Mixed feelings on Dreamers

This letter was sent to Representative Vela. Seeing the furor out of the Capitol on the subject of the “Dreamers,” I can imagine that you surely must have received tons of letters cheering you and your stance on the “Dreamers.”

You are the person in Washington who represents me, so it is to you to whom I must provide my thoughts and ideas about these “Dreamers.”

Of course, I have deep feelings for these “Dreamers!” My feelings, however, are also mixed.

It is very hard not to sympathize with them. They did not choose to come to this country; their parents did. Now, they are in danger of being deported.

The truth is that they were in danger of being deported from the very beginning.

Why were they not?

Had they been reported and deported, this problem would not exist.

Again, why were they not?

Please do not tell me it is because our Immigration Laws are “broken.” If they are and have been broken for a long time, why have they not been fixed?

And, while the fixing is being accomplished, why has the existing law not been enforced?

You know, as well as anyone, that nothing happens without a reason. If there is no enforcement, what is the reason for that?

Well, ask the real question: Who benefits from non-enforcement?

Somebody does. Who?

Illegal aliens (please, not “undocumented immigrants”) come for several reasons.

Foremost among them is the fact that they know that they can get jobs. So long as there are no real consequences to American businesses owners’ hiring them, the hiring will continue.

You and your colleagues make the law. Make one that will punish the lawbreakers with real jail time.

My guess is that such a law, enforced, will dry up the jobs and result in a great reduction of illegal aliens in this country.

Now, whenever I read the latest information put out about our “broken immigration laws,” I always hear about the great contribution that these illegal aliens make to our country.

They don’t generally mention the great flow of green that goes back to their home countries. I’ll just mention our contribution. The “Dreamers” got a totally free, first class education for all of their school years.

They got free meals in schools. They may have gotten free medical care. And, while I say “free,” it really wasn’t. Somebody had to pay. Who?

The American taxpayers paid with (to use a cliche) our blood, sweat and tears. Yes, we did, not the business owners who hired their parents.

Let me address this issue in a different way. The choice to bring these children and take advantage of the American taxpayers was that of the parents.

The non-enforcement of the law made it possible for them to remain. Who made the choice not to enforce the law?

Now, how many illegal aliens (including Dreamers) do we have? Who is responsible for that?

Think on this – if we simply just legalize all of these “Dreamers,” we will be rewarding the parents who chose to break our laws and illegally invade our country.

We will be encouraging more and more illegal invasion of our country. No, not encouraging, inviting!

I personally see nothing good ahead unless we stop illegal aliens now. Legalization of the “Dreamers” now will only result in a new legalization in a few years, and so on.

The fix has to include enforcement of the law that we have now, enactment of a new law that includes drying up the jobs by directing real and substantial penalties to all who hire illegal aliens, providing a path that will “earn” the current “Dreamers” citizenship and legislate no future “Dreamers.”

As for the wall, by all means, build it. It cannot hurt. If it works, great. My thought, though, is that if the other measures work, the wall will not be necessary.

One final thought—separation of illegal aliens and their children born here is a hard issue that tugs at everyone’s heartstrings.

It is extremely difficult to contemplate such an action. I imagine that decision makers do not have an easy time of it. The situation, though, is the making of the parents who chose to come over illegally.

Of course, they count on good American hearts to choose the best thing for them. So, again, there is a real danger that we may end up rewarding them for their choices.

Representative Vela, I should be very happy and eager to discuss this matter with you or any member of your staff.

My telephone number is at the bottom of this letter.

Sincerely, Guillermo Barrientes Sergeant First Class, United States Army (Retired) Harlingen