I’m tired of hearing about immigration. Reading about the latest immigration news or the current status on immigration reform can get really monotonous. It’s even worse writing about it.
And today, I and at least 100,000 other people will saunter through cities from L.A. to Boston in support of immigration reform. It’s promising to be a cloudy, damp day in Chicago, so I have that to look forward to, as well. Will the demonstrations accomplish anything? Who knows. (We said the same thing last year, and the year before that too.) We’ll just have to show up and hope for the best (another mantra).
If you’re tired of hearing about immigration as much as I am, if you feel like you might throw your laptop out your fourth-story apartment window if you read another immigration-focused headline, then do something about it: help pass the DREAM Act and other reforms to immigration law.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to provide a brief summary of the bill. I’m sure you’ve read so much about it in the past five years that you probably feel as though you penned the damn thing yourself.
But I am going to give you two reasons why you should be doing everything in your power to help Congress and the president pass this eternally doomed piece of legislation – always a bridesmaid and never a law. Hopefully they’re reasons you haven’t heard before.
The first reason I’ve already given you, that if you pass immigration reform, you will never hear about the issue so long as you live. Well, at least not for a while. And if the immigration issue does crop up again 10 or 20 years down the line, you can be content in knowing that you and your generation have already done your part. So, let someone else handle it.
The second reason is the moral one. It’s the reason that argues for the dignity of young adults forced to live clandestine lives through no decision of their own. These men and women are as American as… well, immigration.
They are also American citizens – not legally, but in the Platonic sense. They are citizens because they are law-abiding, contributing members of American society. They were raised on American values, fed American culture, regaled with American history, and encouraged to dream American dreams. More important, they defend America’s borders with their American lives, and in the economy, they are the source of billions of American dollars every year.
Anyone who moved a lot when they were a kid – like I did – can’t help but sympathize with these American immigrants. My mom moved us from Humboldt Park in Chicago to a suburb (for what else but a better life). Yet for all I knew, she could’ve been taking my siblings and I to Indonesia. When you’re too young to know, concepts like Chicago, America and border are just words.
That’s why I continue reading about immigration. That’s why I won’t stop writing about it, why I’m marching in the rain tomorrow. It’s my generation’s moral cause.
But even if you disagree with me, you should want to do anything you can to help pass immigration reform. At the very least, it’ll get people like me to stop talking about it.