Hi Mr. Charles,
I am writing to you today as an immigrant to USA conversing his concerns to the president of AILA.
As our nation has taken a U-turn in the overall direction on the topics of major national agenda and foreign policy unfortunately one single area where we have not seen any activity is broken immigration system in USA. Especially in the state of Georgia where legislations such as 287(g) one of the most strict nationwide immigration laws passed during the Bush administration period don’t make it any easier for immigrants to live peacefully in this state.
I am legal immigrant to USA from the day I laid first step on this soil and still I feel threatened by such legislations which single out immigrants using local police authorities. Police force is given by law an tremendous authority to protect the people of America, allowing immigration enforcement in the hands of local state wide law enforcement authorities with minimal training provides just enough unchecked power which can be easily abused against immigrants who can’t even appeal or have no rights in this country.
As we all know United States of America is a land of immigrants, from the first pilgrim who set foot on this land until today all immigrants should be treated equal. American forefathers would have not dreamt the tremendous power given to law enforcement as it is today without any checks and balances. Authority without checks and balance is not they might have desired. America stands for Justice, Freedom and pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately even after being the law abiding resident of the state of Georgia.
I am discouraged every day by knowing that even though my wife who voted for change last year will not see change in her husband’s fear and continuous hopelessness in the system. My case for family based adjustment of status has been pending with INS since several years. I am personally a Law abiding worker and tax payer working for a Major company in Georgia living in a respectable neighborhood but my heart goes out to those thousands of immigrants who wake up every morning is this great state of Georgia to earn livelihood for their children and families. I personally want to dedicate my time and resources to immigration broadly and immigrants in Georgia. They say it’s darkest just before the dawn and believe me when I say it is getting there in our beloved state when it comes to discrimination and unequal treatment of immigrants in society and law enforcement specifically.
There is a strong need for change in Georgia when it comes to immigration policy. A simple example of such treatment would be I paid 20$ fee for the renewal of my driver’s license which is valid fee for renewal of up to 10 years, but unfortunately due to new legislation since my EAD expired every year my driver license is only renewed for 1 year instead of 10. Is there any law that protects immigrants from such injustice. I would rather like to pay 2$ for my 1 year license than 20$ since due to state laws my license is only renewed for 1 year rather than 10 years. It’s about principle and justice in America.
Please let me know if there is anything I can or should do to improve this condition for myself specifically and millions of immigrants across America.