Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Myra Oliver and Illegal Immigration

I promised to post about the funeral and why the local politicians felt the need to attend. The deceased is Myra Oliver. She was executive director of an organization called the International Institute. The Institute helps immigrants and refugees settle in Connecticut. Myra was very well known in the field. She worked closely with politicians to get state and federal money for the Institute as well as lobbying them for immigration-related legislation. So many of the state and federal politicians knew her personally.

Her son was best man at my wedding. Frank grew up with Myra and was very close with her and the family. For me, the thing I respected most about her was she understood how I felt about immigration and never tried to change my mind.

Many of you know, my mother was killed by an illegal immigrant. She is not the only person I know who was killed by an illegal immigrant. Because of that, I believe that most illegal immigrants have broken the law coming here and don't hold respect for other laws either. Cognitively, it is impossible for illegal immigrants to have respect for American laws. While Myra was opposed to illegal immigration, she was in favor of helping people once they had arrived. Although she was very strong willed, she accepted my feelings and even tried to advise us when we were going through everything.

I find that I have a very lonely view on immigration. Most groups are either in favor of helping immigrants, both legal and illegal or are opposed to all immigration, legal and illegal. I am in favor if legal immigration. America is a great country and part of what makes it great is the addition of people from other countries. What I don't believe is that people should arrive here illegally and then be granted all legal rights. You are then rewarding people for breaking the law. From a psychological standpoint, you are conditioning someone to break the law by rewarding them. Never a good idea.

So I will step off my soapbox now and will return to Small Town Mommy.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Dear Anne: I am not surprised by how you feel. It is impossible to win an argument without winning over emotions.
I am sure Myra had a good life helping people who by no fault of their own happened to be born in a difficult circumstance.
I feel for you, Anne. I see how hard things have been for you and I wish I could help.

I am going to a funeral today for an elderly woman who was the Mom to a friend. I have my own thoughts about funerals and I believe there are good reasons for them. Take care!