Last week I spoke about my apathy regarding politics. I’ve spent a great deal of time this week thinking about that and realized that the truth is I’m lost. I’ve been a Democrat for as long as I can remember but now the Democratic Party is backing issues that I don’t agree with. The most major of these is immigration. Members of the Democratic Party believe that illegal aliens who have been here for five years and who have remained out of trouble with the law should be allowed to follow a path to citizenship. I disagree with this stance. I don’t like painting such a complex issue with a broad brush and I realize there are numerous variables that play roles within immigration but I feel like there is a path to citizenship in place and that it should be followed. I would never dream of entering another county and just expect to become a citizen as soon as I cross the border. Why should they? But questioning my political leaning is becoming a crisis of who I am as a citizen. I know of people who are loyal to their political party to the bitter end, no matter how their party votes on issues. As political parties shift their issues from one extreme to another, isn’t it up to us to shift as well? Politics is always moving and changing, it is never stable. So why is our society so focused on having us choose one side or another and then pitting us against one another? This is why politics has become something not talked about. If you bring up politics with someone who associates with the “other side” there is an immediate sense of uncomfortableness that leads to a change of subject. The idea that we are all Americans, and we all want what is best for this country, is becoming buried in the “us” versus “them” mentality. I want what is best for this country and I know it means becoming comfortable and familiar with all the complex issues facing us as a nation. So, I’ve decided that if anyone should ask me what I am politically, I’m going to respond by saying I’m an American because that is what I am.
Immigration is a quagmire of an issue so I’m starting out in the shallow end. I’m a first generation American. My dad was from Canada and my mom is from Sweden. They both followed proper procedures to live here legally and my mother became a US citizen about 15 years ago. My belief is that the procedures in place should be followed by everyone who wants to live in this country. Those who enter our country illegally should be sent home again.
The challenge begins when children are involved. When illegal immigrants have children in the United States, those children are automatically U.S. citizens with the same rights as every other citizen. So, if the parents are caught and deported back to their country of origin, do they take their child back to the country they risked everything to leave? Or do they leave them behind to hopefully find a better life than they had. Like I said, it gets very complicated so quickly. The heart is in conflict with the rational. My rational side thinks send them back home. My heart and empathy feel like they should stay because whatever situation they risked everything to leave behind must have been pretty terrible and how as a nation can we send them back to that? I’ve been in conflict about that for a while now and it’s hard to think about. Seeing images on the television and online of families being torn apart by immigration agents are heartbreaking to watch. At the same time however, I’m reminded that there is a process that everyone who wants to live in this country is free to follow in order to become a legal citizen and if they choose not to follow those procedures then they have to accept the consequences of that choice.
Like I said in the beginning, this issue is a total quagmire of different aspects all knotted together. You pull one thread and three more start to unravel. There is so much more to be said about this issue that I want to say but this is a start for me and I feel like I’ve said enough for now. I need to research the issue more so if anyone of you reading this have any good resources with information on immigration let me know, I’m always looking for more resources.