There was a discussion about immigration yesterday, or more precisely the harboring of fugitives. Because that is what it is. If someone has broken the law, they are a criminal. Until they are brought to justice, they are a fugitive. The gentleman today was speaking about how unjust it is to bring fugitives to justice.
We can use whatever terms we wish, and just like the toilet scrubber who believes they should be paid as much as the CEO, a criminal who is insulted by being called “illegal” is living in a fantasy. In my mind it would be best to start these conversation with “We are going to provide you with the same treatment your government would provide to me were I to overstay my welcome in your country”. If you are required to have documents which prove you have the right to be here, and you don’t have those documents, you have no right to be here.
But no, they say. You need us.
We really don’t. We don’t need eleven million people making up their own minds about what is and is not legal. We abolished slavery one hundred and fifty years ago, but with a class of workers who dare not identify themselves to the Internal Revenue Service, slavery is once again a temptation for some people. The list of people who have been caught keeping slaves is populated mostly by Democrats, who had never wanted to get rid of slavery in the first place, but Republicans may just have enough sense to clean up before they make it to Washington. Here in lovely Princeton New Jersey, police have been instructed on how to not enforce the laws, because we wouldn’t want to leave a lawn without a cheap manicure, or distress a family by forcing them to seek a housekeeper or nanny who was trustworthy enough to have followed the immigration laws. Losing slave labor might cut into the boating budget.
Without slaves, we might have to hire Americans, and they would want to be paid minimum wage, and we would have to extend to them the protection of our labor laws. That could be expensive.
Which was, in effect, the argument put forward this morning. The cost involved in enforcing laws. In this case we were given the example of a man from Guatemala who had lived illegally in America for twenty two years. He was married and had children. He had a catering business (no information on how he managed to operate without legal tax documentation). And then the big bad immigration police scooped him up and deported him. “They didn’t even allow him to pack a bag and retrieve his favorite watch”.
He was shipped back to Guatemala, at an expense in time and resources of $12,500. Sounds like a deal. But wait, that’s not all it cost us, because if the polo club is going to have to go without sandwiches, you need to realize how much this will cost you. Not only did we have to pay for law enforcement officers, facilities, and passage to Guatemala, now you are stuck with supporting this criminal’s family. They’ve been left with nothing and are on public assistance now. They’ve lost their home, and now the American taxpayer has to support them because the family breadwinner was deported. Were you to apply the same story to another person it would be a tragedy, but this wasn’t another person, this was a criminal who was finally captured. I see no tears shed for murderers or drug smugglers who had their personal lives destroyed by being brought to justice. We used to say “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. At least Tony Soprano hid money in the bird feeder to help his family were he ever arrested.
A woman spoke up with her situation. She identified herself as “undocumented” but claimed she wasn’t a criminal. She acknowledged the programs that have been put in place to assist immigrants in obtaining legal status, but stated she chose not to participate in them for fear once she was identified, were she unable to achieve citizenship she would be deported.
Just a moment while all the gun owners who are called paranoid because they fear registering their guns might result in those guns being confiscated laugh at the irony. She came all this way to live under a government she doesn’t trust.
She went on to say how much America needed cheap labor.
Just a moment while those McDonald’s workers demanding $15.00 per hour storm the podium. She came all this way to take one of those minimum wage jobs.
She spoke about her rights and the life she had built in America. Illegally. I couldn’t help but remember the kid arrested with a gram of cocaine complaining he had been punished enough with jail and fines so he should be given his drugs back.
You can call illegal immigrants “dreamers”, invoking the quest for the American dream, but that dream has been fulfilled for the generations of those who came to this country legally. If your dream is to start by violating immigration laws, you do not have the “American Dream”, your dream is of unearned benefits, a lifestyle you saw on television and assumed was reality.
If by odd chance you actually care about the welfare of an illegal immigrant, send them home. The DREAM act was designed to collect taxes from people who have little chance of ever obtaining citizenship (estimated length of time to citizenship after illegal entry, thirteen to twenty years; length of time for immigrants with legal entry, five to seven years). It applies to young people who will pay taxes and purchase health insurance, not to older people who might be relying on government assistance. It is a cold-hearted cynical approach to people who won’t realize they have been lied to until the liars are long out of office.
Allowing illegal aliens to infiltrate our society is more expensive than we acknowledge. The undermining of our faith in law enforcement is only the beginning. But if it can’t be measured in dollars, more importantly your dollars, you’re not likely to be upset. So you’re willing to “help out” the poor immigrant by paying him less than you would an American. Is that really help? Is looking the other way when an employer exploits illegal aliens helping the millions of Americans who depend on government assistance because they can’t find a job? Let’s not even go into the people who are not looking to enjoy our lifestyle, but rather destroy it. Terrorists love countries with lax immigration enforcement.
So today my wife and I travel to Elizabeth New Jersey, so she can be fingerprinted (again) to be sure she’s the same person she was when she applied for her green card, as she follows the path to citizenship that my ancestors followed in the past, and almost seven hundred thousand followed just last year. It’s not that difficult to play by the rules.
It’s not easy, if it was easy everyone would do it. It’s a hassle, it’s time consuming, but when it is completed you get to be an American. And if you think rednecks and conservatives are the only folks who dislike illegal immigration, ask a legal immigrant about it. That’s why most employees at Immigration are immigrants. They’re not letting anyone sneak through.