Also from NYTimes: Illegal Immigrants Are Divided Over Importance of Citizenship
A quote from the latter article:
“So many people back there depend on those of us who are here,” she said. “It would be such a help if we could work in peace and go back sometimes to see our children.”
First of all, seems the New York Times isn’t following the AP guidelines to not use “illegal.”
As seen here, there are many different battles in the struggles around immigration. More people support a pathway to citizenship for those residents who do not have official papers. This is supported by most Democrats and some Republicans who have a free market basis for having more migrant workers. But the immigrants themselves do not see citizenship as a main priority. This brings out an essential truth around these debates. For immigrants, and most accurately migrants, they do not come to this country solely to become a citizen. They come here to get employment that gives them income, and they get higher incomes in the centers of capital they migrate to, which they send a significant portion back to their home countries. This is all a form of remittances.
The immigration battle must recognize this, and work to change the terms of the debate. Overall it is a message that migrants are human beings with universal rights, who come here to give labor that is needed in the First World countries, and should be respected and treated with dignity. Having a legal status would allow them to live like human beings in the place they are presently residing, and have things like being able to participate in the society they live in but also to be able to return to their homes and be able to come back. The struggle for migrant rights is one all liberation forces should contribute to.