Thoughts after Obama’s Immigration Action Speech
What I loved about Obama’s speech on Immigration:
He reminded us that we are a nation of immigrants, that so many people come to this country to work without taking anything from the government, often working in hard jobs.
By Pete Souza. The Official White House Photostream (P042909CK-0215) via Wikimedia Commons
He reminded us about the young children affected by the lack of immigration reform: DREAMers, children who were brought to this country and feel American, are often bright and gifted and have so much to contribute to our society, yet lack a piece of paper that says they are. I know some of these individuals… kids who are smart, determined, who feel and are American. Many of these kids have not known anything else other than America and the American way of life. These children, and their parents, have contributed to the USA and have the potential to contribute so much more! They are people like Pulitzer prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, activist and law school graduate Cesar Vargas, and Astrid Silva, whom the President mentioned in his speech.
Now let’s talk about the parents. Parents who have worked two jobs, late nights and double shifts for low wages, in factories, as dishwashers, cleaning ladies, nannies. These parents who work hard to give their kids what they didn’t have. Some of these parents have U.S. born children– and many have been deported. Families divided, children traumatized and needing their parents. Children going into foster care or living with relatives because their families have been divided.
I’d like to address the people who say “Deport them.” or “Send them back”:
SHAME ON YOU. And most of yourselves call yourselves “Christian.” I don’t know what kind of Christ they are following, but it wasn’t the Christ I learned about in school. The Jesus I learned about welcomed sinners, forgave them, believed everyone deserved a second chance. He did not judge. He welcomed all.
Undocumented immigrants are human beings. Many of them have come from countries where violence is everywhere, many of them have risked their lives to come here, because risking their lives to come here was the better choice than staying in that situation. Immigration is not a political issue. It is a human rights issue. It is not an “us against them” situation. And guess what? They are not coming to “take our jobs.” They are doing the jobs that no one wants to do… and they are doing the jobs that we need… they are picking our fruit, and babysitting our children, mowing our lawn and cleaning our homes. They are shoveling snow, and delivering our takeout. They are working with no protection and often face employer abuse, and sometimes they work and don’t get paid. Unlike what many people think, they don’t have the right to get anything from the government, unlike many people think.
Maybe the look different than you… maybe they speak with an accent, but they are human beings. They are mothers and fathers. They are mothers and fathers who want the best for their children. They are sons and daughters who may be responsible for taking care of their parents or of entire families. People depend on them. They come to this country to work, not to be a bother. They come to this country because they have to… because many immigrants would choose to stay in their own countries if they could.
My concerns about Immigration Action
While I am happy that President Obama has decided to do something, when Congress has decided to do nothing, but here is what worries me… what does “temporarily” mean? How long will these individuals have? What will happen to them once Obama is out of office? It is something, but it is still not enough. What these undocumented individuals who are living in fear and who could contribute so much to our economy and country is real immigration reform.
As President Obama said, we’re not going to round up the undocumented immigrants and deport them, so why don’t the Republicans in Congress do their job and why doesn’t Boehner bring a bill to the floor? Congress Members are supposed to make laws and keep the country running, instead they are wasting their time by stalling and doing things like suing the president (with our taxpayer dollars.)
Here is some info of what Immigration Action does, and want it doesn’t do… and what Congress still needs to do.
Call and demand that your Congressmen and Women do their jobs!