How Amnesty for Illegals Hurts Honest Immigrants

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Some time back, I posted a couple of blogs about a waitress at my favorite breakfast restaurant and her problems with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At that time I was ambivalent in my feelings about her situation, because it dealt with her husband, who was not in this country legally.

As a strong supporter of law and order, I firmly believe those who cross our borders without going through proper legal channels or remain in our country on expired visas do not belong here. That belief conflicted with my compassion for this woman whose husband had been taken from her.

Since that time, I’ve learned a bit more about the situation. First of all, I learned that her husband was not deported. The two of them had decided they wanted to do things legally, and he had voluntarily returned to Mexico.

The second thing I learned, perhaps even more important so far as my feelings about the matter were concerned, was that this man did not sneak across our border illegally. He was brought across the border as a child by his parents. He had no say in the matter.

Knowing these things, I now see him as an innocent victim who is trying to do things the right way. He didn’t go whining to politicians about how they should pass a special law to ease his situation. He didn’t join some advocacy group to try to overturn our immigration laws and procedures.

This man did what the law required—he returned to the country of his citizenship, of his own volition, with the intent of applying through proper channels for admission into the United States. Before he could legally re-enter our country, he had to remain in Mexico for at least a year.

During that year, he made formal application to return to Texas. This involved a lot of paperwork red tape on both sides of the border, but he went through it. After many months of hearing nothing, he was finally notified in May that his application had been approved. He would soon be given instructions on how to proceed.

The smile on Anabel’s face the morning she told me about that lit up the whole restaurant. I figured he would be back any day and they would resume their lives of marital bliss. Week after week I asked her what the latest news was, and each time the sadness in her face and eyes tore my heart up. I quit asking, because I could see the pain my asking brought.

When I went to the restaurant last Friday, she came and sat in my booth for a moment, telling me she finally had news about her husband. He had received notice that he had an appointment for a hearing—in Mexico, of course—in late September, at which time they would decide what to do.

I’m livid. I don’t know the husband, but I know Anabel. She’s a sweet Christian lady who believes in right and wrong and law and order. She and her husband have tried to do the right thing here. They’ve complied with the law at every step of the way since he returned to Mexico.

Their reward for trying to do right has been nothing but a foot-dragging, lollygagging run-around. The year’s waiting period elapsed several months ago, and he’s still in limbo. Meanwhile, this dear lady is deprived of the loving support of her husband and left to raise her teenage children by herself on a waitress’s pay.

While my friend and her husband are trying to do everything according to the law, our wonderful President has rushed all the illegal aliens who have NOT returned to their home countries as they should ahead of this man and all the others who are trying to play by the rules. Is it any wonder that honest people get frustrated in trying to do the right thing?

Had any dealings with government red tape? Share your experiences with us. I love to hear from you.

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Book update: You can now look me and Heaven Sent up on Goodreads, and I will soon be putting it out in paperback form. I will also be publishing Fancy, the first novella in my series about a fourteen year-old girl orphaned by the Civil War.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his book, click the “Heaven Sent” tab above.

Contact him at davwalktx@yahoo.com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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10 Responses to How Amnesty for Illegals Hurts Honest Immigrants

  1. Pingback: Anabel Vargas | David N Walker

  2. Pingback: Should We Uphold the Constitution? | David N Walker

  3. My heart breaks for individuals that follow the law and are stepped on in return. This morning I learned that a Pastor, my very best friend from first grade, is having to write the by-laws for her small church. This small church was founded in the late 1800s and never once have they missed a Sunday Worship. It serves a small rural area of Kansas and I’m so proud of my friend for returning to this church where her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents before her worshiped. This small town was once a thriving cattle town and has now dwindled to maybe 100 people and has lost every business that once existed there. The final blow was when the post office closed for the 2 hours it was open for only a few hours each week. My friend is an excellent pastor and each time I go home to Kansas, I make sure I arrange my trip that I might hear my friend on Sunday morning–it’s always a treat. Here’s a little country church that’s taken care of it’s own people since the early 1800’s and now the government tells them they must have by-laws. Where is it said by Jesus that a church must have by-laws?

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  4. Thank you for this post, David. I think these are issues we don’t address enough. I find that some people have misinformed opinions when clearly every situation is different.

    I have a few family members who are going through this process right now. I have seen people who go through the process fairly quickly while others take longer (as much as a decade or longer). It just depends on so many things such as prior criminal record, age you came here, whether you have children, and who’s naturalizing you. Like you, I commend those who try to do things the right way.

    However, I must point something out. Our president has NOT rushed illegal immigrants ahead of everyone else “in line.” I’m guessing you’re talking about the new application for work permits? These are exclusively for people like this lady’s husband: people who were brought here as children, had no say, have a high school diploma/GED, have been here ten years, are under 30, and have no criminal record. Approved applicants will receive a 2 year permit, nothing more. And it still takes months. I think this is a very good thing for these young DREAMers who had no say in coming here, now see the U.S. as their home, and only want to contribute to society.

    There has been no overall amnesty given and even if it was, it would probably take ages just like for those already waiting. Also, it is important to mention that there are many people who want to do things the right way, even if it takes a long time, but a U.S. citizen or resident who is an immediate family member/husband/wife needs to naturalize you. Many people don’t have such a person. Even to apply for a tourist visa to visit takes such a long time and works against the average person because it costs so much and there are things such as property requirements.

    I think the system as a whole needs to be reevaluated.

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  5. Thank you for this post, David. I think these are issues we don’t address enough. I find that some people have misinformed opinions when clearly every situation is different.

    I have a few family members who are going through this process right now. I have seen people who go through the process fairly quickly while others take longer (as much as a decade or longer). It just depends on so many things such as prior criminal record, age you came here, whether you have children, and who’s naturalizing you. Like you, I commend those who try to do things the right way.

    However, I must point something out. Our president has NOT rushed illegal immigrants ahead of everyone else “in line.” I’m guessing you’re talking about the new application for work permits? These are exclusively for people like this lady’s husband: people who were brought here as children, had no say, have a high school diploma/GED, have been here ten years, are under 30, and have no criminal record. Approved applicants will receive a 2 year permit, nothing more. And it still takes months. I think this is a very good thing for these young DREAMers who had no say in coming here, now see the U.S. as their home, and only want to contribute to society.

    There has been no overall amnesty given and even if it was, it would probably take ages just like for those already waiting. Also, it is important to mention that there are many people who want to do things the right way, even if it takes a long time, but a U.S. citizen or resident who is an immediate family member/husband/wife needs to naturalize you. Many people don’t have such a person. Even to apply for a tourist visa to visit takes such a long time and works against the average person because it costs so much and there are things such as property requirements.

    I think the system as a whole needs to be reevaluated.

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    • The point is, these people the President is giving work visas to are here illegally and not being required to go home and wait their turn like my friend’s husband has done.

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  6. Sharon K. Walker says:

    I appreciate your viewpoint. I too am in sympathy with those who were brought to this country illegally by their parents, but I think that those who try to follow the rules should be rewarded first. The line forms at the rear. Personally, I bristle when people cut the line in front of me.

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    • Thanks, Sharon. Fair is fair.

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    • Sharon, lines may work like that at the grocery store but not with immigration. It’s about the kind of application you submit and the requirements you are able to meet. If a citizen naturalizes it will take about a year as opposed to having a resident do it which takes like ten. Also true for having a wife/husband/child/parent do it as opposed to a sibling. Sad but true.

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