Another Reason Not To Legalize Illegal Immigrants -- Simple Fairness
First, let me reiterate my position that immigration is good for America. The immigrants I have known in my life have been, without exception, hard-working, upstanding members of society. My wife's job is teaching English to immigrants. Her students regularly work at least one job, often two, and still spend several hours a day in English classes. There is no doubt in my mind that such people are good for the United States, and that we should significantly increase our immigration quotas.
The issue at hand is not immigration per se, but illegal immigration, specifically whether we should legalize our current crop of illegal immigrants. There are a number of reasons I oppose legalization, but primarily it is an issue of fairness. Many people have been waiting many years to immigrate legally. Allowing those people currently in the United States illegally to stay would be unfair to those who have waited so long and obeyed our laws.
The current bill, S.1348, would indeed by an ex post facto law. The reason the U.S. Constitution forbids such laws is not only that someone could be penalized for an action that was legal when it was committed, but that people who get an advantage by breaking the law would not be rewarded for their lawbreaking at the expense of those obeying the law.
Below the fold, I would like to mention a few of the immigrants whom I am proud to know:
Oladpo Adu, who is an International Master in Chess from Nigeria, Arlington Chess Club's Blitz Champion, one of the nicest people I know, and who is great with kids, even getting down on the fllor to play blitz games with them between games at tournaments.
Mr. Hammerle, of Virginia Beach. He was the father of a high school classmate and college roommate. He came to the United States from Austria with out only a high school degree, and built a very successful drafting business. His son went to one of the best high schools in the nation, and became an engineer and patent lawyer.
Jacob's father and uncle. Survivors of the Soviet occupation of Poland. I will let Jacob expound their virtues if he likes, but they built a very successful contruction company.
A former co-worker of mine, who name I am sorry to say I've forgotten over the last 14 years. She was one of the Vietnamese boat people. Because the boat was so overcrowded, with no power, no food, and little water, she, being very sick, was to be thrown overboard at dawn. One hour before dawn, they were rescued by a passing ship. She eventually came the the United States, knowing no English, and became one of the best software engineers I have ever had the priviledge of working with.
Paul Truong, FIDE chess master and immigrant from Viet Nam, whom I met several years ago at a chess tournament in Virginia Beach, along with the woman who is now his wife, Susan Polgar, and immigrant from Hungary. Please read his memoir here.
The above mentioned Susan Polgar, the first woman to earn the title of FIDE Grand Master. (Her younger sister Judit broke Bobby Fischer's record for the youngest Grand Master ever.) Susan is a tireless promoter of chess for children.
There are many more. Mere acquaintances whose names I never learned, but whose contributions to the United States cannot be underestimated. One in particular, a doctor in his home country, cannot practice medicine here. He would rather be here, though, and is working to learn English and get a license to practice in the United States. Others who toil in the heat of restaurant kitchens for 10-12 hours a day, after which they go to English class from 5:00 to 9:00, to get up at 5:00 the next morning and do it all again.
The United States is a better place with these people than without them. We need more such people to come here. Legally.
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