Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm sure I'll totally regret this

I just can't shut up can I?

Okay, so it's common knowledge that I live in Arizona, right? And it's also ridiculously well-known about our new immigration law, correct?

Well. You wouldn't believe the hoopla over here.

And I don't think I've said a word about it to anyone - besides My Man, who's gotten an earful. I've been reallysupervery good and kept the peace and haven't ruffled any feathers. But I just can't do it anymore.

Because I've lived in another country.

I've totally been there - waited for hours and hours in line, dealt with mountains of paperwork and stupid laws and gotten quite tangled up in red tape. Repeatedly. I think, all told, we had to get six different visas before we were finally 'settled' in Brazil. One time we had to go to Argentina for a few days while our visas got sorted out. I've chewed up my fair share of fingernails and sweated up a storm over our Brazilian citizenship issues. I really, truly know what it's like to become legal in another country. It's a huge, fat, pain in the donkey.

(But we still did it.)

We waited in line. We dealt with the paperwork. And the laws. And the red tape. And everything. We bent over backwards to become legal citizens. We paid our taxes. We obeyed their laws.

So why can't everyone else?

I feel for the millions of people in our country who have worked and lived here for years. Who might not have anywhere to go, if they were deported. I'm sure they're terrified. I wish there was some sort of blanket amnesty for everyone who applies for citizenship within the next six months, or something. (And yes, I know that it would be a bureaucratic nightmare. But hey - we need to create jobs in America anyway, right?) Let's let who's here, stay here. IF they walk the walk.

But after that, hey -

Legal is the way we roll, people.

I support lawful obedience. As does my church:
12th Article of Faith: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
And the law is that you need a green card to stay. I honor that.


DeNae said...

The idea of amnesty for those who come out of the woodwork and make their presence known by applying for legal status is a good one. Sort of the whole 'mercy/justice' deal.

I've had the opportunity to live in a place where everyone enjoyed the blessings of US citizenship without having to contribute to the federal coffers. And you know what? They PREFER it that way. Election after election, they make it clear that they enjoy the 'status quo'. After 9/11 they blocked a fundraising event from broadcasting and then held one of their own. When it came time to present the check to the governor of New York, the governor of Puerto Rico made it clear that the money was for "Puerto Rican victims of 9/11". The New York governor rejected their donation.

So whether we like it or not, if we leave this decision up to the people who enjoy the benefits of living in the US without contributing anything to it, things will never change.

It's going to take tough, unpopular action like that taken in Arizona before anything even resembling reform happens.

Kazzy said...

I agree. We need to keep it legal and in order. The people who want to enjoy our nation are going to feel more committed to it once they are legal, contributing citizens. They won't have to look over their shoulders their whole lives, and they can hold their heads high.

Pam said...

Great post! Can't wait to visit with you soon

Lara said...


You said it all!

Terresa said...

I'm with you. Legal is legit is good. :)

PS: Do you know where I can buy some Guarana? I miss it...

Melissa Bastow said...

Oh yeah!!!

Qait said...

I practically froth at the mouth for talking so much about this with my husband.
If it's done legally, welcome to America! We love you!
If not...phew, that's where I start frothing.

kristi said...

Well said!!!!!!!

Katy said...

Amen, Becky, amen.

And WHY would you regret saying this?!

Megan said...

I'm all for doing things the right way. By the book. Legal.

Having lived both in CA and AZ, I know how it is. Legal is necessary. We have borders for a reason.

And, I'll stop there before the other foot gets me totally up on my soapbox.


Kimberly said...

Just tell 'em to come to Northern Canada. We've LOADS of room. =)

Hel said...

It's interesting that this hoopla should come up just as I am going through those very hoops to come and be a LEGAL resident in good old Arizona itself. As an immigrant that is doing it the right way, I appreciate the law that has been brought in. It protects my rights (as a legal immigrant) just as it protects the US citizens. And do you know what - If it means having that protection, I will be proud to show my immigrant papers whenever asked.

Kristi said...

AMEN!!!! Very well said! One of my favorite posts EVER!

Danya said...

I'm all for legal immigration. My husband is from Brazil and both he and his brother came to the U.S. to play college basketball. They both married American citizens and both work in IT. We jumped through every hoop for my husband to become a legal permanent resident and later a naturalized American citizen.


I had a friend ask me if we ever felt cheated because we did it the "right" way and all of these undocumented people just cross the border. And I have to say that I DON'T feel cheated. I feel embarassed that Americans exploit their cheap labor and then insult them for being undocumented. NO ONE would choose to cross the border illegally if they had an option to do it any other way.

People tend to make distinctions between immigrants like my husband (nonhispanic, white, and middle to upper class) and undocumented immigrants. This is more a class issue than an immigration issue. There are ways for middle and upper class people to immigrate to the U.S. legally. There are many many less ways for a lower class person to immigrate. And, yet, we still need their labor (although less now than we have in the past).

If we need the labor, immigrants from poorer backgrounds need a legal pathway to get here.

Nikki said...


rori said...

Wow, interesting. I have never thought of it that way. Thanks for sharing! :)

Marcia said...

Very good points. In 1986 the US did a blankey amnesty for 2.8 illegal aliens. THat was supposed to be the end of it! "After that -- play by the rules!" Now here we are with the same problem...

rad6 said...

i love your viewpoint!
and your perspective of having been a foriegn citizen.
thx for speaking up.
a little.

kerri said...

ITA. That is all.

Melanie J said...

I tend to be less politically conservative than a lot of Mormons, but on this issue I've definitely had a parting of the ways with my more liberal friends. The Arizona law makes perfect sense. It amazes me that there's even this level of controversy over it when it just seems like common sense.