It’s Not That Easy

{By Brittany Sadler}immigration again

Sitting on my couch, in front of the TV – it seems easy. Listening to politicians – they make it sound easy. Discussing it with friends – we have it figured out, easily.

It takes a semester long course, a statute the size of a book, and hours in class for it to finally sinks in – solving immigration is not easy.

I come into class, not fully certain of what my opinions are, hoping for answers. I leave, still uncertain of the answer, but now much more certain of the questions. This issue is more complex and more deserving of answers than I had ever imagined.

Our immigration system is broken.

All I had to do was look at the several hundred pages long statute to figure that out. In trying so hard to protect ourselves from the problems that come with undesirable immigrants, we have created a monster of regulations and requirements, a legitimately daunting barrier to legal immigration. And then for some reason we are surprised when there are illegal immigrants.

It seems easy to say we should secure the border, or put more boots on the ground. Something, anything, to keep these people out of our country. But then I hear about the families, split up and dying in the desert because the better ports of illegal immigration have been secured. And I hear about the man being persecuted by his neighbors because he left water out for illegal immigrants who might come by.

I learn about the wait-lists to get into our country. So many long years to wait to immigrate legally. I’m not saying that illegal immigration is a good thing. But I do know that if I was the sibling of US citizen originally from the Philippines and had to wait 21 years to get into the US I would not be waiting. So I understand.

That’s why this is complicated.

I’m reading statutes, but I’m also reading cases. These aren’t just laws and ideas being discussed and influenced – these are people. People. With lives, dreams, needs, hopes, backgrounds. Immigration is obviously a problem in our nation. But I think we’ve become blind to the idea that it could be anything but a problem. Immigration is also an opportunity. It’s not a curse that people want to come to the US. It’s wonderful. It does mean that we need to get this figured out however.

Immigrants, illegal and legal, are people too.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer, much less the answer. However, I am tired of hearing politicians and people say we’re going to “fix” immigration. It’s not that easy. It’s time to stop slapping platitudes like band-aids over a gaping wound.

It’s time to look at the facts, understand the issues, and educate ourselves.

Look up the statutes. Read parts of them. And understand that “fixing” immigration is not going to be easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. It is worth it. It’s so worth it. Because these are people’s lives we are playing with, these are families that get to stay together or not, these are people who get a chance or don’t.

So my challenge to you is to think, to learn, to try to understand.What are the problems? How can we fix them?

Would you wait 21 years to get in?