I’ve lived illegally in the US for 25 years.
Jesus Lizama
9915

I don’t think anyone envies your position, including those who take a hard (but not the hardest) line about legal immigration. But here is a viewpoint to consider. The people who knowingly brought you into the United States are criminals.

The crime of illegal presence isn’t actually that big a deal, legally (and surprisingly — look it up). However, in order to function in any society, any person has to sign documents and swear to their authenticity — and doing so falsely can be a much bigger crime than illegal presence.

For the hope of some from DACA, you have to identify your status, and therefore it becomes known by your presence that someone committed one ore more crimes in the United States to bring you here. That’s why ultimately, DACA is flawed — for you to have hope, there’s likely a number of family members who should be charged as criminals as a result of a new paper trail. And who wants to see their sweet granny hauled off in cuffs?

Becoming a legal resident of the United States is a burdensome process, and for all its invasive thoroughness, its not sure proof. It does represent an attempt though to ensure that those present do not present either a criminal danger or financial burden to the legal residents of the United States. Does that seem an unreasonable expectation?

The one thing I am convinced of is that there are a lot of uninformed opinions about immigration — especially when so many people do not understand the differences between several legal statuses under US law, which should be the starting point of the formation of any opinion.

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