Although my family may not be considered under certain definitions to be an immigrant family, since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, their experience is similar to the experience of many immigrants in our country today.
Moreover, I can personally identify with the experience of immigrants, as I have lived as a foreigner in Japan for two years and Bolivia for seven years.
I find it disconcerting that after decades of transfer of power between the Democrats and Republicans, it has become apparent that neither side truly wishes to resolve the immigration issue. Immigration has become a useful political football to play to each party’s base.
The Republicans seek to placate their base by “building the wall” or limiting immigration from certain countries. That is how they get votes so that the people and companies who pay for those votes (the Republican Donor Class) can get a return on their investment at the expense of all of rest of us.
The Democrats, despite claims to be pro-immigration, have done nothing to change these laws despite 16 years in power under presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
The reason is that the Democrats would rather use immigrants as political pawns to electrify their base than resolve the issue and lose that leverage.
That is how they get votes so that the people and companies who pay for those votes (the Democrat Donor Class) can get a return on their investment at the expense of all of rest of us.
The parties want this system to continue because that is how they get these donations, which allow them to pay for the “good life” for them and their families and friends.
There is a political party that has always sought to remove the regulations and allow immigrants to enter the United States freely: the Libertarians.
One of my favorite shows is the “Walking Dead” and the charismatic character Negan. Although his character is generally a blood-thirsty and power-hungry leader, he oes hesitate to kill even his enemies during the zombie apocalypse.
His famous quote is “people are a resource,” which sums up the policy of the Libertarians. All people have the right to work anywhere they choose as they are a necessary resource for a vital economy.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are honest about the immigration issue, and the fact that it has to be separated from national security.
Security of our country’s borders is of course essential. Any person entering the country must identify themselves and their intentions. With modern technology, that is simple to implement, especially if people are welcome to come and go to work or travel.
Immigrants are more likely to come check in at the border if they know they will not be harassed or incarcerated just for being a foreigner.
Republicans especially seem to be hung up on the issue of foreigners inside the country that have entered illegally. They claim these “illegal aliens” are criminals for crossing an artificial line.
Every American citizen has broken the law during their lifetime, whether it be jay walking or drinking underage. Crossing the border without a visa is not a severe crime, and it should never have been a crime in the first place.
It is a violation; have the person pay their fine and move on. The cost of arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating for such a violation far exceeds the actual harm of the crime.
The Democrats are no friends to the immigrants, as immigrants are natural entrepreneurs and small business owners. For anyone, including a first-generation immigrant who wishes to open a restaurant, hair salon, or other personal service, there are a multitude of unnecessary regulations.
Immigrants do not stop to think of what laws there are before opening a business, they just naturally get to work. But then are fined or arrested later for doing honest work.
Remember the immigrant lady who was arrested for selling churros on the subway? The Democratic City Council members howled foul for over-policing, but which party passed those laws in New York City?
And these laws don’t only hurt the immigrants, they hurt all of us.
If you are tired of the overreach by the Republicans and the false promises by the Democrats to modernize immigration laws, then now is the time to seek a party that has always been pro-immigrant and pro-entrepreneur.
Then real change will finally come.
Jay Sanchez is a practicing attorney and resident of Howard Beach, and running for Congress in the 5th District on the Libertarian Party Line.