This I Believe

Karen - Magnolia, Texas
Entered on November 21, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: immigrant
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The Immigration Solution

The subject of immigration is in the news every day. Illegal aliens continue to enter the United States illegally in droves. The United States has been unsuccessful in preventing illegal immigration through the use of physical barriers. Our border is simply too long to protect the entire length. One potential solution to the immigration problem is for the United States to put more emphasis on educating immigrants on the procedures for entering this country legally.

According to the Census Bureau, there were 7 million illegal aliens in the United States in 2000. Illegal immigration is the cause of a host of problems. Many immigrants who come to this country illegally put themselves in a potentially dangerous position; they pay criminals to lead or transport them into the U.S. In May 2003, 18 illegal immigrants died as a result of being smuggled in the back of a tractor trailer without any fresh air, food, or water. They were then abandoned in the locked trailer on the side of the road. Illegal immigration has also been linked to an increase in crime. The city of Houston, Texas has documented an increase in criminal activity by illegal immigrants, including the murder of Houston Police Officer, Rodney Johnson who was killed by Juan Quintero during a routine traffic stop in September 2006. Quintero had already been deported once following a 1999 conviction for indecency with a child. I am sure that most people agree that something needs to be done about illegal immigration.

I believe that the answer to the immigration problem is to educate prospective immigrants on the immigration process. I believe that one of the main reasons that immigrants come to this country illegally is because they are unfamiliar with the immigration process. The current immigration policy of the United States utilizes a categorical preference system which ranks an immigrant’s priority to become a legal permanent resident. The number one priority of this system is to reunite families. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are qualified to apply for immigration to the United States. This includes parents, children and spouses. There is no limit to the number of people in this category that can enter the United States in this manner each year. This policy also provides for a limited number of other relatives to enter the country each year. I believe that many immigrants would qualify to become legal permanent residents under these parameters. We need to convince immigrants that this is the most beneficial way for them to enter the United States. This is a far better alternative than paying an exorbitant amount of money to some criminal and then trusting them lead you into the United States.

Fighting illegal immigration is a losing battle. We need to educate, encourage, and assist immigrants to enter the U.S. legally. The bottom line is that we want law abiding citizens; not people who break the law just to get here.