Dear Santa, please bring me immigration reform

Dear Santa,

Hi. Look, so maybe I haven’t been that good this year–I admit that I pretended not to hear the twins crying at night sometimes, so that Kory would get up with them, and I may have used the phrase “knock it off” a few too many times with Sam.

But, still, I certainly haven’t asked for much lately, so it seems like you could, you know, cut me a little slack here?

Because here’s what I really, really, really want for Christmas this year: an immigration policy that’s not an embarrassment, a tragedy, and an affront to justice. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit, I have selfish reasons for choosing this particular holiday request.

I want to be able to go to sleep at night without thinking about little kids whose parents never came home from work. I want to check my email without reading heartbreaking appeals from honors students facing deportation over a broken taillight. I want to complain about the heat next August without haunting visions of people dying trying to cross the desert. I want to tell my kids about the Statue of Liberty without feeling like a fraud.

But this is a real bargain of a gift, Santa, because, while I’m the one asking, I’m certainly not the only one who would benefit. We could use extra billions in GDP, new tax revenues, and the savings from reductions in wasteful enforcement spending. We’ll be safer once our immigration enforcement can focus on those who are real security risks. American workers will benefit from not competing with those so desperate they’ll accept a job at any wage. And, while I’ll grant that your mailbox may not be full of letters asking for CIR this year, polls show that I’m not alone in my wish.

So, Santa, what do you say? I mean, stockings filled with toys and sugarplums are great, I guess, but wouldn’t you rather give the gift that keeps on giving–giving families a chance to live as a family, workers dignity on the job, communities the security of living as neighbors, and our country the chance to honor our past and restore our future?

That’s what I thought, big guy. I appreciate it.

PS. And my son wants a Lego cargo train, but I think he’d settle for cap and trade legislation, if you want to throw that in.

Most sincerely,

melinda

4 responses to “Dear Santa, please bring me immigration reform

  1. I would like to have immigration reform that allows those that have come to America legally, follow the laws to apply for citizenship and learns about the history and culture of America can then become a citizen before those that break those same laws.

    Those that respect the laws of America should get to become citizens before those that break the laws.

    • Certainly family reunification, to address the painfully long waits (more than 20 years in some categories) that close family members must endure before settling together in the United States, must be a priority for immigration reform: every piece of legislation that has been considered in Congress, and the principles that have gained public support, call for expediting those lines so that individuals who have been waiting do, indeed, receive their Lawful Permanent Residency (the step before one is eligible to apply for citizenship) before those without pending applications (which could include some who are in the U.S. without permission, along with others who are hopeful immigrants still in their countries of origin). We need and deserve, as a great nation of immigrants, a workable, fair, and humane immigration system that facilitates the full participation in our society of those with a great deal to contribute, while allowing us to focus enforcement actions on legitimate security threats. Only comprehensively reforming this seriously fractured system can do that. Thanks for reading. –melinda

  2. Hey Melinda,
    I was listening to Talk of the Nation today, and it was about the Dream Act. There are a lot of crazy, misinformed people out there and yes, they listen to NPR! I thought they only listened to Fox, where they are actively misinformed. Anyway, I got to thinking, and I really believe that both sides have to understand how important this is to their political lives. Which makes me think you just might get your wish.
    Meanwhile, while you’re writing Santa, ask him for more funds for the homeless. Tonight, I went to the shelter for my usual stint. And I was told that from here on out, we were going to be serving families, because the side of the shelter that I work on is larger and can better accommodate all the homeless families. ALL THE HOMELESS FAMILIES. And if that isn’t enough, tonight I was told that two families (each with three kids) were turned away for lack of space. And there is nowhere else for them to go. It is bitter cold out there tonight, and no one knows where they are.

    Hugs to your beautiful family. The Christmas card is awesome. We are lucky, lucky ducks.
    xoxoxo

    • Alice, I cannot imagine being turned away from a homeless shelter with kids. When we talk about kids in poverty, the primary sympathy (such as it is) is usually directed towards those children, but, as a parent, I find myself haunted by how very difficult it would be to try to parent in that situation. It’s hard enough anyway, you know? It IS cold, and how are people expected to hold a family together and raise their kids without a home? We could get some more housing dollars through this crazy tax cut battle, but the strains on families are going to multiply incredibly in the state in the next year. It’s hard to imagine it getting much worse, but it will.

      I hope you’re right about the DREAM Act. If I were a Majority or Minority Whip, I’d sure be talking about how we want to look to the 2016, 2020, 2024 electorates…but the myopia of anti-immigrant rhetoric seems to be clouding many analyses. These DREAMers are inspirational, though, and if they pull it off, it will be thanks to their courage and tenacity–yesterday, they had a blood drive so that DREAM kids could “officially shed blood for their country”. And I’m tired of calling Senators–so let’s get this done!

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