A news article caught my attention today. I saw the headline and had to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding. It seemed so ridiculous. But then, the world is a ridiculous place.
The story was about a girl who had been born in Korea, but was adopted at the age of 15 by her aunt and uncle and brought to America. Problem is that the U.S. immigration laws require that adoptions be done before the person turns 16. So now because of an honest mistake, she will have to return to Korea as soon as she graduates from high school. Her only chance to stay is if a company gives her a work visa. Her aunt has said she will go back to Korea with her, thereby, separating the family.
Last time I checked, nobody was marching in the streets for her and others like her. Yet again, we have a double standard no one seems willing to face much less address.
To read the whole story, go to: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/29/judge-south-korean-born-girl-must-leave-us-because-adoption-too-late/1472269002/
Besides being enraged, this got me thinking about exactly what the immigration laws are right now. Media outlets happily feature news footage of crowds demanding justice for those who have illegally entered the United States. Fair enough. Most of us have strong opinions about this and building a wall along our borders in order to control entry into the country.
But how many of us actually know the laws?
Here is a site that explains immigration as it stands now: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/how-united-states-immigration-system-works
It is enough to make your head spin. And this is just for legal immigration. Is it any wonder we can't reconcile the issue of what to do about undocumented immigrants?
The number that is generally agreed upon is approximately 20 million. But a recent Yale-MIT study suggests that the number could be as high as 30 million.
I don't pretend to have a solution. But I do know one thing. When a country as generous as the United States can't find room for a young girl who followed the rules and is the victim of a simple error, but allows violent criminals who have been deported numerous times to walk our streets, then maybe we need to get off our self-righteous high-horses and go back to the drawing board.
We need to remember what the American Dream is all about.
Drop the inflammatory rhetoric and find real, fair solutions for people who come to this country legally and can demonstrate that they would be productive, law abiding members of our society. Put them first, then let's figure out what to do with all the rest.
It's time. It's necessary. It's our responsibility.
"Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America." - Ronald Reagan
Everyone deserves a chance at the American Dream, but those who waited their turn as did most of our ancestors, and walked through that golden door as people who respect America's laws should go to the head of the line.