The United States of America is a great country, and a land of great opportunity. Millions and millions of people have come here during the last 500 years to find better jobs, better wages, and better lives with more safety and more freedom. Most of us (or our parents, or our great-great grandparents) found some, if not all, of what we came here to find.
It is a great country, but it is not necessarily a fair country. What do I mean by that? To put it simply, I mean that not everyone who lives here actually gets treated the same way. This shouldn’t be news to anyone who knows their American history.
After all, some of the first people who came here were the Puritans, a group of religious martyrs who fled Europe because they were oppressed. One thing they did when they got here was to start killing the Native Americans who had welcomed them. Then they started killing Quakers for worshipping God the wrong way. Most famously, they even killed a number of their own community for ‘witchcraft.’ Apparently the Puritans thought that oppression was just fine, so long as the oppression was being done by them and not to them.
The Puritans weren’t alone in their hypocrisy. Almost every generation in America has had some kind of bogeyman to fear, some ‘other’ that it identified as The Enemy and worked against. My fellow Americans have agitated, legislated, raged, and rioted against Armenians, Irish, Germans, Chinese, Native Americans, Jews, Catholics, ‘White‘ people, ‘Black‘ people, Spanish-speakers – everyone, really. Except for the Native Americans who got here first, it seems that every group that comes to America tries to oppress the next group that comes to America.
So, what does this mean to the undocumented, or to the legal resident who has not naturalized? It means you have to be on your best behavior, because a single foolish mistake or bad decision can ultimately get you deported. That’s not fair, is it? After all, a U.S. citizen can’t be deported for petty theft or DUI. But an undocumented immigrant can, and sometimes a legal resident can, too. It isn’t fair.
It isn’t fair, and it doesn’t have to be – it’s the law. The law isn’t fair, and the justice system isn’t always just. If you or a loved one has a legal problem that could become a residence problem, call me.
I have been working for a decade to make things right for my clients when they’ve been mistreated by the legal system. If you’ve gotten a raw deal, contact me. I have translators on call and work with an immigration attorney to help protect your rights and your freedom.