Yesterday I was pretty upset over seeing a Facebook status update from one of the better known and well respected Pagan authors I follow on how upset they were about having to show documentation proving who they are in order to get their driver's license renewed. Since this all came as a shock to them, I'm guessing they hadn't needed to renew their license since the HUGE security measures were put into place nation wide in ALL Government buildings/offices after 9/11.
In 2003, after Jim & I moved from Arizona to Maryland, I wanted to change my license. So off I go to the closest DMV, take my number, wait my turn, all to be told when I finally get to the window that I need not only my current license from Arizona, but I also need my birth certificate and divorce decree. I was pretty upset about getting this information. I didn't have a certified copy of either document so I went home disappointed. Fortunately for me my Arizona license doesn't expire until 2016, so I have plenty of time to get things together. (This is how I found out about the requirements for additional documents).
In the status update, this person went on to blame the illegal immigrants for the reasoning behind the need for added documentation in order to have their license renewed. This rant on my timeline went on for hours, with about 2 dozen people chiming in and agreeing the *illegals* are the reason we have so much trouble now days. "Why can't they just do the thing my grandparent did when they wanted to come to the US? Do things legally and there will be no problems".
Evidently these people, including the author who began the whole thing, must live under a rock. Obtaining legal immigration status is not simply filing a few papers and being granted a green card. It can cost thousands of dollars, take more time than is necessary simply because some *smart* immigration lawyer has figured out how to make a dishonest buck off the more unfortunate. I'm not saying this happens in every case, just enough to cause the *illegals* to continue to do what they do best... run the border and arrive in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant, looking for a better life.
No, I don't have my head buried in the sand. I fully realize there are some of these illegal immigrants who end up in more trouble than we could imagine. They are deeply into drug smuggling and many other criminal activities. However, there are those who honestly want to get a job, work, pay taxes, have a home and raise their families in a safe and healthy environment. But because of the preconceived notion that ALL illegals are criminals, the decent ones never get a chance... sounds a bit like racial profiling to me. Just because one is bad doesn't make the entire basket bad as well.
And in case you haven't figured it, the added security measures that were put into place after 9/11 have absolutely nothing to do with those of Hispanic descent who are here in America illegally. When this tidbit was pointed out to the originator of the status update, they promptly responded with I wasn't going to bomb the DMV. Yeah, maybe they were just having a bad day or maybe they need to take a step back and realize things have changed here in the United States. Some of these changes require a LOT more proof of who we are. Instead of bitching about how pissed they are about having to show additional documentation, maybe they should find a way to be proactive to help immigration reform. I would tend to believe this person has the contacts and the clout... after all they have written and had published quite a few books, been proactive for other causes, and had been active within the Pagan community for more years than I can count.
Oh, and that Arizona license? I still have it, even though I am now in possession of my Birth Certificate and Divorce Decree.