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My Thoughts on Immigration Reform

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Many people are some what baffled that in the Black community they cannot find 100% agreement to grant rights to illegal immigrants who are now seeking rights in our good old USA. As a matter of fact Blacks are not happy over any immigrants coming to America, legal or illegal, only to have them look down or show disrespect for us as a race of people who built this country. We see our current immigration policy that accommodates every nation except those from the continent of Africa, Haiti or other countries where black is the color of their skin.

Now while we do not engage in any activities to deny anyone entrance on U. S. soil we want to help educate the incoming people of our history, contributions, struggles, treatment and false image that have been generated about us so we can all get along as neighbors. I say that because former president Vicente Fox of Mexico said his people were “working on jobs those Blacks did not want”, implying we were lazy, which generated a lot of resentment. Before them it was the entire European block nations that helped paint a negative image abroad about African Americans to the world so when they got here they segregated themselves from us once established.

I see some of the same kind of attitudes being displayed by some Hispanics in the for instance the Latino Political Caucus lead by Gil Navarro. He is frustrated because he, a Mexican American, cannot get elected over Wilma Amina Carter, an African American, in a district where Hispanics make over 50% of the district. His main goal is to take over and isolate the Black community by any means possible including giving non citizens the right to vote and carte blanc on all services. Someone forgot to tell Gil and his cohorts that when you seek public office you have to offer the people more than racial ideas.

Before anyone draws the wrong conclusion, I am in favor of a full comprehensive overhaul of our immigration policy because the one we have operated under for the past many decades is not favorable to people of color.

I am against the piece meal approached like the one in Arizona because that is how we wound up with the Black Codes and legalized Jim Crow laws from 1865 to 1965 also known as the “Separate but Equal” way of life for Blacks in America.

Some of the reasons Blacks feel the way we do is when we arrived on the first ship back in 1502 there was no Statue of Liberty greeting us with open arms. Instead we were put on slave auction blocks to be paraded to the highest bidder as property with no clothes on our bodies. We had no invitation sent to us by eager cousins telling us about the land of opportunity or the American Dream. The American Dream that we built, for others to now enjoy, has been a nightmare for us forover 571 years. We were not given any money by the King or Queen to explore this new world. We were not released from prison to help make room for the population left behind. We had no food famine in our country as a reason to seek this new land. Once here we were forbidden to speak in our native language while it was against the law to be taught how to read and write English. We did not cross any international legal border lines to get here. When our children were born here they were sold with no citizenship rights. We worked for free for 274 years before America became the United States of America and after 1776 we worked another 87 years (1863) as 3/5 a person as slaves. Once Emancipated we were not given any compensation for our free labor and we spent another 100 years, until 1965, under legalized Jim Crow laws as sharecroppers into which I was born.

After all of that has happened to us, when we got citizenship rights we did not bunch together to keep anyone else outof our neighborhood with discriminatory housing covenants.

We have never put language requirements on a job to keep others from having an opportunity for employment. We have never recruited just family members or signed grandfather clause agreements to ensure our family members or race a job.

We have never formed Black only terrorist organizations tohang, kill or intimidate citizens of another race. We have never sought a law that was not inclusive of our fellow citizens including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which included women.

We have fought in every war from the American Revolution against the British, on both sides of the civil war to Iraq and Afghanistan. We pay taxes that everyone including other nations have received greater portions than us. Yet when we seek equal access at the public trough funds where fairness is supposed to be the rule, we are told to wait. When we speak out on any issue other than civil rights we are told it is not our business.

Now we have before us 12 million people who are in this country by illegal and some legal means that have expired that we are trying to figure out what to do with. Some want to become citizens while others just want to earn a decent living for their families back home. Some want to get an education and go back home to improve their standard of living.

Whatever the reason we need to find a humane and decent way of doing it so “we can all get along”.

I have reviewed the Obama Administration’s proposed idea and even though I do not agree with every aspect of it, it is a good place for us to start. Securing all borders South and North is critical if Homeland Security is a stated priority. In my mind you cannot close the border of Mexico and then leave Canada wide open. We cannot give Cubans who touch USA land rights then lock up Haitians and ship them back home.

We cannot treat illegals from Mexico or other Latin countries as criminals without treating the U. S. corporations or government agencies who hire them as criminals as well.

We must expect them to learn, speak and write English. This is one of the rubbing points of so many Americans with the language issue. In some cases now employers offer some jobs to only those who speak Spanish. In some cases union positions are posted with that requirement which denies Blacks from even applying. We should also make sure we train our citizens, Blacks in particular, for positions we now recruit from other countries.

We have to penalize the law breakers and then offer some kind of way for them to become citizens after those who are currently applying. The big questions to work out are what status will illegal immigrants have before they become legal citizens? What rights will or should they enjoy until legal?

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