C. Steven

C. Steven

Jacksonville, FL

Mis Abuelos, from Northern Spain, emigrated separately through Cuba in the 1900’s because it was “easier” than going through other means/Ellis Island. They met in Tampa, Florida and married. They were on a path to citizenship but were not citizens when they married. They had 4 children in Ybor City while they were becoming naturalized and it was a slow process. Today, they would be considered illegal immigrants despite working hard, raising a family and paying taxes. All of the kids were US Citizens but their own parents. I get angry at the vitriol about what an “undocumented” or “illegal” immigrant means today. A hundred years ago you actually had a path, a long and difficult one but it was one you could use, that no longer exists (and never will again because Cuba is NOT a viable option). Mis abuelos were possibly “illegal” at some point and if not then, certainly now by current laws but they eventually became citizens because they were able to become them. I guess it is all about what is possible or potential with your legal status or path to citizenship when you arrive here, a situational issue that can vacillate by laws that are either thoughtful or misguided. I suppose if I embrace what is “Legal” instead of what is “Ethical” I can ignore reality but what is Ethical to me is that if you want to come to America and this is your only crime, you work hard, you stay in good standing in your community (heck, you IMPROVE your community and make it better by your existence), you should be permitted to become naturalized and if you want to be a citizen you should not be blanketed as a crook when you clearly are a victim of circumstance. If that concept is too narrowly construed, we are all illegal and hence all crooks to some degree. Is that was the point was? If children are on their own with no choice but getting away from a horrible situation, who are we to judge this desperation and sorrow? Isn’t that what we ALL had to experience at one time to make us emigrate to the USA and why we are here to begin with? Todos los Americanos del EEUU son inmigrantes! If you don’t recognize the hypocrisy, you are Not American.

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