Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Illegal By Definition

There was an automobile accident in front of my father-in-law’s house in Lowell, Massachusetts last summer. When police responded, they discovered the driver and occupants of one vehicle were illegal aliens from Brazil. They had no driver’s licenses, no registration and, needless to say, no insurance. One cop said sarcastically to the other, “What a surprise.” In other words, it was no surprise at all because such accidents happen frequently there. The driver of the other car, who was not at fault in the accident, would have to pay for the damage to her vehicle herself or deal with her own insurance company and see her rates increased because she won’t be able to collect anything from the illegal aliens. They were ticketed and released, but the police doubted they would ever show up in court. Federal immigration authorities were not even contacted because they routinely tell local police to just release illegal aliens found in violation of traffic laws. If you or I were driving with no license, registration, or insurance, we would have to suffer the consequences.

Incidents like these are more and more commonplace and US citizens are understandably irate about the federal government’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws. Illegal aliens can show up in most states and get Section 8 housing, food stamps, and medical care. If they have children, they are educated for about $10,000 per kid per year, all paid for by taxpayers like the woman whose car was smashed up in Lowell that day. You want to guess how she feels about granting amnesty to 11 million illegals here in the United States?

When illegals apply for welfare benefits here in Maine, state employees may not ask them about their immigration status or they will be violating an executive order from Governor Baldacci. That means anyone, from anywhere in the world can come to Maine and get free housing, free food and free medical care, not to mention free education for their children. Maine’s taxpayers have to support them whether we like it or not, even if they violated our laws by sneaking in here. If they’re here, they own us. While only 20% of citizens collect welfare, more than 30% of immigrants, legal and illegal, collect it. What’s wrong with this picture?

Most illegals come from Mexico, whose government encourages them to sneak into our country. However, Mexico’s government has a much different policy for Guatemalans or Salvadorans who sneak into Mexico from the south. They don’t complain to the Mexican government. They get no benefits. Instead, they’re arrested and deported. Two weeks ago, a half-million illegals demonstrated in the streets of Los Angeles waving Mexican flags or upside-down US flags and demanded citizenship. A week later, another half-million demonstrated in Dallas, but this time “immigrant rights” groups like like the communist-dominated A.N.S.W.E.R (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and National Council of La Raza (the race), distributed American flags and told them to hide their Mexican flags because they didn’t look good on TV.

According to a Zogby poll quoted in a recent Claremont Institute essay by Victor Hanson, 58% of Mexicans believe that “the territory of the United States’ southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.” The also believe “they should have the right to cross the border freely and without US permission.” Hanson quotes former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, saying “the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders . . . [and Mexican migrants are] an important - a very important - part of this.” Hanson quotes Mexico’s national newspaper Excelsior which writes: “The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot.” Indeed, the Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico have each declared a state of emergency because of the illegal alien problem down there. Hanson quotes Mario Obledo, former California Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, saying, “California is going to be an Hispanic state. Anybody who doesn’t like it should leave.”

How did it get this bad? For decades Democrats and Republicans have avoided dealing the problem except to define it out of existence by issuing periodic amnesties. A stroke of the pen and no more illegal alien problem. That’s what President Bush says his “guest worker” program is not an amnesty, but most Americans know better. Such policies don’t eliminate the problem; they only make it worse by encouraging more Mexicans to sneak in and wait for the next amnesty. Mexico isn’t going to make any changes in its corrupt government as long as it can ship its discontents north to the United States. Why should it?

Meanwhile, local police in our states, cities and towns can continue to take illegals into custody for various offenses, call federal immigration authorities, and are instructed to just release them. Illegals don’t have to obey the laws the rest of us have to obey. In the rare case they’re actually deported, they sneak right back in. When the federal government refuses to deal with illegals, how can we expect legal immigrants to continue obeying the rules? How can we expect anyone to? If we can’t control our borders, how long can we call ourselves a country?

And that’s the way it is, as Walter Cronkite used to say. It’s not likely to change much either, unless US voters send a clear message to congressmen and senators this November: Stop illegal immigration, once and for all.

No comments: