I woke up today to the news of the immigrant raids that took place across America sweeping up illegal alien workers. It is terrifying to witness this as an undocumented immigrant and I knew that many other undocumented immigrants were watching it and feeling the same dreadful way. However after watching an interview in the afternoon on CNBC with a representative from the department for Homeland Security I felt a lot better. One of the points that this individual emphasized was that there is a need for these workers and that she hoped a comprehensive immigration bill will be passed so that these people can be legitimized thus putting an end to this kind of behavior once and for all. It was reassuring to hear from the very organization dealing with this problem everyday that these are symptoms of the disease and comprehensive immigration reform is the cure. Part of a statement released by the department of Homeland Security said they were not investigating individual illegal immigrants but large corporations with a string of violations.
As I watched the workers being handcuffed I felt sad and I thought of a girl I heard recently on a radio interview who with an American accent explained how she was illegal. Her parents brought her here when she was six years old, today she is twenty seven has known America as her only home and now with an education she can not get steady employment. The immigration situation is a tragedy for all involved. It is so easy to group these people together and disregard the real human face and story behind the immigrants who were lead out of that factory as workers for working. Working towards their future to feed their families to ensure a better life. If they are not a threat to America and they are needed to work we must fix this for everyone's sake.
I do not want a situation where any immigrant working is lying about their status along with their employer. I want a situation whereby if you have a job in the United States and an employer to sponsor you then you can apply for a temporary visa and after a certain amount of time if you have played by the rules and paid your taxes say after five years you can apply for citizenship. Unfortunately there is no such system for non-specialized workers which is leading to events like the IFCO one this week. If the guest worker programme with a pathway to citizenship was introduced it would stop these types of situations. All immigrants who have found steady employment in the United States would be recorded, have background checks done and be given valid social security numbers.