No matter your position on immigration, ginning up hate towards immigrants, legal and otherwise, is wrong.  Period.

Unfortunately, we Americans, for all our claims of embracing diversity, have a long history of denigrating immigrants.

Our history of discrimination against immigrants began with Native Americans (who, of course, were NOT immigrants), African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, American Jews, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Arab Americans, along with many other smaller immigrant groups.

We even went so far as to enact the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, basically legalizing discrimination against Chinese Americans.  The Act was not repealed until 1943. Consequently, Chinese Americans were forced to live apart from American society for decades, thus prevented from assimilating for decades.

Chinese, like African Americans, were barred from marriage to whites for many, many years.

Eventually, we chose to embrace some of these populations, even while we continued to discriminate against others.

Latino immigration is back at the forefront of American discrimination and with the deplorable “No Mosque at Ground Zero” protests,  Arab American discrimination is rearing it’s ugly head as well.

We hear a great deal about securing “the dang wall!”  But we hear little about the number here who arrived with visas and have simply not gone home.  It is estimated 45% of our undocumented immigrants are here simply because they have overstayed their visas.

So if about half of our undocumented immigrants came in using visas, how is a multi-million dollar wall going to help?  And wasn’t “security” the reason the wall was originally built – to keep terrorists from coming across with WMD?  But didn’t they forget to mention that if you have a WMD, you really don’t need to cross the border, only get close?  What about the northern border?  Or all the ports on our east, west and southern borders, not to mention the Great Lakes?  Not much being done to protect those.  Only a very small percentage of cargo gets inspected before it leaves its point of origin or when it arrives at its destination.

Having grown up during the Cold War, I remember crawling under my desk in case a nuclear bomb was exploded…now I wasn’t very old, but really?  Doubtful a wooden desk would save me or anyone else.

Just a few years ago we were told by government officials we could protect ourselves with duct tape and plastic sheeting from a biological or chemical attack.  The store shelves were emptied within hours.  Makes one wonder who had stock in those companies, because duct tape and plastic sheeting were not going to help anyone.

Isn’t it time to stop believing this nonsense?

And time to stop believing the immigrant hate email that contends immigrants take more from our society than they give.

Buying forged documents is not that difficult – often they can be bought for $150 – and the dirty little secret few talk about is that these workers are paying taxes on their income, right along with Medicare and workman’s compensation premiums. And where is that money going? It’s going right into the coffers of the programs that these workers will never benefit from, but will be used to shore up these programs for legal workers. And it’s billions of dollars that the government is quite happy to accept.  (Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions)

Below are a few links that explain what undocumented immigrants can get and what they can’t:

Undocumented Immigrants and Health Care

Checklist Of Federal Benefit Programs Available To Documented And Undocumented Workers

Facts About Social Security for Undocumented Immigrants

Facts About the Cost of Undocumented Immigrants

And the complaints about AZ crime rate being increased by their criminal illegal immigrant population?  Oops, nice try, but…What the New FBI Crime Stats Suggest About Arizona, Immigrants, and Crime

Can we finally stop this and have a real discussion?  Let’s use Arizona as an example.  A 2008 study by the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies shines much more light on the issue with regard to what the immigrant population (both legal and undocumented) bring to Arizona’s economy…an estimated $29 billion per year.  And while many may respond that these workers are taking American jobs…is that really true?  In some cases, perhaps…but in others, I would bet not.

I am arguing for a discussion of a complicated issue that has merit on both sides of the argument. We need that discussion; we need to figure out what the options are. Arbitrary decisions without a discussion of consequences on both sides of the argument are a pointless exercise. And part of that discussion should include the employers who illegally exploit undocumented workers by paying them lower wages than required by law.  But I rarely here complaints against the employers.

Why must we continue to have this disagreement with every immigrant population that has come to America?  Germans, Poles, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, East European, and the African Americans brought here as slave labor, along with our own Native Americans. All eventually were absorbed into our society and are accepted. I also know their labor built many of the buildings and structures still standing today of which we are proud.

Our diversity is what makes us a great country. We should embrace it and resolve our differences as adults.

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