Though Kristen Tribe’s reporting on the illegal immigrants’ stories in “Out of the Shadows” (Messenger, April 20) is touching, I think she and the women in this story are forgetting one key, important point. No one is acknowledging that immigration laws were willingly broken, and as a result, there is an accountability issue.
There is a reason these immigrants weren’t able to obtain a driver’s license or do things other citizens do. They or their parents knowingly broke our nation’s laws to come to this country and did not go through the proper channels to become citizens.
United States citizens should have special rights. It’s not that our country is cruel or discriminating against people by not letting them have the same rights as citizens. It is simply that our nation’s laws were created for a reason. Laws are meant to be followed, not willingly ignored for a certain circumstance. And we should never reward anyone for knowingly breaking the law, no matter what the reason is.
I understand that these immigrants desired a better life. I get that. In fact, I have lived that. I was born in Spain. My parents, myself and my three siblings came to the United States in 1997, when I was 12. However, my parents did it legally.
They didn’t break or ignore the law to arrive here. They didn’t cheat the system or try and jump ahead of all those immigrants who attempted to obtain citizenship legally. Instead, my parents spent every last dime they had to get our legal status. Furthermore, we waited and waited and waited some more until our documentation was legal. It was difficult and expensive, but my parents followed the laws and did it the right way.
So, I have a different perspective on illegal immigration. I don’t believe that someone who comes to this country illegally and stays in the United States illegally should ever be unhappy or complain about their circumstances. There is always a consequence for breaking the law.
Though we may sympathize with why the immigrant wanted to come to the United States, I don’t think sympathizing with committing a crime is setting a good example.
When the media makes the illegal immigrant out to be the victim, you are frustrating and discouraging all those immigrants who are submitting their paperwork and waiting patiently to receive legal status.
Keep in mind, most of the immigrants who have applied for legal status and are currently waiting are also from impoverished and dangerous countries. Yet they wait for our government to grant them legal status instead of deciding they don’t want to wait in line, complete their paperwork and pay the fees.
Most of them are living in harsh situations, in war-torn impoverished countries. But they continue to wait because they have respect for the law and our nation. Many tend to forget that point.