Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Catch-and-Release" Ends at US-Mexico Border

No, I'm not referring to fishing in the Rio Grande. In fact, there is a policy that allows OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) to roam freely for a time while awaiting a court date to be deported. Reuters reports that the United States is closing this loophole which has allowed many OTMs to join the millions of illegal immigrants that are already part of the US population. If 1) you wanted to live in America, 2) didn't want to immigrate legally, 3) had something to hide, would you look at this piece of paper telling you to show up to court and ultimately be deported and a) do as it says or b) toss it in the trash and set up shop in the good ol' US of A?

Freedom and democracy are great things, they seem to have been perfected in the United States moreso than any other nation in the world. US citizens enjoy freedoms half the world can only dream of, i.e. the right to protest the government and religious freedom. In China, protest and being Christian equals jail and/or death. This explains why many millions try, legally and illegally, to immigrate to America. In Plato's Crito, Socrates explains to Crito that acquiesence with the laws of a city-state implies satisfaction with the government and its laws. Were one to have fault with either, there is nothing preventing him from moving to another place with more suitable laws. However, what you do not see are millions of Americans fleeing to Europe or Canada.

Many local and state officials in states like New York and California are attempting to pass legislation that would essentially break down the barriers between legal and illegal immigration by giving illegals the right to vote. Many laws of the sort are already on the books, and it's despicable. The words "legal" and "illegal" imply that one is lawful while the other broke a law. The latter in the case of immigration is 1) a criminal that should be arrested and deported, and 2) NOT a US citizen. As such, they are entitled to NOTHING under the Constitution.

Let's look at this scenario. You have two men going to a bank: one with an account, one without. The former enters a bank and fills out a withdrawal form and takes $20 out of his checking account. The latter walks in and stands behind the other in line. After he walks out of the store, the man without an account walks up to the counter, pulls out a gun, and demands all the money. A manager in an office around the corner pushes a silent alarm and in five minutes the police grab the perp as he attempts to leave. Should he be freed and allowed to keep the money? Anyone in their right mind would say, "absolutely not!" Well by allowing illegal immigrants to enter this country and keep their faux citizenship (by giving them undeserved rights), you are doing the same thing as releasing the bank robber. Each man is a criminal, only in different ways.

Pundits scoff at the proposed "Great Wall of Texas" which represents a fence or wall that could be built along the 2000-mile US-Mexico border at a cost of $1 million per mile. Slow down and think about this though: a $2 billion price tag on a project that would completely cut off the illegal trafficking of drugs (short of smuggling through an airport which is getting exceedingly difficult) and crime resulting from illegal immigrants who were less than exemplory citizens in their former country. The opportunity costs of not solving the immigration problem are much larger than $2 billion.

Whatever option is chosen, immigration reform must move up the list of congressional priorities. If terrorists want to attack us again, they will surely be here illegally when they make their attempt. If nothing is done, we will give them a free shot at the heart of this nation, and God only knows how devastating said attack would be. With nations like Iran and North Korea threatening to build up nuclear weapons and sell them to willing participants in their quest to destroy the West, the threat of nuclear attacks on this nation grow every day. With very little defense against such an attack, we find ourselves highly vulnerable and in want of more protection. This protection will partly come from immigration reform, but Congress first needs to get the bat off its collective shoulder.

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