Unless there is destruction, nothing seems to capture the attention of people these days. Someone carries out one act of destruction and it is all over the news- local, national, even worldwide, as long as there is enough casualty. It seems that the attention that a story will get is directly proportional to the number of lives it claims. There are millions of people out there doing good deeds every single day and yet that is not what dominates the conversation- the goodness of humankind that hasn’t yet perished. And there are others who are simply asking for a change, like me. But no one wants to hear a truth that doesn’t make them hate a group of people.
We are constantly fed fear and negativity by media and leaders alike, and then that same fear and negativity is used to sell us more fear and negativity. This constant cycle is perpetuating the prevalence of hatred because that is what fear does. We fear that what we don’t understand and we hate that what we fear. Instead of understanding the root cause of an issue and trying to eliminate that, we conveniently find scapegoats and go after them. “Terrorism is a problem“, they say, “Let’s ban an entire religion from the US“. Seriously? Haven’t you heard of the Inquisitions? Did people not act in the name of a religion then to execute barbaric acts? But there was more good than there was evil, and eventually, it triumphed. Similarly, don’t you think there are enough good people in every other religion too? Why don’t we consider joining forces with them to bring about a revolution instead of blaming them for the acts of another? We cannot eliminate hatred with hatred- eye for an eye sounds glorious but it is neither noble nor effective.
I am not a religious person. If Humanity were a religion that is the label I would have proudly worn but I am glad it is not so because organized religion leads to greed for power. So while I believe in the simple things like treat others the way you’d like to be treated, or live and let live, or never hurt anyone, I will not impose my beliefs on another, and I will not see people as the religion that they practice. My mission is not to revolutionize how we perceive religion. My mission is something much simpler- I want people to be AWARE, in this case, about immigration in the US.
I am quite tired of the same rhetoric when it comes to immigration- illegal immigrants. People on one side of the spectrum want to build walls, evacuate all those who are within those walls, and then build one final wall to seal everyone out. Do they really think they can survive in today’s world economy by living in isolation on this grand, heavily-protected island of theirs?
On the other hand, there are people who want to welcome everyone and grandfather many more and make everyone a citizen. Now, that is charitable but really, excessive charity is self-destructive.
So yes, we need to find a happy medium but you know why it is impossible to do so? Because we are not even considering the entire immigrant population when we are having these discussions. We are really only talking about people seeking asylum and refuge, and those that simply take it without asking by crossing borders illegally. Immigrants, like myself, are never part of any conversation. There is, of course, one person who wants to stamp Green Cards on to graduate degrees- now that is one obtuse idea if I ever heard one! Doesn’t anyone have any idea how many people come here to attend school on an annual basis? If all those people were given Green Cards, imagine how many more will start coming in and how many jobs will go to ‘foreigners‘ instead of the American people. Universities will not turn away international students because of the hefty tuition that they pay. I am sure that is not a stance American immigration wants to take because that would mean a radical shift in its policy, from closed-door to open-door, wide open door!
We need a more meaningful conversation about legal immigration in this country and it is my aim to start this discussion. I will not do anything extreme to get people’s attention. I can only hope that people would want to hear a sound argument to develop their own views. For too long they have been led into believing that immigration only means one thing, and that it is bad. But that is not all that there is to immigration. If talent is allowed to come in, as it should be, it should also be given some protection. If employers are made sponsors then they should be responsible to sponsor more than just a one-way flight ticket. Right now, the employers have way too much control over the immigrant workforce without any accountability for their actions, and that is a perfect breeding ground for exploitation and abuse.
It is impossible to put an end to immigration, not just in the US but globally. There are expat Americans living and working in other countries too. But a country can be wise in choosing who it allows to stay, and a country can be ethical in how it treats those who are welcomed here. The process of employment-based immigration is so long and complicated, if Homeland Security just simplified that, I am sure it would have enough surplus to enforce better border security. Those who come here legally get scrutinized repeatedly and excessively and are still deprived of their basic rights. Those who come here illegally have provisions to appeal for mercy. I don’t see the logic and how it is ultimately benefiting the economy.
I have no views on illegal immigration. It is not something I condone but I also think that on a humanitarian level, we have a certain responsibility towards those who are less fortunate. But I do have strong views on legal immigration. Those who have paid their dues deserve to be treated with dignity and that is not happening. What’s worse is that no one is even aware of it and people like me are silently disappearing each day. With my videos I aim to highlight the flaws of American immigration system through simple short stories. Through my memoir (order here) I want to share what specifically happened to me and allow the people to decide for themselves whether it was right or wrong. This is all that I can do.