Sunday, February 20, 2011

Illegal Vs. Undocumented

Illegal and undocumented are two words that have two different meanings. Yet both of them are used synonymously when describing individuals who have entered our country without becoming naturalized citizens. Although the term “illegal” has upset many across the nation, it is actually an acceptable term. The debate on these two words began when various people started referring to illegal aliens as undocumented immigrants. “Illegal” has been seen as a word that dehumanizes a person.

The real question is why are so many people offended by the term “illegal”? Why does it come off as an insult? Let's just face the facts. If you enter our country without becoming a naturalized citizen, then you have broken U.S. Law. The term “alien” however may be a little extreme and out of date. When referring to aliens, the first thought that comes to mind is an extra-terrestrial form of life living in outer space. Obviously, people who cross the border aren't aliens, at least I hope not. But Illegal immigrants is a better term than illegal alien.

Why should we as a society worry about offending those who enter our country illegally? They are immigrants and they are here illegally. If illegal immigrants then maybe they should go through the naturalization process like other legal immigrants. Why come here illegally when you face the chance of deportation? Plus, when you're illegal, you cannot receive the same benefits as citizens. For instance, getting a well-paying job. Many illegal immigrants have to work under the table for wages much lower than the minimum wage. Conditions are better for those who are citizens.

If you are referred to as an illegal immigrant and you are offended, then maybe this should encourage you to become a U.S. Citizen. However, there is a slight problem with that, our naturalization process moves very slowly. Our government should work at speeding up the process. However for the time being, it is better to be safe than sorry. Go through the naturalization process, it will work out for you in the long run.

For those of you who are against the term “illegal” then how is undocumented a more accurate term? To be honest, they are both accurate descriptions. Illegal refers to the fact that these people broke the law. Undocumented refers to the fact that they are not documented citizens. Undocumented only removes the negative connotation from the term illegal immigrant. Of course people may say that illegal should only be referred to people who commit serious crimes such as murder, theft, etc. However is trespassing not a serious crime? Regardless if it is a “serious” crime or not, it is still a crime which makes them undocumented immigrants “illegal”.

This is a debate that should cease to exist. Instead of arguing about whether or not illegal is acceptable or not, maybe we should be working on a way to speed up the naturalization process. If foreigners were able to become citizens in a much smoother process, then we would not have this debate. Whether you like it or not, if you came here illegally then we have a right to refer to you as an illegal immigrant.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rahm Emanuel, The Struggle for Chicago's Power Switch

Earlier this week, we found out that Rahm Emanuel was booted off of the ballot for mayor of Chicago. Then, Emanuel's Lawyers filed for an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court. They unanimously decided that Emanuel should stay on the ballot. This was all due to a question about whether or not Emanuel fulfilled his residency requirements. Here is the run down on the situation:

When Emanuel left to serve as chief of staff for President Barack Obama, he rented out his house. The person, who was and still is living at that house is Rob Halpin. The argument, was that since Emanuel was registered to vote at that residence and was not currently living there, he was ineligible to run for mayor. Halpin, even considered a mayoral bid to try to block Emanuel's efforts from running for mayor. After a series of hearings with the Board of Elections as to whether or not he was a resident, the board ruled in favor of Emanuel.

Everyone thought that the fight stopped there. However lawyer Burt Odelson was not through with the fight. He decided to take this fight to court, which led to the recent rulings earlier this week. So does Rahm Emanuel fulfill his residency requirements? According to the courts, he has fulfilled the requirements. Why? One of Emanuel's main arguments was the amount of personal belongings he kept in a locked storage space at his old house. He used that argument to prove that he had intentions of returning to his hometown. But why did this fight last so long?

The fight lasted this long because there are many Chicagoans who cannot handle saying Mayor Emanuel. All of the polls have him in the lead for Mayor. In fact, some people are even saying that this whole residency controversy actually helped him in the polls. Giving him the sympathetic vote. Why do so many people feel sorry for him? Has everyone forgotten how vulgar and nasty Emanuel can be behind the scenes. Remember when he referred to a group of Democrats as a bunch of f---in retards? Sure, that's very professional.

On top of that, what are his real political aspirations? Did Obama want Emanuel to take over for Daley so he could have complete control over Chicago? Remember, even though Obama an Daley are “friends”, Daley has his own empire. Was it really Daley's decision to “step down” or was there some pressure behind the scenes? We may never know. But one thing we do know is that us Chicagoans seek a powerful mayor. Regardless of how much people may hate Rahm Emanuel, they still would rather see him as mayor than Carol Mosley Braun. We cannot forget about her trips to Nigeria, Medicaid scandal, manipulative husband....should I go on? Gery Chico hasn't been too active in politics, but people aren't too familiar with him. Other than his “work” with CPS.

This was a controversy that was too far stretched. Everyone knew Emanuel fulfilled his residency requirements. They just wanted to see the outcome of a non-Emanuel election. Who would be mayor is Emanuel can't run? What would happen to the city? It would actually be pretty exciting an chaotic at the same time. Now with Emanuel on the ballot, the questions are: Will he win with 51% or more of the vote? And If he is forced into a run-off election, will he win?