Left Justified: Immigrants are people, too!
By Stanley Campbell
America should share the benefits of life, liberty and “happiness pursuing” with the rest of the world. But America’s multi-national corporations use slaves and children in the fabrication of our Walmart goodies, while basic rights are denied non-citizens of the empire.
Let me remind my fellow Americans that Thomas Jefferson wanted us to be an example for the rest of the world. We were (and still should be) willing to share our hard-won rights with anyone, anywhere.
So, when people sneak into this country to get a little of the good life, they should at least be afforded the basics for defending themselves.
I suggest we open the flood gates of immigration and allow everyone (or at least a whole lot more people) into this land of plenty. I think this economy thing has really taken the wind out of everyone’s sails. Which is why I believe we should really let more people into America, if nothing more than to boost the economy.
Immigrants, legal or otherwise, do not hurt the economy; they help it.
When they arrive, they buy food and shelter, and clothing (especially here in the north woods). They look for work, take what most of us consider less-than-miserable jobs.
They pay taxes, and often become better American citizens and good neighbors. The more we let in, the better our country.
“Welcome the Immigrant” is the title of our 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, program (hosted at Christ United Methodist Church, 4509 Highcrest Road) with Josh Hoyt, director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
The coalition works for rights of undocumented, to protect civil liberties and, someday, a full integration of immigrants into the American Dream.
The coalition has helped to make Illinois one of the more immigrant-friendly states in the U.S., and is considered one of the most effective immigrant organizations in the U.S.
Sponsored by Rockford Urban Ministries, for which I work, and free and open to the public.
We’re all immigrants here — or at least our genes are. They were brought over by ancestors, who took this beautiful country from the natives, who were immigrants themselves, migrating here from our ancestral home (Eden?).
The United States of America is a nation of immigrants who worked hard and made a lot of money. And, like any fat and sassy wealthy people, most Americans want to keep what they have and not share. Conservative third- and fourth-generation immigrants want to stop the flow of new immigrants into this country.
Well, I say, let them come! We still need people to mow our grass, wash the dishes, and pick crops for our dinner table, because we fat and rich Americans can’t stoop or bend or waddle over and pick up after ourselves. Besides, we need somebody to pay our Social Security taxes.
Seriously, America should welcome anyone who wants to enter. But letting everyone in won’t happen, so we should admit the system is broken, and fix it.
I’ve been able to help get some folks into the USA. They are usually in trouble with their own government. All of them are respectful of our laws, and appreciate the freedoms and responsibilities of their new home. They work hard and make a better life for their families.
These new immigrants will become Americans, and then their grandkids will be yammering to keep out the next wave of immigrants. I guess it could be worse.
Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.
From the Nov. 9-15, 2011, issue