Op-Ed

Call for compassion to illegal immigrants

I am blessed to have been raised the daughter of a Navy chief. I grew up knowing the world and the necessity of diversity in our global community and economy.

I have learned many life lessons in my short 24 years on this beautiful planet, and the majority have been through multicultural interactions.

Serving as a medical interpreter in Lexington and a clinical assistant at a community health center local Hispanics frequent, I have learned to understand and love this oppressed demographic.

The proposed Senate Bill 6, which would make it criminal to be an illegal immigrant in this state, weighs extremely heavy on my heart and soul.

Something must be done to control illegal immigration and protect our borders. However, turning to racial profiling and threatening laws will result in unintented consequences.

When our state is falling short on our Medicaid and Medicare budgets, how do we justly support a bill that is going to overfill our jails and cost millions to implement?

Isn't our priority to provide for our citizens who need medical assistance, especially when we live in a state where the eastern half is comparable to a developing nation?

What about our progressing methamphetamine epidemic? It does not make sense to distract our law enforcement officials when we already have a crisis directly affecting our citizens.

I am not a Kentucky native, although my family roots are here. Kentucky ranks nearly highest in national statistics for obesity, cigarette abuse and lung cancer. We are notorious for being reactionary in our decisions. We have the opportunity right now to make a responsible decision that will impact the nation.

Do we want the recognition of racial profiling, eerily reminiscent of Hitler's regime? Forcing workhorses of our economy (especially the tobacco and horse industries) to live in fear for their lives?

Instead of pushing a hastily assembled bill into law, we could take the opportunity to present an innovative and compassionate alternative, rather than reverting to our nation's earlier days of racism.

Encourage the leaders of our state and country to invest time in immigration policy. We must come up with a sustainable means to control immigration.

We need this demographic, because even in light of daunting unemployment rates, I do not know anyone who will step up humbly and fill the jobs that will be left open if this bill proceeds.

Out of the hundreds of illegal immigrants I have encountered, the only reason they live in our state is because they love the people, the beauty and the tranquility. And they desire to work, legally.

However, our nation's process to become a citizen is extremely backed up. I know someone who has been waiting 11 years for a response on his application for citizenship.

I trust that if most people were faced with the opportunity to provide a better life for their families, they would do so. That is the sole reason the majority of immigrants move to the United States. We are all aware of the horrific drug mafias overtaking Central America.

Due to our country's corn subsidies, Mexico no longer can sell corn because we sell it cheaper. Corn was once one of Mexico's grandest cash crops. If we think our unemployment is bad, look at statistics south of the border.

I challenge each Kentuckian to make immigrant friends. It will open a whole new beautiful world of knowledge and consideration to you. I could not be more grateful for them.

I beg supporters of SB 6 to rethink this hasty bill and follow the human compassion that is woven into the hearts of every single human being.

We cannot judge people based on their looks. Only God can, and will, judge us. Please be a light in this quickly darkening world.

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