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OKG Newsletter

Letters to the Editor

For the unauthorized

Jake Fisher July 31st, 2013

I often hear “fairness” and “rule of law” invoked by opponents of immigration reform measures that would normalize the status of unauthorized immigrants within the U.S.

The argument is that people who have not respected our immigration laws should not be rewarded with normalization, that it is not fair to potential immigrants who are waiting in line and that this kind of measure would undermine the rule of law.

It is a simple, attractive argument. It is also dead wrong.

There are 40.4 million immigrants in the U.S. Most are economic immigrants, leaving a morass of poverty and corruption in search of better futures.

Where opportunity and enterprise are squelched by the unfair playing field of weak rule of law, the opportunistic and enterprising find the greener pastures where rule of law is strong and respected. This is the fundamental story of a great number of the immigrants in the U.S. It is surely the story of virtually all 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants.

There is a place in this country for these 11.1 million. They are working, paying rent, buying consumer goods and, yes, paying taxes. According to the Social Security Administration, three quarters of unauthorized immigrants pay into Social Security, although they will never reap a penny of benefit.

If anti-immigration groups could wave a magic wand and deport all 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants, the economic effects to our country would put us back into recession. There would be huge labor shortages, driving up prices and inflation. Entire blue-collar neighborhoods would be ghost towns.

Current immigration law does not reflect the reality of unauthorized immigration in the U.S. This unfairness weakens American rule of law. It is time to make a correction that includes normalization of those who are already part of our communities.

It is the only fair thing to do.

—Jake Fisher, Oklahoma City

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