i have a rant. i apologize in advance for its length.
as Thanksgiving approaches, i've seen more & more cartoons/memes/what-have-you comparing immigration issues today w/ the pilgrim/Native American "first Thanksgiving."
this irritates me.
issues with ILLEGAL immigrants today are not the same thing as what happened historically in this country. the ppl who came over on the mayflower or whatever and settled here were looking for freedom from religious oppression & over taxing & whatever other persecutions. they built a society, and unfortunately while building that society they trampled all over the rights of the ppl who were already here, who already had their own societies going & were, i assume, perfectly happy with those societies.
they proceeded to persecute even ppl who came over w/ them, who were trying to escape the same oppression, only to end up being oppressed by their fellow travelers. (salem witch hunts, anyone? seriously, even back then no one understood what religious FREEDOM means.)
anyway, so they did that, and they ended up waging a war against the native peoples who were already here, and they used some shitty tactics and killed them off and stole their land and shoved them into little parcels of land that they were "allowed" to keep. was it right? uh, NO. but they waged a war and they won. they kept their society & killed off as much as they could of the societies that were already here. it wasn't right, but it was WAR and THEY WON.
and because they won, WE'RE here, and WE have laws and those laws - while also mostly crappy & devious & not really FOR the ppl who live here but more for the ppl who are greedy bastards & want to keep everyone else under their thumbs - state that certain things must be done in order for someone to live here legally.
should those laws be less about red tape and more about letting whomever wants to live here, live here? abso-freaking-lutely!! but they aren't. instead, what has been happening is the ppl who are here illegally get to make use of the resources I PAY TAXES FOR AND DO NOT QUALIFY TO USE - and they do this w/o paying taxes. MY taxes are supporting THEIR being here.
there are so many ppl who were born here who have paid taxes all their lives, some who have sacrificed their time and possibly even bodies for this country in the military, ppl who can't afford to LIVE because of those taxes or because they're now homeless or because they have a home but make too much for assistance and not enough to live on. these are ppl who have been here all their lives and they have tried to do the right and the legal thing, and for various reasons are unable to get help from our government.
the same government - whether it's federal or state, because there are SO many laws, i certainly couldn't keep them all straight - who wants to make laws making life easier for ppl who are here ILLEGALLY. they want them to have driver's licenses - i don't understand the logic of giving someone who is here illegally permission to drive when, if i move & have to get a new license, i have to bring in proof or residency & a social security card & jump through all sorts of hoops. i also have to pay for my plates every year, and taxes and insurance.
i just saw a videoed plea today from the police in california, talking about a man here illegally from mexico who killed MANY ppl, some of them police officers who were just trying to do their jobs, recently - and he had been deported SEVERAL times already! but with NO consequences to the crimes he'd committed while in this country previously, and because of that, and because he was allowed to live free and COME BACK to this country and stay ILLEGALLY AGAIN, those men & women are dead. that is just one story, with one illegal immigrant.
when ppl are here legally, whether because they were born here or bc they have done the work necessary to relocate here legally, they're subject to our legal system & can be held accountable for their crimes, hopefully to the point where they're not out & about & able to kill more ppl. (i say hopefully, bc i recognize that no system is perfect & of course there are legal residents who commit crimes & aren't punished properly & commit more crimes.)
it is just ridiculous to me that the focus is on "oh, the poor illegal immigrant."
NO. i will even go so far as to say HELL NO.
the focus should not be on what can we do for ppl who are here illegally. there are flippin SCHOLARSHIPS for kids who are here illegally to be able to go to college!!!!! i'm still paying back the LOANS i took out so that i could go to college!!!! and there are, again, kids who were BORN HERE who would love to go to college, but don't qualify for help because they're too white, or not poor enough, or THEY WERE BORN HERE. that is wrong, and it is ridiculous.
as a country, it is time we stood up & said, NO. it is time that we focus on getting rid of the red tape & making it easier for the ppl who want to be here to be here LEGALLY, so they can be productive members of this society, so they can pay taxes (which, seriously, would be a whole nother rant on how much of our hard earned money goes back to a government who does NOT use it for the good of the ppl), so they can be held accountable if they're involved in illegal activities, but most importantly so they can experience the pride of doing what is right, rather than living a life of fear and degradation at the hands of whomever.
i realize there is no perfect solution - no matter what avenue is taken in ANY given situation, there will always be problems and there will always be ways to improve things. but using the excuse or comparison of how "the white man" came to this country just feeds the fires of racism. stop poking at the ancestors and start working on solutions for TODAY'S issue.