Anyone following the news rather closely Thursday might have noticed a nationwide activist day going on to protest President Donald Trump’s hard stance on illegal immigration.
Protesters stayed home from work, closed their businesses and kept their children out of school to show the contribution illegal immigrants make to the nation each day. But if you didn’t happen to go to one of the businesses that was closed or if you aren’t in a field that traditionally includes a high number of illegal immigrants, you may not have noticed anything at all.
However, looking outside of the effectiveness of the protest for a moment, after covering a Raleigh protest for an article here at NC Capitol Connection, I came to realize a shocking truth.
Illegal immigrants and those pushing for amnesty and open borders truly don’t believe there is anything wrong with coming into our country illegally to work or live. They see illegal immigrants as being on the same playing field as those who came to our nation legally through the established immigration process.
This may seem obvious to the reader, but for me, a person who has had minimal interaction with the illegal immigrant community at large, this was a shock.
This is not a group of people who feel contrite about their decision to go outside of the law to get to America and are just hoping for a way to legitimize their past and stay in America.
These are not people who were in a life-and-death situation and their only option was to come here and they feel horrible about violating our laws – at least, that’s not what I saw in the crowd that I observed in Moore Square.
I am sure that there are plenty of illegal immigrants who do feel that way though, and who were in truly horrible situations that they felt they had to escape when they came here.
In fact I would go as far as to say that many, if not most, illegal immigrants come here hating that they violated our laws, but once they are here I believe that people are telling them that they should not be ashamed of their violations, and their thinking shifts, but that is a conversation for another day.
These illegal immigrants and their advocates gathered in the square Thursday truly did not see any wrongdoing in violating the laws of our sovereign nation to come to America.
At the protest in downtown Raleigh in Moore Square Thursday, there were signs saying the no person is illegal, or that love has no borders; there were shouts of “No papers, no fear!” and it isn’t just rhetoric to this group. It is a central belief that it is okay to go outside of the system and get across our borders and live their lives here as if they came to the country in the same way as legal immigrants or natural-born citizens.
One organizer of the protest, David Salazar with Si A Las Licencias NC, said that it is the fault of America for having stringent policies on immigration that so many people are jumping the border to come to America.
“The policies that the U.S. implements worldwide make it very hard for anyone to come here with a visa. Believe me if there was a way to come her with a visa they would all have a visa right now,” he said.
Salazar went so far as to correct me when I asked him about illegal immigration to tell me that no human is illegal and that I should say undocumented workers, as if that were not exactly what I was talking about, people who illegally violated our immigration laws to come to America.
Now I’m sorry that that term offends people, but at the same time we have to call it what it is, especially if we ever hope to solve the issue. This is a deeply sticky issue, which is why our nation has been tussling over illegal immigration for decades with no real improvements anywhere.
There are children who were born here to illegal immigrant parents and are American citizens, or they were brought here as children and don’t know any other life besides life in America.
It would be hard to say that their parents have to go back to their home country but their children stay, or to send people who were brought here as children to a country they don’t remember.
I am not advocating that, but at the same time the first act that an illegal immigrant commits in our nation is a violation of our laws and that can’t be rewarded with a warm blanket, federal benefits, and a green card.
That rewards the illegal act, which as a parent of a small child even I know that rewarding bad behavior leads to more bad behavior.
In the sports world this is akin to committing a penalty on the 20-yard line and being awarded a touchdown. The touchdown doesn’t count because you committed a foul. You go back to the 20, take your 10-yard penalty and start again on the 30-yard line. You are still in the hunt for a touchdown but you don’t get rewarded with those six points because your team committed a penalty.
It is not the prerogative of people who are not Americans to tell us how we as a nation are to control immigration in our own sovereign nation. Each and every sovereign nation has the right to control its own immigration policies and if we as a nation did not want to allow a single immigrant into our country one year we could, and it would be perfectly legal. Indeed, the nation greatly restricted immigration at various times, especially from 1924 to 1965.
Now I am not advocating closing our borders and locking everyone out, because here in America we are a nation of immigrants. If you go far enough back my family immigrated to America from Scotland by way of Nova Scotia. We got on a boat to get to Nova Scotia and from there my ancestors traveled to South Carolina, where they became farmers.
There is a legal way to come to America that millions and millions of people have found to be perfectly reasonable. Just because the line is long and the bar is high doesn’t give anyone the right to ignore the laws and policies of our nation to come here and reap the benefits of living in our great nation.