Immigration rallies

Watching the news clips of today’s immigration rallies/protests, I could help but noticed the predominantly Hispanic crowd. I realized the US has a large population of Hispanic immigrants (both legal and illegal), but what about all the other immigrants? Is not the United States a melting pot of the world? Does not our heritage stretch to every corner of the world whether we like it or not?

I have read in the papers immigrants from Europe and Asia being told this wasn’t their fight. The immigration laws aren’t just against undocumented Hispanics, but also undocumented Asians and Europeans and Africans and Australians and even Canadians.

I am not suggesting something shouldn’t be done about undocumented immigrants. But I don’t think they are stealing our jobs. Many are doing jobs Americans refuse to do – because it doesn’t pay enough or is beneath them. No matter what someone needs to do the job. Do we need to strengthen our borders, sure. 9/11 proved that, but not everyone is a terrorist, not everyone is a freeloader. We can not judge so indiscriminantly based on where someone comes from.

Detroit’s immigrants have barely raised their voices. If you missed the rallies, you never heard of them. Yet this city was built by immigrants. By those looking for a job. By those willing to do the dirty work. So where is Detroit’s voice in this issue? Why is it so quiet?

8 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

    i agree, it has been generally quiet around Detroit regarding this subject… it’s not so much about the jobs for me, it’s about having laws and following them… we might need new laws regarding immigration, but right now if you’re here illegally, it means you gotta go, right??? if that’s the law, we need to enforce that law…

    i’m Filipino and i know of so many Filipino nurses who have come over from the Philippines (my mom included)… all of them went through the system, got their visas and paid their dues to become US citizens… also, my wife is Canadian and we went through the system, followed the rules, and jumped through all the hoops so that she could get her Green Card… having said that, i find it completely unfair if we just allow illegal immigrants to become citizens or allow them to stay… if my mother or relatives would’ve been discovered for being here illegally, they’d have been shipped outta here and rightfully so…

    my opinion: if you’re here illegally, you gotta go… and if you don’t agree with that, then you at least owe me and my relatives some cash since we did it the legal way…

  2. Doug Geiger (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 9:19 am

    I could not agree more with Baliad. I am a manager at WSU and work almost exclusively with foreigners. One of my best friends is an Indian named Sanjeev, then there’s the Albanians and the Iraqis, Africans, Mexicans, Bangladesh(ians?) – all of these guys came here legally, are limited to working on campus only, and can work a maximum of 20 hours per week. Their semesters cost around $8500 because they are international students. Some of them already have bachelors degrees from their home country but are forced to work at freaking McDonalds because of the RULES.

    Then you have these mexican ILLEGALS (that is: they are here ILLEGALY) that are doing jobs Americans WILL DO flouting the rules and insulting (that is: flying the flag upside down, burning the flag) the very country the desperately want to live in. This is to say nothing of the strain on the services paid for by the US taxpayer or the nightmare it is to get in an accident in the south with an illegal and get screwed if you are not in a no-fault state…like AZ.

    The marches yesterday should have had paddy wagons at the end of them and there should have been a round up. Do I feel bad for individuals? Yes. Does my feeling bad make me want to turn a blind eye to some 12 or 13 million criminals (that is: broke the law)? No. When a highly qualified engineer is getting shafted for following the rules and 13 million illegals are going to get amnesty, something is serously F-d up.

  3. Hillary (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    Melissa: I think most others stayed away because even if they are here legally, they were afraid they would be seen as causing trouble. Demonstration and protest are valued forms of expression in the Latino community, but in many countries, organizing a neighborhood association is seen as an anti-government act.

    Did you know it can take 20 years and longer to move to the United States legally? Millions of people are waiting for visas. The black market is thriving under these conditions.

    More legal immigration will make it easier to stop the small percentage of people who are dangerous from coming in. Enforcing a law that will shut down all the agricultural production in the US is not in the best interest of our country.

  4. baliad (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    20 years and longer??? that doesn’t seem very accurate to me as i’ve grown up in a Filipino-American community that consists of several legal immigrants and it’s never taken that long… in addition, it’s quite possible that the government didn’t want someone to immigrate to this country for a myriad of reasons… i think it’s our government’s right to be discriminating about who they let into the country… if the government doesn’t want them, they don’t and that’s just it… if i wanted to get into another country and they didn’t want me, there’s nothing i could do about it and i wouldn’t expect to be able to change that… just because you want to get in to the US doesn’t mean you can or that you have the right to… the level of entitlement people think they should have today is ridiculous…

    i don’t have a problem with more legal immigration, but giving amnesty to the ones who are already here illegally is absurd… now, i don’t know if this has been proposed, but how about 1) shipping out all the illegals but not keep a record of who they are, then 2) introduce new laws that increase the amount of immigrants we legally let in that also speed up the process for those actually getting into the US… this will still allow justice to be served to those who have gotten into the country legally in the past and extend grace and help to those who still look to get into the country in the future…

    TANGENT: truthfully, like several controversial issues, i wish they’d put it to vote and let the majority rule… isn’t that what democracy is??? i think some people in this country say they believe in democracy but really only believe in it if they win… because if they don’t win, they whine, moan and complain instead of following the rules… for instance, if you have an election and the person you vote for doesn’t win, you’re supposed to support or at least work with (and not against) the person who did win… our democracy has worked well for the better part of 200+ years because people have understood this principal… it has been failing as of late because people, whether they are Republican or Democratic, Conservative or Liberal, are immature… if they lose, they form their protest groups, get out their propaganda and wait until the end of a term before they attempt to do anything that seriously contributes to the well-being of our country…

  5. Hillary (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

    If you’d like to learn more about the wait for visas, this article in the Boston Globe is recent:

    This isn’t any other country. This is America; “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”“. Why shouldn’t all people have the right to move here? The borders of this country were open to anyone who could get here until the racist Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880’s. If it had been left up to a vote, most states would still have bans against interracial marriages.

    As far as shipping everyone out, that’s been tried before. In the 1930’s, around 2 million Mexicans (no one really knows how many) were quietly deported from Detroit and other American cities, including over 1 million children who were born in the United States.

  6. baliad (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 8:23 am

    thanks for the info hillary… again, my personal experience is that all the immigrants i know haven’t had to wait as long as you and the Boston Globe are saying, and i know more than one or two… however, i can see your heart for immigrants and it’s great, i really admire it… but what about the people who have gone through the system fairly and paid their dues??? is it fair to them??? these are the people i know personally and my heart is for them…

    i skimmed over the metrotimes article… what a travesty that they were unable to differentiate between legals and illegals!!! in addition, the racism that resulted from the Great Depression is sad too… having said that, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we would be able to differentiate between legals and illegals better today… it would take a lot of time, effort and cooperation between both sides, but if legals had all their paperwork (and you’d think they’d hold on to it with all they’ve got, my wife does) then they should have no problem… it won’t be easy, but i don’t think it right that people who came here illegally should be able to stay, regardless of flaws in legislation and process…

    i agree that new laws must be made, but i don’t agree that anyone should have the right to move into the US… it is every country’s right to deny or grant citizenship…

  7. Hillary (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 11:28 am

    Sure it’s our right to deny people entry, but this is America! Why would we want to keep people out? Historically, immigration law has been based in racism and protectionism. These aren’t values that have served us well in the past. In practice, we still can’t differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants. How would you go about finding them?

    More than 50% of my neighbors were born in another country. (I live in census tract 5520. Nearly all the businesses in my neighborhood are owned by immigrants. Without them, Hamtramck would be mostly abandoned. The revitilization of Detroit is largely due to immigration as well.

    It isn’t people who work or go to school that have the hardest time getting in. It is their fathers and mothers, adult children, and wives that have such a difficult time. Isn’t 23 years too long to expect someone to live without their husband and children? Is it fair to legal immigrants that they have to live apart from their families?

  8. baliad (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

    hillary, you present good points and have helped me to see the other side of the argument… while i don’t agree with you, i appreciate your passion about this issue…

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