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Paul Hayden

Pandering to Lawbreakers Blurs Line Between Legal and Illegal

May 17, 2010

Several years ago, as part of my duties working for a member of Congress, I attended a forum on immigration. The premise of the meeting was that the rights of legal immigrants were being violated by employers who intimidate their workforces by blurring the line between legal and illegal aliens. These employers were said to be preying on the fears of their legal workers by exploiting their ignorance of immigration law and convincing them that they had better keep their mouths shut about low wages and poor working conditions, lest they be deported.

Most of the forum participants that day, many of whom were career bureaucrats, actually believed that the only logical solution to this growing problem was to respect the "rights" of all immigrants, including those who have euphemistically come to be known as "undocumented workers."

I listened to this nonsense for two hours that day. When I could no longer hold my tongue, I asked, "How can you possibly expect employers to care about the difference between legal and illegal aliens when you don't? You are the ones who are blurring the line between the two, and you are the ones causing hardship on those who have chosen to abide by our laws and who actually want to become Americans. If anyone is disrespecting legal immigrants, it is you!"

A pin dropping in that room at that moment would have sounded like a bomb. None of the defenders of the "rights" of illegals quite knew what to say. It was as if their assumptions about the issue had never been challenged. No one attending that meeting had ever questioned the politically correct claptrap that passed for a public policy discussion on the issue of immigration.

Afterward, a middle-aged Hispanic woman, smartly dressed and obviously a professional, approached me and expressed her appreciation for what I had said. She told me that her parents had gone through the arduous process of immigrating legally to the United States from Mexico in the 1950s. She said that she had been born here, thus making her a proud first-generation American, and that her entire family was infuriated by politicians and bureaucrats who pander to illegal aliens. She also assured me that many other naturalized immigrants felt the same way.

That woman and her family represent the best of America. Their lives are within the great tradition of immigrants who longed to become Americans. They have earned the right to be here.

Those who disrespect the rights and the security of law-abiding Americans in favor of people who have broken our laws represent the worst we have to offer.

The state of Arizona has passed a statute that simply reinforces and mirrors federal immigration law. This was necessary because the feds under both parties have refused to enforce our borders. Yet this common sense action by Arizona authorities has sparked mass demonstrations, protests and boycotts. Lies are being spread about this law, and the state of Arizona and its elected officials are being vilified by every liberal from Hollywood to the White House.

The best estimates available tell us that there are approximately 400 million people in the world who would come to the United States if they could. Those who advocate amnesty or anything like it should consider such numbers, because the future of a great civilization hangs in the balance. A society carved out of nothing through the toil and struggle of our Founders, and placed in our stewardship by God, should not be lightly disregarded. Without our borders, our language and our culture, we have no nation. This is not an exaggeration. This is the truth.

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Copyright ©2010 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.