I would like to try a little exercise.  Think about how you feel about the topic of illegal immigration as a whole.  Think about the first few points that come to mind when terms like “illegal aliens,” “anchor babies,” and even “Hispanic population” are brought up.  What is your position on the way in which the US should handle the issue of immigrants entering the country illegally?  How do you classify those who break the law and cross the boarder without the proper documentation?

Ok, now please consider the next few questions without the mentioning of stats, as I believe them to be often times misleading, fabricated and distracting from the purpose of this exercise.  Please be honest with yourself and post the answers if you feel so inclined.

1)   When was the last time you were directly impacted by someone who entered this country illegally, and how?

2)   How many people do you know that have lost their job or have not got a job because an illegal immigrant took it at a lower rate?

3)   What type of good or danger do you believe illegal immigrants bring to this country?

4)    How do you think you would view the justice system if you came from a place where law is not something to be respected, but is to be feared, run from and is viewed by a large population as corrupt?

5)   For those of you of a particular faith or ideology that guides your morals and values, how would you be expected to handle the situation by your religious/spiritual figures and leaders or your ideological world view? (ie.  What Would Jesus Do?)

Illegal immigration has obviously been a “hot-button topic” for several decades and continues to draw in more and more criticism from all ends of the social and political spectrum.   Whether you believe that all immigrants need to be shipped home or they need to be given full amnesty, whether you believe that they steal jobs or increase our levels of agricultural production, whether you believe that they are a root cause of the crime in this country or you believe that there are deeper sociological elements that are to be examined, whether you become annoyed with the Spanish option when calling your utility companies or if you embrace it as a sign of how diverse our country has become, whether you see illegal “aliens” as a nuisance to America or as people that have every bit of a right to be here as we do, there is one common denominator that appears to be consistent:  A great divide exists between people’s level of intensity in their position on the issue and their level of understanding of it.  It seems that there are so many generalities, statistic based opinions, racist panic campaigns, and inexperienced “experts” that it has become almost impossible to remember where we all were before we started becoming tainted with aggressive right wing hatred… and yes, often times radical liberalism that may not take the protection of borders, economy and national security into a high enough of a prioritized consideration.

Just remember, every time we make a judgement call about an underprivileged  person or group of people that we don’t truly understand, we are depleting their potential for having a fair shot in life.  This goes for illegal immigrants, Muslim citizens of the middle east, the US, or anywhere else in the world, the homeless population, homosexuals, uneducated mine workers of  Appalachia, women, physically or mentally handicapped, blacks in the ghettos and beyond, or any other underprivileged and poorly represented sects of society whose members have a harder time obtaining the necessary resources to survive, let along advance in society, strictly based where and by whom they were born.

Your comments, your opinions and your votes really do make a difference in someone else’s life.  Imagine if you were in their position.