As most people, I watched the demonstrations that happened at the end of the week and this weekend to protest the immigration bill passed by the House of Representatives. It is very difficult for me not to be against that bill given the fact that I am an immigrant and that as such I find it hard to accept that certain key aspects of immigration are criminalized. Paul Krugman has a good article in the New York Times in which he acknowledges the fact that illegal immigration does pose some problems for the US and that it does not have as many benefits to the economy as commonly argued. However, he still argues both against the Bush plan and against the bill passed by the House. He writes, “Realistically, we'll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants. Mainly that means better controls on illegal immigration. But the harsh anti-immigration legislation passed by the House, which has led to huge protests — legislation that would, among other things, make it a criminal act to provide an illegal immigrant with medical care — is simply immoral.” I agree that something that needs to be done, but my fear is that if we treat immigrants as statistics, as merchandise, or even as cattle then we risk losing what is the appeal to this country, which is its openness, and the fact that the American dream remains accessible to all even to those who come here illegally. The big question when it comes to immigration is the following and it has to do with what kind of country the United States wants to be. Is the United States going to decide that it has had its shares of the world’s poor and unfortunate people by closing its borders to them and by making it more difficult for people who have something to offer this country to become a citizen to this country?