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Illegal immigration out of control…
[J. F. Kelly, Jr.] 8/16/05
discussion of immigration elicits deeply felt emotions. Still,
most Americans seem to feel that immigrants will continue to
play an important role in our country’s growth and that
America should continue to be a beacon to the disadvantaged
and oppressed peoples of the world seeking a better life. That
there are many more of these than the United States can possibly
accommodate does not seem to deter most Americans in favoring
a liberal immigration policy. Ours certainly fits that description.
J.F. Kelly, Jr.
Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive
who writes on current events and military subjects.
He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]
For one thing, young, working immigrants replenish our aging
workforce and provide additional payroll taxes to help keep social
security solvent. We also are increasingly in need of foreign-born
scientists and engineers to sustain our leadership in these areas.
We are speaking, of course about legal immigration. Our immigration
policy needs urgent reform to ensure, not only that it remains
fair and free of racial, ethnic and religious bias, but that
it serves our national need for well-educated and skilled people
whose net contribution to the economy will exceed their demands
on it. But no meaningful reform is worthwhile without first addressing
the illegal immigration crisis.
Under Presidents Clinton and Bush, illegal immigration, especially
from Mexico and Central America, has surged to the point that
there are now over 20 million illegal aliens in the United States.
They are, undoubtedly, mostly good, hardworking men and women
with strong religious values who are seeking a better life for
their families. Who can blame them, given the lack of economic
opportunities and social services in their native countries?
Many of us, in their position, would do the same.
These good people, however, are not, for the most part, the
educated, skilled technicians and professionals that a self-serving
national immigration policy would favor. They are largely unskilled
farm, domestic and food service workers who join the growing
unskilled, entry-level workforce already here, further depressing
their wages and adding to an economic underclass. Many, if not
most, will not contribute payroll taxes to ease the strain on
social security. Their numbers include pregnant women and children
who may not work at all but will contribute to current overloading
of schools, emergency medical facilities and welfare services.
They also include, unfortunately, drug smugglers, dealers, gang
members and probably terrorists. With respect to the latter,
we have little way of knowing how many because our borders are
simply out of control.
And our borders are dangerous. Some Mexican cities along our
southern border are hotbeds of violence, lawlessness and corruption,
prompting our State Department on several occasions to issue
warnings to tourists. The violence, mostly drug related, has
spread across the border, posing a danger to our own citizens.
Blame it on the American demand for drugs, if you wish; it is
no less of a danger and a threat to Americans.
Impatient with the repeated failure of the federal government
to act effectively, citizens are seeking other solutions including
proposals for state border control agencies, the use of state
National Guard forces and the creation of volunteer groups to
act as eyes and ears for the overwhelmed and undermanned Border
Patrol. Predictably, the volunteer groups have been demonized
and called vigilantes by apologists for illegal immigration.
In Carlsbad, Calif., recently, State Sen. Bill Morrow (R, Oceanside)
organized a forum to discuss border security. Featured speakers
included U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R, Colo.) and former U.S. Attorney
for the San Diego region, Peter Nunez. They discussed the effects
of illegal immigration on health care, the economy, security,
crime, education and the environment. Morrow had sued Carlsbad
Unified Schools Superintendent John Roach to get him to honor
a commitment to use facilities on the Carlsbad High School campus
for the forum, which drew a standing room crowd. Roach was reportedly
concerned about the possibility of physical violence.
His concern almost
materialized. Well over 100 protestors jeered and shouted slogans.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune
coverage of the event, they included Muslims protesting comments
that Tancredo previously had made speculating on the possibility
that America could target Muslim holy places in response to an
Islamic terrorist attack. A Union-Tribune photo shows a man in
Arab headdress holding a sign reading, “Stop the Minutemen.
Keep the Borders Open”.
To say that this confrontation was ugly is to put it mildly.
About 150 police, many in riot gear, from multiple jurisdictions
kept the factions separated and escorted the panelists and their
supporters to their cars after the forum to avoid more confrontation.
At issue here is nothing less than the right of a sovereign
nation to control its own borders and to regulate who may enter.
Protestors argue that anything short of open borders is racist
and that there is no such thing as an illegal human being. How
did things come to this state of affairs? For blame look no further
than the Bush administration and the Congress, whose failure
to deal effectively with illegal immigration has allowed it to
spiral out of control. tOR
2005 J. F. Kelly, Jr.