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Equal protection of law

July 26, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The first section of the 14th Amendment reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

"Any persons" includes immigrants.

The Dream Act (Deferred Action on Deportation) is a class of 750,000 Mexican citizens who are now 30-something years of age. Their scofflaw parents smuggled them into the jurisdiction of the U.S.

The Dreamers did not choose to adjust their immigration status by joining the army, nor marrying a citizen, both tactics that allow an undocumented immigrant to jump ahead of the very long wait line for a green card (the document of a lawful immigrant who may work in the U.S.)

If the deferred status precedent is not extended to these now adult citizens of Mexico, they will lose their protected visa status. Mexico; which is a democratic nation, not at war, and a first world country, would have to absorb these now college educated adults.

If their special ongoing visa status is allowed, the 14th Amendment, which cannot be excluded from Congressional law, would authorize all future undocumented who cross the border before their 18th birthday to stay as well. They, too, would be entitled to the protections of the DACA immigrants as similarly situated persons.The Democratic party appears disingenuous in claiming they can legislate an amnesty that will impact only these 750,000 Mexican immigrants and circumvent the rules of the 14th Amendment to all other undocumented who can claim youthful border crossing.

Neither party has wanted to really figure out the magic number of immigrants "needed" by U.S. employers. Perhaps it is time we consider other criteria than the "needs" of employers for cheap subservient labor.

The GOP controls the legislature at the moment, but can't seem to settle on a process for citizenship. The GOP claims it wants to increase the ever-enlarged system of H visas for "the kind of immigrants who have the skills we need." The H system is a peonage system where immigrant workers are beholden to their employer, not just for a job; but for the right to stay in the country. The GOP, too, should be considered less-than-sincere in describing "the problem" as a lack of access to immigrants with skill and education. Our student visa system allows thousands to migrate in order to attend a U.S. college. Ninety percent of these temporary student visa immigrants overstay their visa.

Whatever is done, most people agree that leaving migrant people in limbo is problematic. With no quick path to citizenship, the U.S. labor force, migrant and citizen alike faces a diminishing ability to demand a fair wage, decent and safe work conditions free of harassment through collective action and or the ballot box.

Ellen Starbird

Cape Coral



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