NJ Mayor Says It Makes Sense
to Grant Citizenship to Undocumented Immigrants
Guest Voz: NJ Mayor says it makes sense to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants
By Michael Wildes
Michael Wildes serves as mayor of Englewood, New Jersey. In addition, he is an immigration lawyer and a former federal prosecutor.
As partner of the NYC-based immigration law firm Wildes & Weinberg, established by his father, Wildes has become internationally renowned for having represented the United States government in immigration proceedings.
Wildes is in his second term as mayor, winning re-election in 2006 and was appointed by former Governor Jon Corzine to sit as a member of the state's Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration.
With his years of experience interacting
and representing immigrants, Wildes makes an argument for his most difficult
case yet -- convincing the American public that undocumented immigrants
deserve to be granted U.S. citizenship.
Across the nation there is a call for comprehensive immigration reform, and during this period of turmoil in immigration policy, it is important to keep some basic precepts in mind.
There is an estimated 20 million undocumented aliens currently living in the United States, but we don't know WHO they are and we don't know WHERE they came from.
The enormity of the problem has caused paralysis and political impotence for years, but the tragic events of September 11, 2001 were the catalyst for a grassroots effort to force Congress to confront the immigration issue comprehensively and publicly.
And though our national psyche
has not yet fully recovered from the personal losses suffered by many
and the public outrage felt by all, the conversation about border control
and immigration policy must take place now -- while detached reflection
remains practically impossible.
The economic reality is that
legalizing the presence of undocumented aliens provides a sorely needed
resource to our shrinking Social Security fund, and removes the financial
burden currently placed upon the taxpayer to provide medical and educational
services to illegal aliens and their children.
With millions of illegal aliens
living clandestine lives in our nation, any effort to document them
is doomed to failure if it doesn't contain a reasonable opportunity
for them to achieve citizenship at some point. Drawing the many, hard-working
worthy out of the darkness is the only way to shine a light on the unwanted,
Can anyone doubt that our nation
possesses citizens with the combined intellect, compassion, and creativity
necessary to meet the challenge of forging a balanced and lasting solution
to the immigration question?
It should be clear to all that while this conversation can't be separated from the emotion of its time, it must be considered in the light of our entire history.
We are a nation of immigrants.
More than any nation in modern history we have embraced diversity and
been strengthened by the contributions of the foreign-born members of
our society. Every American reading this is blessed to be so called
because of the opportunity of entry given to a member of their family.
Posted by Marisa Treviño on 12 de Noviembre 2009 1:42 PM
Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes For Mayor, Amy Wildes, Treasurer
250 Allison Court, Englewood, NJ 07631