Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Movie, and musings on Immigration Issues

I saw a movie today, called The Visitor.
    A widowed college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple, who turn out to be illegal immigrants, living in his apartment

The movie starts out kind of boring. A professor is living his boring, milktoast life. Then he has to go to NYC (New York City aka The City) to present a paper. He really doesn't want to go there. His life seems to be in a rut he's used to. When he gets to his apartment in NYC, he surprises a couple that is living in his apartment. Someone who had the key rented it to them. Even though he's educated, he doesn't seem to have been around people of other cultures much.

They are trying to find another place, but he ends up letting them stay because they can't find one. He learns the drums, and gets to know the couple as people, until they have immigration problems. I won't give away any more, for anyone who wants to watch the movie.

This movie makes you think about the United State's Immigration policies. Yes, someone who overstays their welcome, or comes here illegally, has broken the law. But should they be treated as criminals? The conservatives want them deported, "go back where you came from". How do they think we all got here? Our ancestors were immigrants too! We don't know if they came here legally or illegally.

From my personal experience with immigrants, they are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. They are not taking jobs away from Americans. Most of the time they are doing the jobs that Americans don't want to do. Even those that come here who were doctors in their country oftentimes have to work jobs such as cab drivers for years until they can get certified. How many doctors in the US would work a job like that for years? Not very many!

I know, a country has to have laws. But trying to balance laws and treating people as human beings is a hard thing to do. We have to remember that they are PEOPLE with FEELINGS. Not just "illegal immigrants". Do you think they like to come to a country and be treated as criminals? That's not my idea of a good time. I saw poverty when I lived in Jordan, and there are a lot of countries that make the people in Jordan look rich.

I don't have an answer or a way to magically fix the problem. But if we speak up, we can have a say in how people from other countries are treated. We elect the politicians, after all!

A.

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