What About Illegal Do They Not Understand?
Lawbreakers demand citizenship…
[Ray Haynes] 4/14/06
in the fight over Proposition 187 (the 1994 initiative that
would have rescinded welfare benefits for illegal aliens) had
the best line about the debate over illegal immigration. Many
charges were tossed back and forth about the initiative and
the motivation of its sponsors. The response of the future
Congressman to those charges was always: “What is it
about illegal that they don’t understand?”
others, I watched television as the protestors waved their
Mexican flags, then changed those flags to American flags,
then yelled “Si Se Puede,” then yelled “Yes,
We Can,” then demanded the same rights as American citizens,
then said they were Americans.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
no, they are not. When someone breaks the laws of this country
it, for whatever reason, whether it is to work,
or obtain free medical care, free food, welfare, a driver’s
license, and reduced college tuition, they are still not Americans.
We have a legally mandated process, established after years of
debate, negotiations, arguments, social consensus, and legal
maneuverings to determine how someone becomes a citizen. Until
someone follows that process, they are not Americans, not entitled
to become Americans, not entitled to claim to be Americans, and
not entitled to the rights of Americans.
We are a
very generous country. We allow more people than any other
country in the
world to come into our country legally,
stay, and become naturalized citizens. We are second to none
in welcoming people from all cultures to join us in the world’s
common quest to extend representative government and individual
liberty throughout the world. We don’t even really ask
that much of people to go through the process. It may take some
time, and it is usually stuck in the inevitable bureaucracy,
but once someone has completed the process, they are Americans.
In France, you can move to France, but you never become French.
You can move to China, but you will never become Chinese. If
you follow a few simple steps, you can move to the United States
and become an American.
One of those steps is not sneaking through the fence, avoiding
the law for ten years, receiving thousands of dollars in government
aid, and then demanding amnesty for your illegal behavior. Yet,
at this time, thousands of people throughout this country are
demanding that we make that a legitimate way of becoming an American
citizen. In essence, they want to profit from their illegal behavior.
That is just not right. Go home, follow the law, come here
legally, and we will welcome you with open arms. Break our laws,
and we will be justifiably outraged by your behavior. That is
how it is, and how it ought to be.
to qualify the California Border Police last year to do one
simple thing—enforce federal immigration law, mainly
because the federal government was refusing to do so. It sparked
a national debate on the question of enforcement, and we are
seeing that debate play itself out in Washington today. Enforcement
of the law is the right thing to do. If we find that the law
doesn’t work, that we need a larger labor pool, then we
debate the best way to accomplish that goal. But, if we don’t
enforce the laws we have now, it won’t matter what laws
we have in the future. We will still fail to have an immigration
thing that makes anyone a good American is their ability to
follow the law. That is all anyone is asking these
protestors to do. It is not that hard, and, if they do it, we
will all be their good friends and neighbors. -CRO-
Haynes is a California Assemblyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.