Monday, May 01, 2006
"Nothing gringo on May first"
I didn't want to write about this again, but the quote in the title forced me to the keyboard. The polarization of the illegal immigration issue is well on its way and shows no sign of slowing down. The quote is a racist insult (look up 'gringo') and its tone says, "we'll show them that they can't make it through a day without us". By staging protests, walkouts, and boycotts featuring this kind of rhetoric, they are pushing more and more Americans away. Americans may soon begin pushing back.
There is one issue in the debate over immigration into the United States and that is; did you come here legally, conforming to the laws in place at the time of your entry? All other issues fade into insignificance if this country is to remain a nation of laws, not of men. The recent street demonstrations for supposed rights are nothing but subterfuge and cover for this issue and an attempt to refocus the debate on minor issues which allegedly are of great import.
"Who will reap your crops, pick your fruits and vegetables, work in your low-wage jobs" are questions frequently asked by proponents of open borders. I suspect someone else will even though employers may be forced to pay higher wages and prices will likely rise. Regardless of your position on that issue, the question will remain "do you want a nation of laws or are some laws not worth enforcing?"
"it's racism," say some and bolster the charge with, "why aren't you clamoring for a fence along the Canadian border?" The answer is simple and it has nothing to do with racism. If a four-inch pipe springs a leak at the same time as does a half-inch pipe, which do you repair first? The answer is obvious. The flow of illegals is largely across the southern border with only a trickle coming across the northern one. By the way, racism and nationalism is alive and well in Mexico as witnessed by its persecution of the indian populations in its southern state of Chiapas and its treatment of illegals from Central and South America.
Millions of immigrants have come here legally over the past 200 years including me. I came as a child so I had little choice in the matter, but I still had to jump through all the hoops in order to obtain papers of naturalization. I suspect those millions, and thousands on waiting lists all around the world, resent the prospect of amnesty being given to millions of illegal border crossers simply because they are loud enough. If you wish to address fairness, include them in your arguments.
There is a certain 'slippery slope' aspect to this issue as well. If the nation wishes not to enforce immigration laws then why shouldn't tax laws be ignored also. How many of us ignore speed limit signs, or spit on sidewalks despite most cities (outside of San Francisco) having laws against it, or violate jay-walking ordinances? They are called 'scofflaws', laws which are ignored because they are so infrequently enforced. The question is, at what point do scofflaws begin having a deleterious effect on a nation's character? In other words, how far can we go in breaking laws before people say 'enough is enough'?
There are those who say that compassion should govern our response to this question. The vast majority of illegals are truly decent people seeking only a better life for themselves and their families. On a strictly personal basis I, and I'm sure many of us, feel compassion for these hard-working people, willing to risk life and limb to improve their lives. (Ignore for the present the moonbat brigade reconquista). However, a nation can be neither formed nor governed with compassion preceding law, it must come second. If we allowed compassion to be the only guiding principle in governance we would not punish criminals. In any criminal trial, the verdict must be based on the facts of the case, not the jurors' compassion for the defendant. On the other hand, compassion may mitigate the punishment meted out in the penalty phase. Compassion must not be absent, but it must not receive primary consideration. That is the correct order of things and that is the correct order of border regulation also.
Laws have been broken and the scales of justice demand to be righted or we will slide down that slippery slope of becoming just another corrupt, ungovernable country. Solutions? I have none, but I know that amnesty is not the answer nor is deportation. But with the good faith from all concerned, some sort of resolution can be reached which will satisfy all but the extreme elements. What is happening now is already beginning to make that an unreachable goal. I hope and pray the polarization will stop before it is too late.