Why Immigration Might be the Salvation for America
With the presidential election less than 70 days away it’s just a matter of time when the heavily contested topic of immigration will be debated by political parties to persuade potential constituents and voters. In the end, whether or not laws are reformed or introduced the action itself will significantly impact the people but more importantly the future of the United States.
If you’re a world traveler like I am then you will immediately agree that the hardships in a 2nd or 3rd world country have taught many of their citizens to confront life with a keen sense of survival, work ethic and sacrifice. The old cliché “I came to America with zero dollars in my pocket” really isn’t a cliché after all, it’s actually the modus operandi for many immigrants that come to the United States. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and for those that come here to exploit the American taxpayer and mooch off I will not support you or your lifestyle. What type of immigrant should America welcome and retain? Well, how about the talented and gifted A+ students who dream of becoming doctors, engineers and neonatal nurses? Unfortunately, for many of these overachievers their illegal status is getting in the way of their success.
For example, not too long ago I was honored to attend the 2nd Annual Dream Scholarship Award Ceremony hosted by the Dream Project-VA and perhaps after you know more about its purpose your thoughts on immigration may change. The Dream Project-VA http://www.dreamproject-va.com/ is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for talented students who pursue a college degree or a higher education. In order to be considered for this award, each student must exemplify excellence in academic achievement, leadership and community service. Even though the fourteen Hispanic students had a very unique and inspirational story about overcoming their challenges the one thing they all had in common was their gratitude towards America and their desire to contribute to their community. Each individual’s bio on the event program, started with, “I was born in Buenos Aires/Bolivia/ Colombia and I came to the United States as a child because my parents thought I could have a better life and opportunity; however, my journey has been difficult because I am not a US citizen”. Financial hardships and limited opportunities usually accompany most immigrants whether they are legal or illegal. Interestingly enough the one thing they can relate to is their resiliency and perseverance for success or survival. Ever wonder why some immigrants with limited English do a lot better than a 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation American? Perhaps their strong work ethic, living within their means ideology and their unyielding focus and determination are the secrets to their success. Instead of being on the victimization bandwagon, maybe it’s time Americans should take lessons and start applying it themselves. Our country is in a national state of a financial and an educational emergency and the moment to take action is now. With the national debt reaching 16 trillion dollars http://www.usdebtclock.org/ and where our educational ranking in math is 25th in the world, http://broadeducation.org/about/crisis_stats.html
this country needs to be run like a shop. I’m not an economist or a politician just a regular citizen who’s concerned with the direction my country is headed and what we should do to get it back on track. As a pragmatist, here’s my solution to the immigration issue and why I think every person citizen or non-citizen should be vetted for in America, yes I said vetted. First and foremost, we must remind ourselves that being an American is an honor, a blessing and a privilege because America is the only country on earth that stands for freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and as Americans we should never take that for granted.
If I had to define the “ideal” American for example someone I would want as my neighbor, my client, my teacher or leader, I suggest they match my code
1) pay your taxes,
2) don’t commit heinous crimes,
3) you are an entrepreneurial or productive individual who’s an asset not a burden to the economy/country and
4) respects our culture, history and learns the English language.
If there are immigrants from any part of the globe either legal or illegal who meet these tenets I think this country should do whatever they can to facilitate the paperwork for them to stay here. With that being said we also need to vet every American citizen, US born and naturalized. There’s no sense in having US citizens living here if they are unpatriotic, been on welfare for decades, commit heinous crimes or don’t pay taxes. For those who commit multiple infractions, we should install a system of reversal citizenship. Yes, reversal like your citizenship status will be demoted from a citizen, to a green-card status, to a worker’s permit to eventually an outright self-deportation via a one-way first-class ticket to your country of choice. Millions of people would risk all their savings and even their lives to have a shot at the brass ring in America. These Hispanic students are no exception and for those who may be in a similar predicament they should be considered to stay here as well. Our country needs all the talent we can get in order to catch up with the rest of the world and perhaps this is a starting point to get our domestic human resources up to par. Here’s to our future and may the bright and talented take us there.
"Remember, the saddest thing in life is wasted talent. You could have all the talent in the world but if you don't do the right thing, then nothing happens. But when you do right, guess what? Good things happen." Memorable quotes for A Bronx Tale