Immigrants add much to country
Legislation addressing comprehensive immigration reform is of utmost importance to me, an American-born citizen, with rights and privileges afforded to me, and as friend, neighbor, co-worker and relative of people born outside of the U.S.
It is easy to consider the topic on the congressional floor in terms of what to do about illegal immigrants, border security, and worker visas; however, it is more important for American citizens to consider the effects of these decisions on the quality of life of the many people we encounter on a daily basis in our lives — for services, for jobs, and for our overall quality of life. It is important for us to discuss the pathway to citizenship for undocumented people, the inhumanity of separating families, and the unjustness of returning people to unstable countries.
Both Diversity Immigrant Visas and Family Reunification Visas have not only added to the cultural richness of our country, but have been critical to our economy. In past decades, both parents in many immigrant families worked, but when the family was able to invite other relatives, like siblings, families were able to leverage their human capital to create businesses that led to jobs and economic growth. Presently, the proposed Family Reunification Visa legislation only allows families to send for spouses and children,
In addition, Diversity Immigrant Visas provide opportunities for people who may have limited options to come to the United States.Many people who want to emigrate to the United States will never have this opportunity. This is why it is critical to maintain both the Diversity Immigrant and Family Reunification Visa programs.
We must not lose sight of the contributions of immigrants to American culture and life as we consider immigration issues.
Harriet Lewis,N Organizing for Action, Oak Park, Ill.