Immigration and the State of the Union

By 09:36

I'm not even going to apologize for taking long to write because that's gotten old :-P

I know I'm a little late on this, but I needed to get this on "paper," before I completely lose my timing.

Last week's State of the Union speech made by Barack Obama was full of great inspirational quotes, insights, and cute jokes. What stuck out most for me and probably most readers of this blog though, was Obama's comments on immigration. After last year's defeat of the D.R.E.A.M. act (I called it), which I have been hearing about since high school, I figured Congress was going to take its regular 2+ years to touch upon the subject once again.

But after Obama's comments, I doubt they'll slack this time around. Here's what he said:

“One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag (note here he emphasized OUR, which I thought was fabulous), and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.”*

Can I just say I got goosebumps listening to these words? I mean, Obama's a great public speaker, but I like to think he may have gotten this from one of the many letters I sent to Senators and Congressmen telling them my story.

I not only went to the US as a child, I also obtained an advanced degree and then was "forced" to peace out. And today, I compete directly with US companies and workers offering the same quality services, if not better because they're multilingual, for virtually the same price as my colleagues in the US... bitches (haha, sorry, I had to).

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is, what Obama said is right, as I've written about before, skilled migrants are very beneficial to the country, and I'm not the only case of a skilled migrant gone home. Just through this blog I have met a more than a handful of Brazilians who were forced to come back to Brazil after earning graduate and master degrees in the US or even Americans who are here because their Brazilian spouses weren't allowed to stay in the United States. They're working for American companies helping their Brazilian branches grow; or they're working for Brazilian companies which compete with the US for services. They're intelligent, hard-working, and honest. Yet, as I tell many people when they ask how I didn't have a green card after being in the US for so long and earning a degreee, etc., "The government doesn't care about any of that."

What do you guys think? Do you think this year immigration policy will finally have its turn after 10 years since the last reform?

*Just as a side note, and if you are interested in topics that are immigration related and mostly puts immigration in a positive light albeit objectively, I recommend you follow Feet in 2 Worlds, which is where I found this text from the speech!

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