Lee P Butler

The Political Illegitimacy of Illegal Immigration

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Calvin's Snowmen

5-03-2005

The concerns by Americans over illegal immigration has turned into a hot button issue during the ‘down-time’ of the political campaign season. Yet many elected leaders from across the country are finding themselves at odds with their constituency over this problem.

For several years, the problem of illegal immigration has been mostly an issue in the border states of the continental U.S. where 2000 miles separate America from Mexico. There it has been reported that in 2004 the undermanned United States Border Patrol captured around 1.2 million illegal aliens that had entered the United States.

The biggest problem is that for every one illegal alien captured by the Border Patrol, three more evade capture and are able to meld into the American population without their culpability rarely ever being legally challenged.

As this illegal activity has been allowed to grow to a point at which it now flourishes, the problem has spread to other states beyond the bordering region and is now a prominent enigma throughout the Unites States as the American populace becomes more attuned to how this situation affects them directly.

Take, for instance, recently proposed legislation in North Carolina that would allow the children of illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition once they have completed high school at the expense of North Carolinian tax payers. This bi-partisan legislation has started a firestorm in the state among the constituencies of both parties.

One outspoken advocate worried about the passage of the legislation said, “The majority [of the graduating teenagers] don’t know of any culture other than the American one. They’ve studied and have good grades. Is this the punishment we’re going to give them?”

That is a perfect exemplification of the liberal mentality to try and assert that somehow the American standard of ‘following the rules’ is synonymous with ‘punishment’. The very definition of an illegal alien states that the person is a ‘non-resident’ not only of the state, but of this country. Expecting to pay out-of-state tuition costs to get a college education should be the least of their worries.

This issue is complex as well as emotional and it is in the nature of all of us to have a visceral reaction to help these unfortunate children. We also have a greater responsibility to adhere to the governance of our laws, which have made America the greatest country in the world.

This same type of legislation has already been passed in eight other states including Kansas and Texas, and if it passes in North Carolina it may well be a sign of things to come in most, if not all, of the country that would send a signal to those thinking of invading America that we will reward their illegal activity.

Just as liberals fret over the punishment of following the rules, they are also staunch advocates of preferential treatment for those who don’t follow the rules. Ron Woodard, director of N.C. Listen, a group working to reform immigration, explains this emphatically. “It seems to be a slap in the face to those immigrants who are waiting to come here legally,” he said. “We’re sending a message out... Why wait in line to come to America?”

Why, indeed! The very existence of this type of legislation makes America a haven for illegal immigration. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, by November of 2004 the number of illegal aliens in this country was a modest 10 million and the Census Bureau projects that an increase of 500,000 or more are added every year.

In North Carolina, the state legislature is expected to boost several consumer taxes and dramatically increase the cigarette tax using the excuse that the health costs associated with smokers have drained state revenue resources of Medicaid coverage and the increased cost of cigarettes will stop people from smoking, saving money on health costs.

Never once have these same advocates, including newspaper editorials from across the state, for raising the tax ever mentioned the associated increased costs of health care through Medicaid for the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have flooded the state in recent years and for the most part don’t pay taxes and send much of their earnings back to their ‘homeland’.

Ultimately, North Carolina legislators and Federal officials should be focusing their attention on the larger problem of the illegal activity of the parents before they ever began to address rewarding their illegal activity.

Certain Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton, are now beginning to use this issue for political expediency as they see an opportunity to gain points with the American electorate. As Republicans attack each other, liberals and their media counterparts, amplify the debate while staying out of the fray.

Media elitists opine about how Republicans are split over the President’s plan to give illegal aliens temporary work visas; which would allow us to know who and where these people are, and give them a chance to apply for permanent residency.

What these media elitists conveniently leave out of the equation is the fact that the President is against amnesty for illegal aliens. That’s something the Democrats have fought to federally mandate for years. Talk about giving rewards for not following the rules!

Something else that’s gone veritably unreported by media elitists is the fact that President Bush proposed a 4.8% increase in spending on U.S. Customs and Border Protection that totals a budget expenditure of 6.7 billion dollars. An additional 734 agents have also been assigned by the DHS to the Arizona border.

Does this mean the illegal immigration problem has been rectified? Definitely not. But it does mean that the concerns of many Americans is becoming more prominent in the political arena. The diligence with which the American people take this issue to their elected representatives will force them to take heed.

The fight has only just begun.

Lee P Butler

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