Stigma attached to immigrants is not justified

By Paul DeLutio, Columnist

A momentous decision reached the Supreme Court last Monday that could determine the fate and livelihoods of over 4 million human beings.

President Barack Obama’s long-awaited immigration amnesty policy reached a divided Supreme Court with as much acceptance as it did resistance, with a staunch divide between the four GOP-nominated justices and the four Democratic justices.

The primary focus of this policy is to grant amnesty to the scores of immigrants who have come to our country illegally and have ingrained themselves within our American culture.

Many are quick to attack the President’s new policy, siding with Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“It’s as if — that the President is setting the policy and Congress is executing it,” Kennedy said. “That’s just upside down.”

Although Kennedy raises a valid observation, the Obama administration cannot be blamed for attempting to make up for Congress’s dead weight.

The inaction on determining a fair and comprehensive immigration policy has gone too far, and it’s time that this issue receives the attention it deserves.

The undeniable truth that lies at the heart of this issue is that the deportation of 11.4 million illegal immigrants is unrealistic and far beyond the capabilities of our government.

What is even more unbelievable is the stigma that the majority of immigrants who come to our nation want to destroy our way of life or create crime waves. The truth is, legalizing 4 million people willing to work and pay taxes creates far more positive than negative ramifications.

As a result of legalization, some estimates even indicate that the United State’s GDP could increase anywhere from $832 million to $1.4 billion.

Another stigma that individuals tend to align themselves with is the concept that newly legalized immigrants will take advantage of the welfare system and waste the taxpayers’ dollars. This argument simply does not hold strong when you consider how many immigrants already work to sustain themselves on the meager wages offered to illegal immigrants.

The populous and the leaders of our nation need to face reality, show compassion and understand that these are people with lives, feelings and aspirations. It’s time to put the fear aside.

Sure, some immigrants are drug runners, robbers or all around evil people. But some Americans fall under these same categories, and we don’t hold the actions of those few against the rest of the country.

Imagine if all you wanted to do was escape a life tinged with crime, corruption and violence. You would do everything you could to make a better life for yourself and your family. You wouldn’t be motivated by monetary or material gain. You would be motivated to discover a world where you can live a life of freedom and happiness.

As students at an outstanding University, we are blessed with the freedom and opportunity that many people will never experience in their lives. What puzzles me is why some think we should have a monopoly on the freedom in the world.

This is a country that should always have the best interest of immigrants in mind. Our rich history of immigration is the cornerstone that separates America from the rest of the world.

The day we close our door to immigrants is the day America’s future comes to a screeching halt, creating an isolationist nation that would inevitably lose its sense of humanity.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”

-Emma Lazarus

Paul is a freshman in LAS.

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