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Set up real worker visitor program for immigrants

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Brooks Walker

Compassion is feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others; uninformed means not having or showing awareness or understanding of the facts and ignorant equates to lacking knowledge, information or awareness about something in particular.

These three words are at the heart of the immigration debate. People scream compassion for immigrants and reveal their status of being uniformed and ignorant of the issue. America is not the pot of gold or Land of Oz where the wizard grants all wishes.

Most immigrants do not want to be United States citizen. They just want the benefits of free education, housing, food and welfare subsidies. Many U.S. citizens deny this is true and seek to be seen as compassionate, but their compassion blinds them to the true nature of this invasion.

In my college days, I worked on a labor crew in Texas. Most all of the Hispanics were here illegally and they were paid half what the citizens received. The Mexicans educated and informed me of the reality of illegal immigration. Two people were assigned to my detail one month, an uncle, Tony, 61, and his nephew, Roberto, 18. Roberto hid and took naps every day, while his uncle tried to make up for his lack of work. Roberto didn’t come to work on Fridays because we were paid on Thursdays. I asked where Roberto was and Tony told me this story with deep disgust in his voice. He said Roberto was here with family, who claimed he was a minor to receive a monthly check for him living with them. Meanwhile, Roberto had a child by a girlfriend. This family received two checks, one for the girl and one for her child. Roberto would sleep there during the week and then go to Seguin on Friday and Saturday to stay with a girl from the local gang. This girl had a child and received government food and monetary support. In this way, she was an asset to the gang.

Tony told me he had come to the United States – not to be a citizen, but to work and send money home to his family in Mexico. He worked hard and appreciated his job, but he had no respect for his nephew. He said the first generation of Hispanics were proud, hard workers, but the kids were lazy and were seeking anything they could get free, while speaking of their pride, but knowing nothing of real pride.

I had great respect for the Mexicans I worked with because they worked harder than me and for less. I could not blame them wanting to help their families. After visits to Mexico and Central America, I understood their plight. It is one of survival. Many immigrants are looking for a chance to work and many would do things legally, if possible. When we allow people to enter illegally and mooch off our system we dishonor those who are here working hard in our economy. Compassion is not based on what we give, it is based on what we allow them to earn.

The other problem that our ignorance, disguised as compassion, is allowing is when a young child comes to this country, he or she ends up in a barrio somewhere trying to make money. In these areas, the way of survival and income is controlled by gangs. Groups like La Familia and MS 13 turn our misguided compassion into a recruiting tool.

Common sense tells us we need to secure the border first and then work on a real worker visitor program that will allow those who are here and those who want to be here a way to become a part of our economy, not a drain on the economy. We can give visitor work visas and non-citizen licenses that clearly state that these are not citizens but visitors, and if they break the law or associate with gangs they are not welcome and are deported.

They must have a job within a certain time to qualify and keep these documents, which will also aid in tracing the visitors. If they wish to have their children educated, they must pay taxes and Social Security like the rest of us. They do not and cannot qualify for government assistance or have voting rights, but they must be paid at least minimum wage. Those here illegally can sign up for the working visitor system with no penalty. Failing to register for a visiting worker visa means instant deportation. There is no amnesty, just the opportunity to play by our rules.

With regard to gangs, they are easily spotted by gang tattoos that read like a criminal record on their bodies. These people should be deported to their country of origin, even if born in this country to illegals. The law that grants citizenship to anyone born in this country needs to be repealed. We are one of the last nations in the world to allow this practice. Let’s get serious about our own sovereignty in a way that benefits all.

Brooks Walker is a Heath Springs resident.