These potential Americans were in sight of Bedlowe’s Island where the Statue of Liberty literally looks down on Ellis Island and touts Emma Lazarus’s sonnet stating, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Despite the sentiments of that sonnet and the promise of hope that the Statue of Liberty forwarded, many people were not allowed entry into the United States per the rules that then had to be followed.
Once here legally, immigrants had rules they had to follow or they could be deported. Since many of our modern-day illegal immigrants are Hispanic and many of those are Mexican, I think it’s appropriate to list the rules that Mexico has for people who are foreign visitors and immigrants.
Those rules are as follows:
1. They are in the country legally.
2. They have the means to sustain themselves economically.
3. They are not destined to be a burden on society.
4. They are of economic and social benefit to society.
5. They are of good character and have no criminal records.
6. They are contributors to the general well being of the nation.
Once in the country, the law ensures that:
1. Immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor.
2. Foreign visitors do not violate their visa status.
3. Foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
4. Foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported.
5. Foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported.
6. Those visitors who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.
In addition, Mexico’s constitution delineates the rights of citizens and also includes many fundamental rights that are denied non-citizens, legal and illegal.
If Mexico can do this, I don’t see why the United States finds it so difficult to, in some way, duplicate the efforts of our neighbors to the south in this regards.
Of course, if we got rid of our immigration problem through a reform, which is way overdue, we would not have all the low-paid cooks, nannies, gardeners, farm workers and any other grunt labor type workers that commonly fill these kinds of jobs.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. He can be contacted at email@example.com.