Believe it or not, I’m not totally against it, but I’m 90 percent against it. How can someone with a heart do something to someone trying to better his or her life? Haven’t been watching CNN? Let me explain.
Bush has the guts to actually make captured illegal immigrants face felony charges. This bill may be passed, and then every illegal immigrant will face felony charges. There are several reasons I’m against it.
The first one has to do with our crappy prison system. We have prisons that are highly overcrowded in the US. According to the Taylor & Francis Group report in March 2005, "overcrowding in prisons has a negative impact on health care." The same source also says that nearly 70 percent of the prisons in the world are overcrowded.
There are 13 federal prisons in California housing 18,327 inmates. If we add the illegal immigrants, that number will drastically and steadily increase. In a 2003 Associated Press article, a Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was reported as telling Congress "in many cases, our sentences are too long." There has not been a reported time sentence, but the normal felony sentence lasts about five years.
Another reason I’m against it is because the captured are to be immediately deported. Come on. If I were a Mexican living in the poorest section of the country, I would want to better my family. If all my options are depleted, and the only remaining option is the US, I would do everything possible to cross the border. Fact is most Mexicans do not have the money to pay to cross the US border.
With no choices remaining, I cross the border and start making life better for my family, and I’m caught. My family and I have to be sent back across the border to the same poor lifestyle. This would be inhumane and, as Committee Chairman Arlen Specter says, "unrealistic."
I also feel that without immigrants, this country would not be what it is today. The US is considered to be the "melting pot" of the world. It means that this country has a tremendous mix of people from various cultures. With this new immigration bill, it could shut off that theory. More immigrants will be hesitant to come to the United States, which could also lower tourism in the United States.
There are some pros to this bill. If some measure is not established, according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, illegal immigrants could flood schools, collapse the health-care system and the social service system will be overtaxed. In short, they could bring about the collapse of the U.S. economy. I don’t want that to happen, but the new bill is just too harsh for me to grasp.
So forgive me if you agree with the bill, but I highly disagree with it. It’s too harsh, and it makes America seem like a cold and cruel world. Yes, we do need a measure in place to monitor the number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States to help keep our economy alive, but this measure does everything but measure up.
Darryl Smith is a senior mass communication major from Monroe.