Why the hesitation in dealing with the illegal immigration problem?
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, September 1, 2011

My plan was to enjoy the rest of the summer in relative equanimity until the political season picks up again after Labor Day.

The thought crossed my mind that equanimity might come easier if I avoided talk radio and news reports in general for two weeks, like I suspect some people do all the time in order to live a calm and clueless life. But something in my nature needs to know what's going on, so last week I learned about the illegal immigrant who killed a fine young American man in Milford on Aug. 20.

It's infuriating when any drunk driver kills anyone. But this case was worse than usual because the innocent young victim could probably have survived if the driver had stopped instead of dragging him. Worse, the driver wasn't supposed to be here at all.

I've not quite grasped the illegal immigration issue since my introduction to it when I was a guest on NECN, talking with Jim Braude about various things. He asked me what I thought of illegal immigration and, puzzled, I responded with the obvious: "What part of illegal don't you understand?"

Jim seemed surprised by this. I still don't get it: What's the valid argument for illegal immigration?

Yes, some libertarians don't believe in borders, arguing that anyone should be able to live anywhere he wants. However, in their ideal world, this policy would self-control, because newcomers wouldn't expect government support and services; they'd come the way most of our forefathers did, working incredibly hard and barely getting by for a generation until they found their own way into the American Dream.

Also important to note: These libertarians can't live anywhere they want in the rest of the world. Mexico, for instance, wouldn't have let Nicolas Guaman, the drunk Ecuadorian who dragged the young American to his death in Milford earlier this month, walk across its southern border and settle in. It's generally understood that nations will have borders and control who gets to live there.

The U.S. had the technical ability to put a man on the moon; why has it been unable to emulate China's Great Wall, or Panama's canal, along its southern border? One gets the impression that recent federal governments don't really want to do this.

I sometimes wonder if the reason we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan is that the president fears adding to unemployment numbers with military personnel who come home. I'd offer them all positions in the National Guard to patrol the borders. I also wonder why unemployed Americans aren't there now, instead of sitting around getting extended (eternal?) unemployment benefits.

We keep hearing that employers need illegals to do the jobs that Americans won't do. Let's celebrate this Labor Day by cutting back those unemployment benefits and I'll bet Americans would start doing those jobs. The alternative seems to be continuing the delusion that we are in a normal, cyclical recession and the traditional manufacturing jobs are coming back any day now.

Another thing I don't understand is why anyone would be opposed to the federal government's "Secure Communities" program, with its fingerprint-sharing system that could identify illegal immigrants when first arrested? What's the alternative, insecure communities?

Legislative Republicans on Beacon Hill have long been pushing for Massachusetts to join, but Gov. Deval Patrick has refused to sign on.

Now, with a young Massachusetts American unnecessarily dead because of an illegal immigrant who was once arrested for assault on a police officer, Patrick says that the Obama administration no longer requires a sign-off, that all states are expected to participate. So our governor can wash his hands of responsibility either way.

Giving credit where it's due, President Obama has presided over more deportations than the Bush administration. However, it's hard to get over his Aunt Zeituni who lived here as an illegal immigrant in public housing for years, collecting welfare and disability; and now his Uncle Onyango, still an illegal immigrant, who was just arrested for drunk driving in Framingham after almost hitting a police car. When offered a phone call, he said he'd like to call the White House.

Those who support illegal immigration argue that it would be impractical and too expensive to deport all the illegal immigrants in the country. Probably true; but let's get started with those who have been caught committing various crimes and misdemeanors, including drunk drivers like Uncle Onyango, and see how far we get. Then withdraw government subsidies for illegal non-citizens and see how many others remain here.

Another thing I don't understand: Why are people who support only legal immigration called racists by people who support the same people coming in illegally? Considering that most illegals are the same race as most Americans, i.e., Caucasian, this accusation seems ignorant as well as silly.

I wish everyone in the world who wants to live a free, happy and productive life here could fit into our country. Since that isn't possible, the only alternative is a rational immigration policy that addresses our real needs as a country.

But our recent federal governments don't seem to want this. The final thing I don't understand: Why not?

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette.

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