Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ESL Class

Yesterday I ate lunch with a friend and her mother, and in the middle of lunch we got into a discussion about immigration and ESL classes. The discussion started because I am taking an How to Teach ESL class that, frankly, I have no intentions of using... and still have 3 projects to complete before tonight. Anyway, the mom had plenty to say about closing the borders. My friend cracked me up as she put her hands over her ears and said "I'm not listening...."

This is how I feel about the entire immigration debate....I'm not listening... I did that presentation last week over immigration law reform and learned soooooo much about what is really happening. The White House says reform is about safety after 9/11. The organizations against reform suggest that it is about money.... and I found lots of statistics showing how many illegals use 'the system' for health care and housing. BUT...did you know that if the reform passes it will cost immigrants 2000$ to go through the naturalization process? That's a lot of money... in my book and in my opinion, it would make people less likely to attempt to become legal.
Other random thoughts in the debate:
In the legislation it actually makes crossing the border illegally a crime... I thought it already was... isn't that why we call it ILLEGAL? Another part of the reform is that illegals, when caught, will be returned to their hometowns because they will be less likely to travel back across if they are returned home. I have a student here as a permanent resident... she was born in Mexico and is working towards citizenship... and she said that when border patrol returns them to their hometown the government has them publicly beaten... odds are they CAN'T make another run for the border.
This issue is not something that is going to go away anytime soon... and I do think it is our civic responsibility to understand what the real issues are... not just what the evening news is spouting. After doing that project I am not so sure I can back the reform that is being suggested. Then again, as a Christian and a person whose ancestors came over on a boat... I'm not sure I can back the reform.

Ok... sorry for my rant... this is where my brain goes at 5:45am when I have 3 projects to complete before 6pm tonight. Any thoughts?


Rebecca said...

It becomes a whole different issue when you know illegal immigrants and their families on a personal level. I knew a lot of them when I was growing up in Southern CA, because I was so interested in Latin culture and was pretty fluent in Spanish. All the kids and parents I knew were hard-working people, trying to make enough to feed their families. One girl I knew escaped from El Salvador with her mother after watching her father get shot to death by local militia. It kills me how the system will use them to no end for cheap, economy boosting labor, but then talk about what a burden they are. If anything, we need to be making it easier to come legally, not harder, so that honest people can make the move safely, and dishonest people can be more easily spotted when they fail to naturalize.

jessica said...

I agree... I had a difficult time giving a purely informative presentation about immigration reform because I feel so strongly on the issue.

Chris Nystrom said...

Isn't the whole idea behind the Statue of Liberty is that people should be allowed to live where they want to? What are the problems with welcomeing them in? Why do we not work on those problems, instead of working so hard on keeping them out?