The Voice of a Legal Immigrant – On President Obama’s Immigration Plan

The topic of Immigration is deeply personal to me. You see, I am a legal immigrant to the United States, who came here on a student visa, and earned my citizenship twelve years later. The process was difficult, intrusive, and long, but shouldn’t it be? Shouldn’t the immigration process verify the quality of people who want to reside in this great nation, add value to our society, and fortify the experience of the American Dream?

This is why I have to ask, “Amnesty, really Mr. President?”

A special designation of amnesty to those, whose first act upon entering our country, was to break our laws rewards criminal behavior. Amnesty to criminals devalues my hard earned US citizenship, and the citizenship of every American. Granting a special class of amnesty to those who enter our country illegally, and to those who overstay their invitation – because that is exactly what it mean to hold a visa, it is an invitation –  cheapens the process through which I earned my citizenship.

Immigrants come to America to experience the American Dream, but that Dream should not be prostituted for political gain. To sell the American Dream to criminals would be akin to trading five terrorist for one deserter; in finance it’s called diminishing returns.

Immigration, Mr. President, is a matter of National Security, which means protecting the well-being of all Americans above all else according to the rule of law. So if a foreign national breaks our laws, should they be rewarded? Can I walk into the White House, or your home in Chicago, uninvited and demand to be embraced as a member of your family? Would you grant it?

The greatest asset in the world is to be a United States Citizen. It is an asset which should be protected, one which I hold as my most valuable commodity and one which should not be given away with the stroke of a pen. The solution to our illegal immigration problem is easy:

Fortify the borders.

Modernize the process.

Enforce our existing laws.

Those are actual fixes to the system.

What you propose tonight fixes nothing, except to soothe your bruised ego from the wholesale rejection, by the American citizens, of your plans for fundamental transformation of this country.

Mr. President, I have been through our immigration process. While it is not perfect, it is in no way fixed by this plan to create an ambiguous class of non-citizens you deem above the law. What tears families apart is clogging a system, unprepared to handle the administrative burden of this lawless plan, for the families who would seek to come to this country through legal channels. What do you say to those families?

So I must ask you Mr. President, how much do you value your American Citizenship? It must not be much, since you don’t seem to place much value on mine.