06 June 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Study – Majority legal residents were "illegal" at one time – California

It appears that most things don’t happen in a STRAIGHT line (neither do brain waves and heart beats FYI).

After my constant repetition of “undocumented or illegal is not a permanent immutable characteristic” this past week, the Public Policy Institute of California has just confirmed the accuracy of the statement.

In a new study based on a survery of 8000 people, the PPIC found that 52% of Californians had past experience of living in the country illegally at one time or another.  It absolutely smashes the ill-promoted dichotomy of legal/illegal, proving that binary modes of thinking about immigration policy are superficial, baseless and untrue.

“It highlights how overly simplified our understanding of immigrants and immigration can be,” said Hill, who said a stark distinction between “illegal” and “legal” immigrants does not acknowledge the frequent correlation between both categories. “We need to be a little more cognizant of the variety and breadth of experience.”

The ALIPACers are seething. They cannot believe that the lines between legal and illegal can be blurred. After all, we are talking about black and white, engraved-in-stone distinctions, right? You can see the obvious physical, emotional, spritual, intellectual and personality differences between a legal and illegal migrant, right? Some have even gone as far as to say that “if they are going to break simple immigration laws, they will break other laws.” Yes, because if you run a traffic light or drive above the speed limit, it immediately makes you more likely to commit felonies, right? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as “ex-illegals.”

Re-read Plyler v. Doe – The Supreme Court had it right in 1982: The “illegals” of today can become the legal residents of tomorrow. If 26 year old legal opinion can get it right, why can’t the fear-mongering, immigrant-loathing bashers? And based on this study as empirical evidence, immigrant-loathing is an accurate assessment of ALIPAC since it does demonstrate that undocumented migrants work to become legal residents and citizens. Still, the “blood is boiling” over at ALIPAC.

No human being can be Illegal. It is not a noun, not a permanent category or classification that reflects the true character of a migrant body. Fluid and subject to change, unauthorized stay can translate into authorized permanent stay in the form of citizenship.

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