Immigration and a Typical American Family
By David Bowling
A family from Peru, a mother, father, and two children ages 7 and 8 apply for and receive a tourist visa to visit Disney World. This is all perfectly legal in the beginning, but they have no intention of returning to Peru. They want their kids to grow up in the United States; they want them to have a better life.
Soon after arriving the father gets a job as a laborer at a landscaping company and the mother cleans houses for the wealthy on Miami Beach. They get an apartment in a neighborhood where most other persons are Hispanic as well. This way they can communicate and function in everyday life in their own language. The children go to school and quickly become bilingual. In Miami this is a common "American family".
They live and work and play, in reality they are no different from any other American family.
But they live in constant fear. Fear that they’ll get deported. They can’t get a drivers license, social security card, or any legal type of ID. If they drive a car they have to be careful not to get stopped. They’ll never be eligible for social security or any other type of benefits. And the type of jobs they can get will always be limited.After many years they’ve become Americanized, especially the kids. Once the children have grown into teenagers they have forgotten what life in Peru was like. English has become their first language, hamburgers are a staple, and cell phones and air conditioning are necessities. These kids would be foreigners in Peru.
Eventually the kids grow into adults and their parents pass away. Because they are not in the country legally the process starts again. They work at meaningless jobs, always looking over their shoulder, hoping now that they won’t get caught. Finally the kids have children of their own, the process is finally broken, the family now has legal Americans, and their children will be American as well.
So what’s wrong with this? The worst part is two generations of family’s not paying taxes. Schools, libraries, roads, and parks cost money. But this isn’t their fault. They just want to live and work and provide a life for their family just as we do. They’d be glad to pay taxes, they can’t get work permits.
There are thousands of illegal immigrants in this country. Some get in legally, other sneak in. Most don’t get caught, and even the ones who do are not always deported. More often than not their case lingers in our court system for years. In the meantime they get by as usual.
The only way to fix this is common sense immigration laws. People are going to come here; short of putting an army around our borders we can’t stop it. So register them and give out work and school permits. We’ll have a record of who’s in the country and the tax base will grow considerably.
Then, if someone is caught in the country illegally come down on them as a suspected terrorist and do with them whatever you’d like. The penalty needs to be harsh!
But someday soon I hope our government agencies can distinguish laws for people who want to become us from people who want to blow us up. And hopefully, they can tell the difference.
Editor's note: The family in this story is fictional. I wrote this based on many families in South Fl. that I know very well.