I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that EWIs (those who enter the country without inspection) are an insult to legal immigrants and that if they want to come into the country, they need to wait in line with everyone else. But I can tell you how many times I’ve heard an immigrant or non-citizen tell me how insulting it was that people jumped the border. That would be zero.
That idea is insulting to me. First, it lumps all non-citizens into one category who must think a certain way. Second, it demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of immigration.
The take away that I want to highlight is that it’s not a line so much as a system based on class. The United States is not first come, first served. If you have a citizen family member and money, then welcome. If you are educated or skilled, then welcome. If you are not, go home. Maybe this is cold-hearted of me, but some of that makes sense. We want people who will contribute to our society. But it seems to me that we don’t value the contributions of unskilled labor, which I think is classist and disgusting. We’ve heard over and over again the myth that those who enter without inspection take the jobs of hard working Americans. Yet didn’t Colbert prove that just isn’t true?
Our county, our economy, rely heavily on the work of immigrant and unauthorized workers.
Without the cheap labor provided by those who enter without inspection, we would pay much more for our produce. For this reason, there is a huge economic incentive to prevent any sort of immigration reform, especially a path to citizenship. So, in my cynical view, it becomes politicians complaining about immigration to appease a xenophobic base but not providing solutions to appease business interests.
So when someone says to you that those who enter without inspection are an insult to hard working non-Americans, ask they how many immigrants and non-citizens they spoke to. Ask them how big their sample size is. Ask them if they think all immigrants can be lumped together as thinking and believing one thing. I suspect this consideration of the feelings of those fortunate enough to be educated or have American family members is really a way to hide racism or business interests.
On the other hand, if you are an immigrant or non-citizen who thinks that entry without inspection is insulting, please tell me why. And if you feel like sharing, I’d love to know about your experience coming to the country.