AFP Editorial: Immigration Consternation
For the past several weeks, the mainstream media has made much ado about pro-immigration rallies that have been popping up around the country.
But despite the fact that a clear majority of Americans believe that our porous borders and illegal immigration are serious problems, which should be addressed, lawmakers have been doing their best to avoid doing what’s best for the country.
A number of prominent legislators have been insisting that new measures dealing with our borders include amnesty for those who are here illegally. They have also argued against punishing companies that skirt U.S. law by offering jobs to illegal aliens.
Meanwhile, proposals to handle strong border protections separately from dealing with amnesty have been rejected. The House approved a strong bill, dealing only with border protection, in December. It is pending in the Senate. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has his own borders-only bill, while another that includes amnesty is being circulated by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House is unlikely to yield to amnesty provisions, and there may be no immigration measure enacted.
WON’T GO ON RECORD
Politicians know that their constituents want to secure our troubled borders and reduce illegal immigration, but they dare not go on record voting for amnesty as a standalone bill. There can be no explanation for this other than
the Democrats and the Republicans are willing to turn their backs on the country’s security and sell out for the Latino community’s votes.
This has set the backdrop for some truly silly theatrics. Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Ted Kennedy (DMass.) argued that a wall to be built at a strategic stretch of the border is comparable to the infamous Berlin Wall.
Both need remedial lessons in fourth grade history. East Germany built the Berlin Wall to keep communist subjects inside East Berlin. Hundreds of East Berliners were shot dead as they scaled the wall and tried to flee to freedom in West Germany. No one ever scaled the wall trying to enter East
Others said that the House bill would “make Jesus a criminal.” A search of the Scriptures found no reports that Jesus of Nazareth ever entered a country illegally.
Amnesty advocates have objected to a provision in the House bill that would define illegal entry as a felony. Apparently, calling a crime a crime is outrageous, they argue. Illegal aliens perform work Americans “won’t do,” argue supporters, including President Bush. That’s wrong, too—see Spotlight on Congress, page 8.
Some activists have resorted to calling illegal immigration a “human rights issue.” Where has it been established in the Constitution that exploiting cheap labor and dodging U.S. laws are rights guaranteed to all?
Meanwhile, pro-illegal immigration groups have ignored obvious problems.
For example, it is well established that a family of illegal aliens, on average, costs U.S. taxpayers more than $4,000 a year in social services and health benefits.
More troubling still are the security issues on the border.
Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, Jr. of Zapata County, Tex., recently told a House committee of signs that international terrorist organizations may be entering from Mexico. His men found many items indicating terrorist crossings, including a jacket with Arabic military badges and one with an airplane flying over a building and heading for a tower.
Also alarming are the recent reports that U.S. agents were able to smuggle quantities of radioactive Cesium-137 across the U.S. border from both Canada and Mexico, which they said could be used to build a radioactive “dirty bomb.”
But, activists claim, sealing off the border would be unkind to illegal aliens. There’s no counting how many have died jammed into a truck driven by the “coyote” who takes their money to haul them into the United States.
These coyotes are also known to rape, abuse and rob female immigrants. “These women and young girls are being raped all along the southern border, and the sight of women’s undergarments hanging from border fences as trophies is appalling,” said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.).
“They are entrusting their futures to these smugglers, or coyotes, to bring them across the border, but instead of gaining freedom, they’re raped and exploited.”
Why Congress dozes is beyond us. Legislators: Support strengthening the border and reject amnesty. It’s the right thing to do.
(Issue #15, April 10, 2006)