives to come to what they see as the land of opportunity only to be exiled and persecuted.
Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the minutemen project, is a male probably in his mid-60’s to late 60’s, criticizing Senator Rubio and Lindsay Graham, and all other republicans who are standing by the side of the democratic party in their effort to pass immigration reform. It is his purpose to spread the message that illegal immigrants look upon the democratic as their savior. He also is attempting to inform his audience that if amnesty is granted to the 15 to 30 million illegal immigrants, later 300 million will attempt to be part of it. Gilchrist also make an effort to persuade that immigration reform is a tactic being used by the president in order to gain 15 million voters to the Democratic Party. Gilchrist is possibly speaking out of Arizona and is likely a republican who is very conservative against immigration reform. This speech is likely around the time of presidential elections. Judging from the pins on Gilchrists’ shirt, he likely has a background in law enforcement.
All data and facts were acquired from “Study: Undocumented Immigration From Mexico on the Rise,” by Rosa Ramirez of Nationaljournal.com, “Men Plead Guilty to Using Illegal Workers on the Job,” from The Mississippi Business Journal, “Georgia House Passes Tough Immigration Law,” by Luis F. Perez of Newsmax, “DREAM Act,” from Wikipedia.com, and “Cato Immigration Expert Refutes Popular Reasons against Immigration Reform,” by Red Alert Politics.
The DREAM Act, passed in California on November of 2012, supports conditional residency to a selected few of the immigration population (those who graduated high school in the US, arrived in the US as a minor, lived in the US at least five years before November 2012, and are pursuing a college degree or are enlisted in the military) and leaves out an abundance of undocumented individuals who currently participate in the labor force illegally and will continue to do so because of legislation limitations.
As the country makes an intense effort to establish and enforce stricter laws at our borders and make it nearly impossible for an undocumented individual to be employed in the US, the flow of undocumented Mexican immigrants still showed a small rise in 2012 because of an increase of jobs that require low skilled workers, according to the Nationaljournal.com. At a time where The Department of Homeland Security has made possibly its greatest effort to keep out illegal immigrants, the country is still seeing a spike in the number of individuals who are entering the country seeking employment. It is evident that that as opportunities develop in the labor force, individuals will continue to seek a prospective chance for growth for themselves and their families as means of survival.
Several states are passing or are attempting to pass several laws that would help make an effort to completely eliminate the population of illegal immigrants, and furthermore, reduce the chances of employment for those who currently reside in their region by convicting those who are willing to employ them. According to Newsmax, Republicans in Georgia are making a robust effort to pass a law that would allow for local police to inquire about suspects’ immigration status and require employers to verify the immigration status of their employees. Republicans in favor of this law explain that the reason behind it is because of the failed effort of the federal government to secure America’s borders and they are taking initiative to protect their homeland.
Some states, like Delaware, have already implemented laws that make it a federal crime to employ undocumented individuals. Employers who engage in hiring illegal immigrants can possibly serve time in a federal prison. According to the Mississippi Business Journal, three men part pleaded guilty to federal charges that were made against them for harboring illegal immigrants after they hired some individuals for construction jobs.
Keeping criminals out of the country is, and should always be, a top priority with any nation for obvious homeland security reasons. However, an individual who is illegally residing in a country doesn’t automatically make him a criminal, or much less, a terrorist. According to “Cato Immigration Expert Refutes Popular Reasons against Immigration Reform,” seen on the Red Alert Politics website, 0.86% of individuals on the incarceration rate of America were foreign born and since the September 11th terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center, only 37 cases of deportation have been associated to terrorism.
Consideration of an agreement should be deliberated in order to achieve the best possible outcome from this issue. It is evident that individuals will continue to make efforts to seek a chance at a better life in the US, “the land of opportunity.” An immigration reform with the grounds of potentially providing some type of work permit for individuals who have been screened for criminal convictions should be considered in an effort to gain the best probable outcome for the over 11 million undocumented individuals in the US and the country as a whole. Ratification of a law like the one mentioned would make it possible for the government to receive tax revenue from these individuals and satisfy the individuals’ needs.
The amount of money, effort, and time that has been put into homeland security to try and keep undocumented individuals out of the country and out of the labor force has resulted in an increase in individuals entering country. These individuals need to provide for themselves and their families. It is only human nature to make an effort to survive and thrive. There are nearly 12 million undocumented individuals in the US and more continue to enter. There is almost no other method for any of these cases to survive without somehow participating in the labor force, why not make the best of it? It is evident that full abolition is more than likely an unachievable goal.