An immigrant’s perspective on immigration reform

13 Jul 2010 by Fausto Sicha, No Comments »

This article was published on Outlook Student Press

Rockland Community College

May 21, 2006


By: Fausto Sicha

          By now I assume that most Americans know what is happening in Washington DC concerning the issue of illegal immigration. I assume that a big percentage of these people have something to say about illegal workers. I know that some hate us more than they did before, while millions of others have thankfully shown us their support. We thank you for your actions, your support is extremely important.

          Your support my friends, has given us the strength to say, “si se puede, si se puede,” in almost every state of this country. It is clear to all of us who, in search of a better life, have left behind our education, work, friends, and family that this is our time. Therefore, we must remain together. We must support each other. We must believe in ourselves. A big page in the history of this country is about to be written. The change belongs to us. We must fight for our rights.
The right to be treated with dignity and the right to find a job to feed a starving family has never been denied in any constitution throughout the history of the world. Now, there are some who want to deny us these rights. At least this is what their actions and speeches imply. What a shame, some of you have forgotten the first and most important amendment to your own constitution. What a shame that your memory does not allow you to recall that America is the land of immigrants and that your own ancestors belonged not too long ago to another nationality. The actions and revolutions throughout history remind us over and over again that it is those in need that make changes. It is those whose dignity is being oppressed who stand up to say, “Stop, we can’t take it anymore.”

          This is our time. Our moment has come. United, we can break the chain of disagreement. United we can open the door to a better future. United we will walk toward the achievement of our dreams. Our time is here. We must remain together and fight for our rights. If, however, injustice overcomes our strength, we will proudly die with dignity. 

          I have heard people say that Spanish people are taking jobs away from Americans. I’m sorry, but we didn’t know that you like to wash dishes, to clean houses, to work in construction and in landscape.

          America is a land of hard workers, so we thought that if we could baby-sit your children you could get a better income. We didn’t know that this was a job that you wanted for yourselves.
Since most Americans need a second job, we decided to have a delicious meal ready at any restaurant that you wish to go to. We didn’t know that you are unhappy with our service. I have heard it said that illegal immigrants are getting help from the Federal Government. How does this work? Don’t you know that in order to get any assistance from the government or even to find a job you need a social security number?

          How are illegal immigrants without social security numbers getting this help? I have heard it said that Spanish people are not paying taxes. Where are these people buying food, clothing, electrical appliances and everything they need without paying sales tax? Don’t you know that in order for immigrants to find a job they must first get a number from the IRS that allows them to pay taxes? Others who have a fake I.D. can never file to get a return on the taxes they have paid.

          Do you think that you would be in a better economic situation if illegal workers were not here? Don’t you think that the whole continent would be in a better situation if the billions spent in Iraq were used to improve the life of all Americans?

          Finally, some Americans believe that illegal workers are doing jobs for a smaller fee than citizens would charge. Could you say the same if these people became citizens and had to buy a house to live, a car to transport them, and had children to send to school?

          Don’t you see that these people would be forced just like you to earn more money in order to live, and that the competition for a job between you and them will fair because both would be in the same situation? Did you realize that after immigrants acquire citizenship, the person who gets the job will be whichever has the better education and better skills? Isn’t this the way democracy works?

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