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The bias behind Immigration Reform

Residents rally for immigration reform on May Day in Spokane.
Residents rally for immigration reform on May Day in Spokane.

I have to say I am glad that this type of immigration reform was not created in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s or I would not be here. One of my grandfathers came from Poland just after World War 1 and the other had parents who moved from Canada and then left him an orphan in Texas. I also have a large branch of the family that is one-half French Canadian.

It seems that every couple of generations wrestle with the immigration challenge in one way or the other. In the mid 1800’s in New York it wasn’t uncommon to see signs that said no dogs or Irishmen allowed, even though the Irishmen were a white European population. And then there was the bias against the Italians and an area of New York City known as Hell’s Kitchen (not a restaurant or TV show) where immigrants were crowded in until they could work their way out to mainline America.

This whole idea is fear based on the concept of lack, limitation and separation. Science, through the magic of DNA, has proven beyond a doubt that the physical differences between individuals is infinitesimal, and between races is almost nonexistent, and yet we have continued to live in and recreate a world of separation and bias based upon primarily surface conditions.

When the time comes that we recognize there is more than enough for everyone and cease the attempt to keep “undesirables” out, the world will work for all people. I have talked to a local person who can’t get youth to do hard work for $13 an hour —  yet at the same time, we seem to want to exclude hardworking people who are willing to contribute to the workforce and create a better life for themselves and their families.

We may need some kind of limitations, but not based on race. I find it interesting that we welcome people from all over the world to our colleges, while at the same time, our primary schools are not turning out graduates with the tools for success in the world.

When we as a human race honor and respect all beings, we help other countries create their own prosperity; immigration will actually take care of itself. In the meantime, let’s bring forth well thought-out laws that do not criminalize the desire to better oneself.

About Joe Niemiec

The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.

He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.

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