(Counterpoint: The following is a guest editorial submitted by Barbara Carrasco. Occasionally, I will publish counterpoints submitted by readers to my blog. To be considered for a counterpoint, please send me your comments in an article fashion on topical topics that I am covering on my blog. As I have written many times before, we learn from the perspectives of others. Although I may not agree with someone’s perspective their opinion matters and should be considered in order to have a proper debate. Counterpoints may not necessarily represent the views of Martin Paredes and are published in their entirety as submitted by the author.)

Author: Barbara Carrasco

Each year approximately one million individuals take an oath to become U.S. citizens.

I have had the privilege of attending numerous new-citizen ceremonies at the Abraham Chavez auditorium. These newly-minted citizens are part of the millions who take an oath each year to become U.S. citizens.

It is with much pride, enthusiasm, joy, and excitement that these patriots take their oath, wave our flag, applaud, yell and whistle at their accomplishment. Their emotions are contagious! Their friends and relatives are there to celebrate with them and congratulate them. They have completed their journey to become a U.S. citizen at their swearing-in ceremony.

These individuals followed our laws, waited the required time, paid their fees, studied our history and learned English to become citizens. They made a conscious and deliberate choice to become U.S. citizens. Their intentions were to assimilate, pledge allegiance to the U.S., honor our flag and become a part of the fabric of this great country. They earned all the rights, privileges and protections our Constitution has to offer them as lawful citizens. They will live freely, openly and will strive to attain the American dream.

These newly-minted U.S. citizens will teach their children love of country and pride in the privilege of living in the U.S. They will teach their children respect for the law, that our laws are to be obeyed. They will have confidence that our laws will be enforced and defended.

The most valuable lesson taught these children will learn from their parents is respect for the rule of law. Without respect for the rule of law our country would be a whirlwind of chaos. Without respect for our borders and laws that govern our borders, we would not be a sovereign country.

Living the USA Illegally

Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, cross our borders knowing they will be living in the shadows always fearful for themselves and their children. Unlike those taking an oath of citizenship, these illegal immigrants disrespected our laws and their children will learn to be fearful because of their parents’ circumstances.

These fears evolve into resentment, frustration and in some instances hatred for the Unites States. These negative, harmful and unfortunate sentiments are then displayed in our streets when a politician, the federal government or states consider changes to immigration policy which threatens their illegal status in the United States.

Illegal immigrants protest in our streets and demand all the rights afforded U.S. citizens. This blatant resentment was on display recently in the Los Angeles at a Trump rally.

Not only were parents shouting obscenities and flipping off Trump supporters, they had their children in the frontlines mimicking them. These children attend our schools, work on science projects with our children, play soccer, basketball and participate in many other activities with our children in school and summer activities. Despite this, these children have learned from their parents to resent and disrespect the country that has fed them, clothed them, educated them, provided housing for them and their parents. They are “victims” of their circumstances caused by the “adults” in the family, their parents! This was deplorable behavior and a sad portrait of families of illegal immigration.

Although they demand recognition and protection under our laws, they waive the Mexican flag and burn the American flag. Not surprisingly, their allegiance is not to America.


Does anyone believe these individuals want to assimilate, pledge allegiance to the United States, honor our flag or become a part of the fabric of this great country? Does anyone believe these parents are not using their children as props in order to avoid the consequences of their actions and gain sympathy? Is it unreasonable to expect that these parents should bear some form of punishment for their unlawful entry into the United States?

What these parents are doing to and with their children is shameful. These children are innocent victims of their parents’ selfish, thoughtless and unlawful actions. On the one hand they come seeking a better life for themselves and their children, then exhibit extreme resentment, if not hatred, towards the United States, which impacts their children’s behavior and beliefs. They want to be embraced by the United States but disrespect our laws and despise those who want the laws enforced and teach their children these same injurious attitudes.

The valuable lesson not being taught these children is that there are consequences for ones’ actions.
There is a process for those wanting to come into the Unites States. Use the process and you will be welcomed and embraced.

Editor’s note: I realize that this topic raises much emotion among the readers. If you want to comment, I ask that you focus on the points made by the author and keep your comments civil. I also encourage you to submit your own commentary about the immigration debate. I will be doing a rebuttal on Friday to the point the author made about “following the law”.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

13 replies on “Counterpoint – Living in the USA – Legally versus Illegally”

  1. Interesting that since it has been announced that Trump could be the next President, there increased chatter among non citizens to apply for citizenship. The fear is that they will be deported, these are resident aliens that lived here for many years.

    The other interesting point is that a country that is hated and crictized is the one that others sneak into. Their country of choice because it offers freedom and economic opportunity. Something they didn’t have in their home country, so why the strong allegiance to a country they fled? Even worse, they refuse to assimilate and obey this nation’s laws, even choosing to replicate their former country environment, chaos, poverty, lawlessness. That makes even less sense. You hate the new country but do not return to what you fled.

    We hear about a wall as being discriminatory while other countries have borders that are fenced and draconian immigration laws, yet attack the U.S. for trying to enforce border control and enforcement. Truth is a fence, which I believe to be minimally effective, would not affect effect on trade. Legal trade crosses at at legal points of entry. It would be cheaper and more effective if the Mexican and the U.S. would agree to enforce immigration on both sides of the border. The U.S. could train and equip the Mexican agents. Worried about corruption ? The U.S. has it share of corrupt border agents, so Mexico would have to aggressively punish those that are corrupt. Now isn’t that cheaper and make more sense that a billion dollar fence ? Of course Mexico would have to enforce the law as vigorously as it does on its Southern Border that has a WALL.

    Try to sneak into another country and violate its laws. Either you are incarcerated or immediately deported. Let’s be honest, how many are actually victims of government oppression? I get it everyone wants to follow the yellow brick road to a better life. Do it the proper way and live that dream without always living in fear of being caught. When you get here, LEARN the language and customs. To do that is not a betrayal of your heritage, it improves your opportunities.

    Mexico and others, HELP the people. Education, jobs, fair wages, better living condition, etc. Do that and the people will not flee to other places. I would think that a country would not want a history of its people fleeing for a better life. To me I would be embarrassed to have my country known as a horrific place to live. Is the U.S. perfect, no, and it can do better. With all its imperfections, it is still the country of choice when fleeing from another country.

    1. Totally agree with you and Ms. Carrasco. If the U.S. government really wanted to stop illegal immigration, ALL employers who hire illegals would be imprisoned or heavy fined. That hasn’t happened. Why not? And the U.S. needs to repeal laws that encourage the recent widespread Cuban immigration. Everyone should have to abide by immigration laws. Otherwise It’s a slap in the face to those who become citizens legally.

  2. All of this is well said. The popularity of Trump is fueled by the open borders lobbyist groups that call Americans racists for wanting to enforce our laws (which are more lenient than those of Mexico). I welcome a return to nationalism because in every other country I visit, enforcing the laws of that country and being openly proud to be a citizen of that country is considered the right thing to do. Folks that visit are expected to obey all laws and if immigration is allowed (because not all countries have the US’ generous immigration policies), immigrants are expected to assimilate and support themselves. It is time we got back to expecting (and demanding) the same thing here. It isn’t racist, it is common sense and if folks coming from the rest of the world are not willing to respect that, then we do need a wall, faster deportations and bigger penalties for employing illegal aliens. Anything else is a slap in the face to those who respect our laws and immigrate legally.

  3. Couldn’t have said it any better. Imagine how the people who tried their hardest to immigrate legally to the US so that they could assimilate, be proud of the US flag and feel patriotic and grateful for a new life? It’s a MAJOR slap in the face to these legal immigrants and see people sneak illegally into our country and enjoy free schooling, housing, govt assistance, etc and then to DIS the very country who allows them to stay. If I think illegals should STOP sneaking into our country and taking advantage of American generosity; then yes, I suppose that makes me “racist”. PUH-LEEZE!!!!!!! The term ‘ ILLEGAL” is not a race or ethnicity; it’s breaking the law.

  4. Eisenhower initiated Operation Wetback in which machine gun towers were built along the border to stop migrants from Mexico. Illegals in the US were picked up and repatriated into central Mexico so they couldn’t just walk across the border again. This was not aimed at the legitimate and needed bracero program to import temporary agricultural workers.

    It worked while it worked. The current one-size-fits-all immigration policy needs to be revisited to assure that we are bringing in people with skills we need, not just third world refugees for Hillary’s future Democratic welfare state.

  5. Appears that the racist Trump virus is alive & well in El Paso, to infect the city with xenophobia & the kind of hatred unseen on a large scale since the shameful Dixiecrat days of the 50s & 60s. Even worse is that some of the most adamant bigots are the self-hating Hispanics, who seem to wish they were white.

    At times, El Paso bears a slight resemblance to Mississippi on the Border. Ol’ times there are not forgotten.

    1. I challenge you to write 100 words without using the words bigot, racist or related catch phrases. The issue is not racism, it’s whether people should come here legally or illegally.

    2. Like the local Border Patrol union that recently endorsed Trump? I was not aware that they were white Dixiecrat racists. Maybe they just don’t think that catch-and-release is good immigration policy?

  6. funny how “Robb” writes his name with 2 b’s. So “Robb” are you ashamed to be Mexican ? Trying to imitate the Gringo way ?

  7. Robb I would recommend you read the article again. I think the actual premise may have slipped your mind. This isn’t an article stating Mexicans are terrible people. It is simply showing how legalized citizens from another country and illegal citizens live. It is unfortunate that you can’t see beyond the crap of racism and bigotry. And with a last name Carrasco, I can only imagine that the individual who wrote is not hispanic, but may actually have a greater understanding of what she is writing based on locale and experience in that particular locale.

    1. i don’t know how to edit but correction on sentence is needed as follows:
      I can only imagine that the individual who wrote is not only hispanic, but may actually have a greater understanding of what she is writing about based on her locale and experience in that particular locale.

  8. Mrs. Carrrasco is Hispanic. She and her husband fulfilled the American dream thru hard work. They came from humble beginnings.

    If there is a virus identified as xenophobia, then the vast majority of the world has it because they have border control and immigration laws. That by the way includes Mexico. There is no bigotry involved just a desire to know who is coming and purpose.

    Why isn’t your Roberto instead of Robb ? Americans come in many colors, sizes, cultures, goals, beliefs. Those that believe only white skinned people are American are showing bigotry. Perhaps you have a desire to be a white Mexican ? I’m brown and proud of it. I got news for you, be brown and be assimilated. In other regions of the U.S. life is good. The only issues have been in El Paso, a brown city. Where the majority and people of authority are brown. Now isn’t that odd that the brown in this city claim discrimination ? Quit using that bs as an excuse !

    1. There is only one race – the human race. But we are different nationalities and the American nationality that we (legally) all are is the best. Why else would everyone want to immigrate here?

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