The potential poison pill in the House immigration bill.

Living as an undocumented immigrant in this country is a civil infraction, not a criminal act. But, some members of our House of Representatives are working to change that. According to the Think Progress Blog, the bipartisan immigration bill that is coming together in the House would force all undocumented immigrants to plead guilty for breaking the law, and serve at least five years of probation. This probation requirement would even apply to the Dreamers, who came to our country as children.

One GOP congressional aide said the probation would be, “similar to how judges handles small drug crimes.” So, in order to get Republicans to stop whining about amnesty, this proposal would treat undocumented immigrants like drug dealers. In addition to insulting and stigmatizing the eleven million immigrants currently living in our country, this proposal would be a huge waste of the tax revenue collected during the legalization process. Instead of the additional funds being used to pay off debt, invest in our infrastructure, or simply run our government, the money would be spent processing eleven million people through our criminal system – and then monitoring them for years after that.

This is a horrible idea on every level. Treating immigrants like drug dealers is inhumane, and it goes against everything that our country was created for. And, our court system can't focus on real criminals when judges are busy processing eleven million new cases. Instead of criminalizing those who want to call them selves Americans, let's fix our broken legal immigration system, and create a real path to citizenship for people who came here looking for a better life.

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