A Personal Perspective
BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE
Every country has a right to protect its borders against illegal immigration. But rounding up illegal immigrants and shipping them off, leaving their American-born children parent-less, seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
The American dream isn’t just about owning a house and car— it is living in America in general.
There is nowhere else in this world where people hold out more hope for a better break than here. Let’s face it, if it is better K-12 education you’re seeking for your kids, there is a school every few blocks away from wherever you live in places like New York City, Chicago or Cleveland. If it’s higher education, there’s a public or private college every few miles.
In fact, right here in Queens we have four public colleges under the City University of New York umbrella and there are also a number of private institutions.
Upon graduation, the job market is infinitely better in the United States, so is it any wonder then that immigrants, both legal and illegal, want to come here? There is no condoning breaking the immigration laws of another country. But can we all agree that President Donald Trump’s find ‘em and ship ‘em off policy is haphazard?
Some people are fleeing tyrannical governments, drug cartels, famine, diseases, economic hopelessness, human rights abuses, rape, murder and lack of educational opportunities. So, whether legal or illegal, most are here seeking a better life.
Naturally, those found guilty of crimes should expect to be shipped off whence they came; others, not so much under previous presidents if they are being “good citizens.”
When Hillary Clinton was running for president last year, her plan was to provide “a path to citizenship” for those who deserve it. I once met a college student who did not know he was in the country illegally until his senior year of high school.
This young man, who was born in Central America, was brought here by his parents, who kept the truth from him and his brother. But the truth came out when that brilliant young man started applying to college and was asked for his “green card.”
He was accepted into a community college in New Jersey before graduating and going on to a public university in Queens, where he excelled and is now at an Ivy League university pursuing a Ph.D. in biology.
Roberto received his green card right before starting graduate school and was finally able to take advantage of fellowship opportunities. Among his research interests is Alzheimer’s disease. This once undocumented immigrant could one day find a cure for that insidious disease.
Randomly shipping off “illegals” and closing our borders to Muslims and others not only hurts them. You don’t know if you are turning back the next “genius” or some poor kid who needs medical attention or a shot at a better life.
There needs to be better screening and a lot more compassion in dealing with our immigration issues.