Monday, December 2, 2013

Illegal Aliens vs Undocumented Immigrants

Last week President Obama held a rally in San Francisco concerning immigration reform.  He apparently surrounded himself with illegal aliens and/or undocumented immigrants.  24 year old Ju Hong, whose family came here legally on work visas then stayed illegally when the visas expired, heckled the President and told him he must do more to stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Rather than be removed from his position behind the President, Ju Hong was allowed to speak.  President Obama attempted to address his concerns but Hong was unsatisfied.  He wrote and open letter to President Obama which was published in the Huffington Post.  Excerpts are as follows:

I spoke up not out of disrespect, however, either for you or our country. No, I spoke up -- and am writing to you now -- to ask that you use your executive order to halt deportations for 11.5 million undocumented immigrant families.

My family came to the United States from South Korea when I was 11 years old. Like many immigrants, my mother brought me to this country to seek a better life for her children.
I graduated from UC Berkeley, and am now pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration at San Francisco State University. I have lived in America now for 13 years. I consider this country as my home. During my senior year in high school, however, I learned that my family had overstayed a tourist visa. We are undocumented immigrants.
As an American without papers, I was not able to get a job, obtain a driver's license, or receive governmental financial aid. 
Like many other undocumented immigrants, I was living in the shadows and living in fear of deportation. However, I have decided to speak out and stand up.
He signed the letter:
Your fellow American,
Ju Hong
The entire letter in the Huffington Post is attached.

Here's something that apparently Mr. Hong is either confused about or chooses to ignore.  Legally he and his family are not Americans.  They came here on work visas.  That is not immigration - it's a work visa - a temporary authorization to stay. His family members who overstayed their visas went from being legal alien workers to illegal aliens because they no longer have authorization to be in the country.  Just because you decide you're going to stay without authorization doesn't mean it's legal.  Ju Hong is one I would consider an undocumented immigrant - only because it was not his choice to move here and it's not his fault his parents overstayed their visas.  He possibly could have begun the process toward citizenship but didn't - most likely out of fear of deportation.  But that doesn't make it legal either.

In his opening paragraph he expressed he meant no disrespect for Obama or "our" country.  But legally it's not his country - not until he happens to become an American citizen.  But there is a process that must be followed and he needs to begin the process - not be handed citizenship ahead of those who are here legally.

In the meantime Mr. Hong has taken full advantage of the liberal state of California and has obtained a degree from U.C. Berkeley and is now working on a Master's Degree in another California university.  His parents, already identified as being here illegally, are still here and he, as an illegal immigrant, is invited to attend the President's rally.  I'm surprised the President didn't invite him to attend the protest with him outside the White House on Friday.

I know many will disagree with me but that's part of the problem with illegal immigration to this country. Some people are in favor of simply opening up the borders and letting anyone and everyone come in. Others believe anyone who is already here should get to stay without penalty. Both opinions are contrary to U.S. law and unfair to law abiding immigrants.

Immigration certainly needs some reform and changes.  Granting amnesty and ignoring current law is not the answer.  Closing the borders is still something that needs to be done. President Obama and the Democrats don't seem to be the ones to do it.  And Republicans don't seem too willing either.  Everyone is worried about votes.  I say if they're not willing to do their jobs - vote 'em out.

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