Amarili Galvez

Amarili Galvez

Concord, CA

I am a US citizen, born in America to a Cuban mother and Ecuadorean father, neither of whom had any problems gaining permanent residency when they first arrived here. I have been spared the tragic impotence felt by many when they cannot do the basic, everyday things the rest of us take for granted.

By chance, my first boyfriend of 7 years didn’t have his papers. It was my first exposure to “that world.” In subsequent relationships, one BF had obtained his papers thru marriage, and I ended up marrying someone who is undocumented. We married for love, already having visited a lawyer and knowing that I could not sponsor him – not even as his wife!

The petty and ridiculous policies attached to Date of Entry, Point of Entry, etc., make us ineligible for a husband/wife Visa. And so…we wait around twiddling our thumbs, with the gloomy hope that someday the right kinds of laws will be passed to rectify the gross injustices claiming lives, families, dreams, happiness and peace of mind across the country. Legislators and politicians opposed to immigration are hanging on to outdated perspectives and hypocritical values.

They say they believe in family values as one of their top priorities, but don’t mind splitting families up. They are right not to overlook those who come to America only to commit crimes and not be productive or contribute to society. But when someone’s only “illegal action” is the crossing of that border line and their presence here is generating income, economic growth, tax dollars, and the fulfillment of jobs that “other Americans” won’t take, it is time to stand up, take notice, acknowledge the need for change, and make legitimate those individuals who have long since been members of our nation. In spanish there is a saying that you cannot cover the sun with a finger — that is an understatement by this time!

We have a massively out-of-control immigration problem, a lot of stereotyping, group psychology and outright bigotry at the helm of current immigration enforcement, and too little compassion for why they are even here. It is the same thing as all of those fancy European ancestors generations ago – to have a better life, more opportunities, and a better future for their children. The racially charged stubbornness and shortsighted viewpoint that ONLY looks at their illegal entry, is not fully appreciating the situation. They cling to an old, tired argument, and cling even more tightly to their fear of change and fear of losing mainstream power. It’s time to put a stop to this madness and regain our compassion as a nation.

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It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.

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