What Part Of “Illegal” Don’t Americans Understand?

January 28, 2004

By Tom DeWeese

Which side one takes in the great debate over illegal immigration policy is a matter of values.

Do you treasure a strong, independent United States of America as the beacon of freedom in the world? Are you proud to live in a nation where personal liberty and free choice led to the creation of the highest standard of living and the best medical care in history? Do you believe in the free enterprise system? Do you believe in the rule of law, based on the Constitution, as the only way to protect your natural rights? Do you believe that the United States is unique among any other nation or system on earth?

If you hold these ideals as truth, then there is only one solution to illegal immigration. It must be stopped. None of the factors that distinguish the United States from all others can be preserved if this nation erases its borders and ignores its founding principles, primary among which is the rule of law. Ignoring or sanctioning eight million or more illegal immigrants among us will destroy the fabric of the nation.

We are told this is “a nation of immigrants” to justify allowing illegals to stay here. That contention is wrong on two counts. First, the nation was created by settlers who forged it out of a wilderness. They were here for 200 years before the Declaration of Independence. The American Revolution was fought to end the usurpation of their right to rule themselves. They chose a then-radical form of government that allowed each individual the freedom to seek his own way.

Because the American experiment was so successful others wanted to share in the fruits of these new liberties. A growing nation invited them to prosper among us. These were the true immigrants. They accepted American language, culture, and values. The nation grew in size, wealth, and power. Above all, they came in through the front door, the famous Ellis Island and other ports of entry. They were welcomed, processed, naturalized, and made legal citizens.

This brings us to the second mistake in today’s immigration debate. Policy makers are confusing the issue, mixing legals and illegals in the same argument. Let us celebrate those who make the decision to come here by asking permission and undergoing the difficult task of becoming a legal American. Truly, one has to want to be an American to go through the lengthy process. These honest, hard working, new Americans are rightfully proud of their achievement and are free to begin their own American journey with the full blessing of the American people.

There can be no comparison between these immigrants and those who sneak into the nation illegally. What incentive does anyone have to take the legal route when the nation just decides to give up and grant illegal immigrants amnesty? The illegals work jobs with American incentives that include Social Security, free education, and medical care, all funded by American taxpayers. Unlike previous generations of immigrants, most do not care to learn our language or culture.

Those from Mexico continue to consider themselves Mexicans as, indeed, they are.

Contrary to the argument that they contribute to our economy, they send billions of dollars back to Mexico, helping that nation’s economy. At the same time, they undermine the U.S. standard of living by swamping our schools, hospitals and social services. They fill our jails for the crimes they commit.

A national disaster is brewing. In an effort designed more to appease Mexican President Vicente Fox and less to actually fix the problem, the Bush Administration proposes to grant a temporary three-year legal status to those who are already here, provided they have a job and pay a registration fee. They would be given worker documentation, presumably so the government could keep track of them and monitor their status.

Well it sounds good, but there are questions to be answered. If enacted, the 8 to10 million illegals would be forgiven and free to function as legal workers. In a nation that still has many citizens seeking employment, many of whom would have to compete with them, will there also be a policy to stop more illegals who continue to pour across the border? Having failed to stop the newly documented immigrant workers, will our nation now enforce our laws?

Second, if the Immigration Service can’t keep track of millions of immigrants already documented, how will they keep track of 8 to10 million “temporary” workers? Can we trust those who broke the law and slipped into the nation illegally to now sign up for the new program and provide accurate information? What will their status be after the three year probation period ends?

Finally, consider what the new policy will do to the American businessman. Every time government comes up with a grand new plan, somehow the businessman gets stuck with the paperwork and the responsibility for implementing it. This new proposal requires businesses to first document that no U.S. citizen wants the job before hiring the illegal. That means government forms must be filled out on company time. Businesses will now be required to keep track of these workers, a task which the federal government has never been able to do.

This massive, purposeful, determined invasion of this nation is being driven by the Mexican government whose president has made his position clear. He said all barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico should be removed to allow people to live and work in the country of their choosing. He wants a North American Union like its European counterpart. He wants no borders. He wants one economy. He wants the fruits of our system to bail out the rot of his. To that end, President Fox is deliberately encouraging his own citizens to leave Mexico and illegally pour over our borders to gain the benefits of our free enterprise system.

In this way, American enterprise and wealth is being tapped to bail out his Mexico’s troubled economy. A tenth of Mexico’s population now resides in the United States.

The United States signed on to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in large part to help the Mexican economy and, presumably, to stop the flow of illegal aliens. Neither has happened. Instead, Mexico continues to tax its business class to the point of suffocation, thereby killing job growth, while implementing socialist policies. In the ten years since signing on to NAFTA, the Mexican economy has grown by only 1.2%.

The United States is now faced with the disastrous results from the failure to enforce our immigration laws. We’re stuck with eight to twelve million outlaws. What are we to do? Build walls? Send the Army to the border? Do we deport whole families, leaving many American companies wanting for workers? The answer is yes.

It is not bigotry or hate or lack of compassion to defend of our national sovereignty, our borders, our cultural values, and our way of life. The key word in the great debate is “ILLEGAL” immigrants. Failing to understand this, it will only take a single generation before the United States is unrecognizable, lost to the flood of those who refuse to understand, acknowledge or obey the rule of law that made the United States worth plundering in the first place.

These illegal aliens are the first wave of an assault to erase our national identity, to prepare the United States to accept a borderless North American Union. If our nation fails to meet the challenge and make the difficult decision to maintain ourselves as a sovereign nation, then prepare for our lives to change forever. An America without borders is an America that will cease to exist.

Our federal Government will become a mechanism for filtering the dictates of an unelected governing North American Union Council headed by bureaucrats from all three countries. Our Constitution will be replaced with a new Union Pact. Our free market system will be regulated by the Council. Our tax dollars will be “fairly” divided among the three countries. Our legal system, unmatched in the world, will be transformed. It will be a new order, indeed. The vivid example lies in Europe today where some of the world’s oldest nations have abandoned their currencies, identities, and cultures to the European Union.

Do you want the United States to be a strong, independent, sovereign nation? Or do you want Vicente Fox’s vision of an American Union where the riches of the United States lay open to the ravenous appetites of feeding socialists. This is the real issue the United States faces under the debate called “immigration reform.”

We can’t have both. The United States must either take on the difficult job of protecting its borders and national integrity by stopping the flood of illegal immigration or disappear.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.