Immigration Rights

Recently sponsored a musical talent contest and dance for immigrant rights entitled “Remember the Pioneers” in Provo (see B1).

Now, Peter Jose Smith, president of Utah Cultures, publicly announced on his Web site that he will be running for Congress as a Christian Democratic Republican against Jason Chaffetz, who he claims is too harsh against immigrants, “wanting to deport everyone, even if they have been here for years and have children who are American Citizens.”

Below The UVU Review address some topics dealing with immigration. To have your voice heard on this topic, sound off at or send an e-mail to

Support of immigrants means support of economy

As the United States strives to keep up its self-proclaimed title as the best country in the world, the lower classes and immigrants are needed to hold up the United States’ big head. In order for a country to be able to focus its attention on coming up with the best new technologies or products, all of the smaller stuff needs to fall into place first.

This is one big reason why so many businesses are outsourcing these days — to let developing countries take care of the bothersome jobs so that Americans can have the bigger better ones.

However, one of the problems with outsourcing is that by giving other countries resources and technologies to do what Americans don’t want to do, we are losing those valuable resources and technologies in the end, instead allowing other countries to benefit from them. The end result is making the United States pennywise but pound-foolish. To save a few extra bucks, the United States is forfeiting the opportunity to keep all levels of business in this country healthy.

What China and India get, China and India are only going to try and improve. Most of the time people try not to stagnate; improvement and self-betterment should ring true to most people. This within itself is not bad, but shouldn’t a country look out for its rights and advancements first? Isn’t that what led this country to be created in the first place — the desire to be better and do what one wants?

The American dream is to allow all citizens and residents the opportunity to strive to achieve their dreams through hard work and determination. Shouldn’t this opportunity also be given to immigrants? One would think that immigrants wouldn’t want to stay working low-paying jobs for the entire duration of their lives. Immigrants have dreams, too, and that is probably one reason why they came to this country in the first place. Giving immigrants the opportunities that we are instead giving to other countries would keep more money in the United States, and be a better benefit to all of those living here.

Charles Bowden in his article Exodus: Border-Crossers Forge a New America says, “We want an answer, a solution. But there is only this fact: We either find a way to make their world better or they will come to our better world. At the moment, we insist on the wrong answer to the wrong question. And so, the Border Patrol will grow. There will be a wall. Tougher laws will be passes by Congress. And the people will keep coming.”

The United States should be more accepting of immigrants as long as the country is ready for what that entails and is ready to keep track of and support immigrants just like they would any other resident of the United States. That is, as long as immigrants start acting like residents of the United States. Either that, or just like Bowden said, other countries need to be able to sustain a level of living that their citizens want to stay in. Otherwise there really is no solution.

If immigrants were better accepted and supported in the United States, it would better ensure the growth of the economy, and still allow for progress within the country. It doesn’t matter how magnificent a house is if its foundation is weak; sooner or later it will crumble.

Make it easier for those who want to stay

The idea of the American dream is to allow anyone the same hopes and freedoms that our citizens have. Whether they are from Japan, England, Mexico, or Madagascar, anyone can become an American citizen. Amazing, right? Why in the world is it so hard to become a legal immigrant then?

It’s obvious that our country is extremely dependent on immigrants. The United States would fail without their contributions. If immigrants did not have to maneuver so many obstacles, such as obtaining a sponsor to petition their visa, maybe we’d have fewer illegal immigrants and more legal immigrants.

Kumiko Keep, a UVU student, is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She was here on a student visa to attend UVU. A few months before her visa expired she married another UVU student, an American citizen, allowing her to continue living in the U.S. She is now trying to obtain her green card. The green card will allow her to travel back to Japan and still be permitted entry into the United States. Even though much of her family resides here in Utah, should she leave the U.S., she would not be able to come back without a green card.

The process that she has gone through has been more than frustrating.

A limited number of visa numbers are issued each year. As a result, an immigrant may not get their visa number right away. This could mean many years could pass before the immigrant actually receives their visa number. On a discussion board found on, one immigrant shares the experience of spending two years waiting for a perpetually absent visa number.

Immigrants wishing to become permanent residents based on their employment must complete a labor certification request. As part of this request, the Department of Labor (DOL) must attest that there are no other qualified and willing American employees for the job. No matter the work ethics of the immigrant and the citizen, the citizen always has priority. If this is the case, the immigrant remains illegal and must find another sponsor.

In this request, the immigrant must have an employer outline the job duties, educational requirements, experience, and training required for the job. Often times an employer will not have the time or desire to complete this task and will instead hire other applicants.

After the grueling process of obtaining a visa and finally arriving in the United States, the immigrant can then apply for a green card to travel freely across American borders. A green card does not grant citizenship. It is the step preceding citizenship. It is only after an immigrant obtains a green card that he or she can begin the journey toward citizenship.

The unwieldy process of legal immigration discourages immigrants from investing themselves in it. However, they still desire the freedoms and rights we take for granted. If the excruciating process was made easier, there would be fewer people forced into hiding from the various departments regulating immigration, and we wouldn’t have the problem of illegal immigration.

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