I’m a walking contradiction; a hypocrite to my own values. My personal beliefs are incredibly conservative: abortion is wrong, immigrants who come here through unapproved channels should go back and follow the current rules and I think there are more than a few recipients of public aid who abuse the system.
All that being said, politically I support the candidate who is pro-choice, actively protects “illegal” immigrants and pledges to increase funding for social services.
That answer is simple for me. My personal beliefs shouldn’t limit the rights of the person next to me. The word personal is defined by Dictionary.com as:
1. of, pertaining to, or coming as from a particular person; individual; private: a personal opinion.2. relating to, directed to, or intended for a particular person: a personal favor; one’s personal life; a letter marked “Personal.”3. intended for use by one person: a personal car.
The immigrants I’ve met who came or stayed here using “unapproved” methods– sneaking in, staying after a visa expired– are not here to take advantage of our socials services programs or “take our jobs”. They would rather live here with the fear of deportation and send whatever money they can back to the family left behind than be subjected to the abject poverty or under the corrupted government of their countries of origin. As a decent human being, I want these people to be safe and have an opportunity for a better life. I worked for an employment agency for over a decade. My geographical reach for employing people was approximately a 50-mile radius. This is what I’ve experienced: Immigrants aren’t “taking job from Americans”. They are the majority of those applying for low level jobs. They accept them with sheer joy and (most of them) show up every single day. I’ve had a few non-immigrant applicants for these jobs. Everyone single one of them demanded far above the posted salary without a shred of applicable experience and most would not accept the position with the pay range offered. Some would walk out. Some would begrudgingly accept the job, mutter a sarcastic thanks and then disappear several weeks later. (So raise the salary you say? I would have loved to– the more money my placements made, the better for me and my employer. Agencies rarely get to dictate the pay. That is a problem that must be fixed within companies. That’s also a much larger discussion for another post.) Every so often I’d get an application from a laid off worker or someone who has experienced another life-changing event who needed something to get back on his or her feet. They would accept whatever I had to offer and commit to the length of the assignment. The long and short of it is, I didn’t see immigrants taking jobs from more qualified non-immigrant applicants. I saw them take the ones no one else wanted. Is there a problem in other geographical areas where immigrant workers get jobs because they would work for less money? Most likely. I cannot speak from direct experience on this, so I will not. As I said, that’s a topic for another post– one that will mention the jobs being sent overseas. (Though, let me say I’d love to see harsher penalties for people who sell forged social security cards, employment authorization cards and permanent resident cards. Most of them are so obviously fake I’ve told the holder to return to the supplier and demand a refund.)
Before you comment, please, really think about what you are about to say. Your argument against anything in this post may very well prove my point. Giving me “official statistics” of issues I’ve mentioned will not help. Research both conservative and liberal organizations from where the number comes. They range drastically on the bias of what is trying to be proved.
I am struggling to keep religion and spirituality out of this and stick to the basic idea of just being respectful of others. I know some of you will want to argue a religiously based counter-opinion. My answer to that is the same: live your life by the laws of your religion and I’ll live by the laws of mine. Let me remind you of statements from four major religions:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”
“What is hateful to yourself do not do to your fellow-man.”
“Believers, guard your own souls. The person who has gone astray cannot hurt you if you are rightly guided.”
“An’ it harm none, Do what ye will.”
I started this post by saying I’m a hypocrite of my own values. Through writing and editing, I see I am true to my most important value: live and let live.