Immigration: Support the path to legalization [Most commented]
In an emotional Op-Ed about immigration, Susan Straight argues that any parent would "risk it all" to secure a better life for their children. She writes:
This is what I learned in Mexico: that parents will make any sacrifice for their children. Why do so many come across the border illegally? If you told me that one of my daughters would die young after stepping on a nail in a village without a doctor, or that my girls would have to leave school because they were needed to work and support the family, or that they would be in danger every day from drug cartels, I can promise you I would risk everything to give them a better life, especially if that life was available just across the border.
Readers on our discussion board take a different view, arguing that people shouldn't have children until they are in a position to care for them in the manner they see fit, and that the United States simply doesn't have unlimited resources to care for everyone -– heck, we're having a hard enough time with our own citizens as it is. Here's a sampling of the comments.
No one is entitled to bypass the law
I wish people would stop trying to make this about immigration; it is not. This debate should be about why one group of people feel they don't have to wait in line; that immigration laws don't apply to them, simply because they are poor. My concern too is about, what they teaching their children. From what I can tell, they are teaching them not to obey the laws of their new country.
People are welcome too immigrate to the USA. All we ask is that they use a recognized port of entry. If they obeyed the law, their families wouldn't be torn apart.
Take the path to legalization
Most of the commenters have it exactly right. There already is a 'path to legalization'. It begins at the American Embassy in Mexico City or other large city in Mexico. Who do we want as our newest citizens and residents; those who apply at our embassies for a green card after submitting to background checks, or those whose very first act is thumb their noses at our immigration policies and jump in line?
The author's argument that just because we'd do it if in their situations is beside the point entirely. To the author: If your children were hungry and there were no other way to feed them, would you steal food? Should we make theft legal based on this extremely weak logic?
The other problem with entering this country illegally
I know it's incredibly easy to react emotionally to any situation, but even more so to conditions we consider deplorable or dangerous; and it must also be so much easier to write an article that relies on your feelings rather than having to do actual research and study situations objectively. Let me help you get a different emotion for you to respond from: GUILT.
By justifying the ILLEGAL entry into the US, you are contributing to the countless dangers these people expose themselves to. Do you remember the bodies found in the back of a trailer, the poor illegal aliens who were left to dehydrate and starve in 100+ F heat? Do you remember the mass grave found in Matamoros this past summer? According to Mexican authorities, those were most likely people who had trusted the drug cartels to help them cross illegally into the US. They took their money and then killed them! Do you remember the people who died in the Arizona desert after the Coyotes they trusted to help them cross illegally abandoned them? Do you care that anyone entering illegally is most likely exposing themselves to being held hostage so their families will pay for their release, that the women and girls are routinely raped, and some end up enslaved in brothels?
Through this article, through your support of illegal immigration, you are contributing to these deaths and degradations
We are not a country of unlimited resources
The bottom line here is there simply is not enough room, money, social services, jobs in the U.S. for all the poor people of these third world countries. If you think that the U.S. has unlimited resources you really need to get out of your bubble and stop watching television and see the world a little. If you want the U.S. to become a Mexico or any other poor Latin American county just keep the borders open. And please don’t tell me that America was built by Illegal aliens. They were legal immigrants and they assimilated.
Share compassion -- with poor Americans
This is an emotive piece and does nothing to address the problem of immigration; it seeks only compassion. Those seeking better lives for their children deserve compassion, but too often lately poor Americans do not get any: poor citizens of this country struggle constantly to improve the lot of their children, to get them adequate education, medicine, good food. Writers of opinion pieces like this seem oblivious to the fact that this country has gross imperfections and is not nirvana; we can not solve our own citizens problems that are a result of poverty, much less those of another country.
Look around, editors. Enormous numbers suffer, not just those it is currently fashionable to support. Where are you for them?
*For clarity purposes, spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: People march to protest Alabama's immigration law Oct. 16 in Athens, Ala. Credit: Gary Cosby Jr. / Decatur Daily