Monday, April 10, 2006

Immigration Reforms and The Middle Eastern Voice

With the huge demonstrations taking place around the country in protest of the immigration reforms, you may wonder why aren't there any Middle Eastern demonstrators? Aren't there any illegal immigrants from the Middle East living in the U.S.? Why aren't they marching the streets of Detroit, Chicago or New York?

First of all, illegal immigrants from the Middle East understand they're ILLEGAL. This means when you are living illegally in a country, you expect to be deported if the authorities find you. So, why would you demonstrate on the streets and let them find you?

Most illegal immigrants from the Middle East enter the country on student visas, visitor's visas, work visas, marriage or fiancee' visas. The work visa has become popular lately. An immigrant finds a friend or a relative with a business -- a restaurant is good enough -- who sponsors their work visa. If they're married, they bring their family too. No, they don't need to work for that business. It's only a way to get into this country.

If a Middle Easterner gets deported to his country of origin, the chance of him/her entering the U.S. soil again is very limited. They don't live next door to America where they can cross the borders the next day. So again, why chance it with the authorities?

Also After 9/11, the phrase "illegal immigrants from the Middle East" equates to terrorists. I guarantee that no Middle Easterner, legal or illegal, wants to be viewed as a terrorist. So, you aren't going to see many protesting because of this specific reason.

Most people know the immigration reforms issue has become important because of the mid-term elections. Otherwise, it would have waited until the 2008 elections. Each party is playing for its voters. Middle Easterners know it's a game, and they are watching it like many others.

My family came to this country legally. My sister had to wait 10 years for her green card application to be approved by immigration so she could enter this country. The same happened with many of my friends and relatives. I don't appreciate people jumping the immigration queue to become American citizens. It's not fair for others who are trying to take the legal path to enter the U.S.

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