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Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.

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If I were to believe what I hear and see on television about the immigration ruckus, then today I find myself in unfamiliar territory. I feel resentment at the tack my party has taken on the issue and it's really starting to annoy the hell out of me. I feel like a loner out here. Where the hell am I? Where the hell did the rational people go to all of the sudden? Not prosecuting alleged criminals for any reason other than belief in innocence is unacceptable. The problem is growing, things are getting worse, and we have to strengthen our resolve before it becomes uncontrollable.... Click the title to read the rest.

"I was also there to represent my family, many of whom came in to this country in the last three decades as refugees from both Vietnam and the former Soviet Union. The immigrants in my family have contributed so much to this country, across the socio-economic spectrum--they include a doctor, two engineers, two small business owners, a nanny, and a nurse. This country means everything to them." -- written on Speaking Freely.

I agree with the spirit of what this person said, but I think it's a cheap tactic to divert attention from the issue at hand. We're not having problems with immigrants, we've having problems with illegal immigrants. It doesn't matter to me how good of a person an illegal immigrant is, nor how good of a pseudocitizen they are after they've come here. How can they be trusted to obey the laws once then get here when they broke the law in the process? How can anyone be sure that they won't break the law again just because it suited them, as they have done before? And frankly I don't think that's even a point that needs to be raised, because its besides the point. It's just a matter of action, and reaction. Action: they came across the border illegally. Reaction: They broke the law and must be held responsible for doing so.

Now most Americans look down on Mexico (figuratively), but it's not exactly a third world country down there. There are no widespread human rights abuses there like certain other nations, and nobody is being persecuted down there as far as I know. Life may not be real great, in fact it may be downright awful, but it's not South Korea awful. It's not Somalia awful. It's not even Cuba awful. These people chose to come here because they wanted to, not because they felt that they had to. When they stepped across that border without permission, they break the law, and I ask this to any rational person who cares to respond: why should a law breaker not be treated as such?

I think that they should be arrested, tried for their accused crime, and punished if found guilty. That's what you do with people accused of committing a crime; you don't play favorites. I don't know what the punishment would be, should this crime be made a felony, and I don't care at this point. Detaining aliens and sending them back to their country of origin (in some cases this means as little as a couple of miles from the border) is obviously not working, and having so many people in this country is taxing its resources unfairly. How might you ask? Illegals don't pay taxes, but still send their kids to school. They still go to the hospital (don't get me started, all hospital care should be free for everyone) while other law abiding citizens pay their due. That's how its unfair. And believe me when I say I want their kids to be in school, I want all kids in school. But it has to go down the right way, the legal way.

On punishing companies for hiring illegals, I like it. It's no different than child labor laws. And so what if it means a shortfall in low wage workers? Are people seriously going to complain that companies will start having to pay people more money, or that there will suddenly be many more available jobs for other people in this country that are here legally?

On the topic of border fencing, people need first to understand the real tangible benefits. While it is true that 700 miles of new fencing along a 1951 mile border isn't going to stop immigrants from coming here by itself, a fence to keep them out isn't the point. At least one South Western state has experimented with increased border fencing as a means to reroute immigrant traffic into designated areas with no fencing, where border patrol forces can be concentrated to intercept a higher percentage of illegal immigrants than would otherwise be possible. Together with other reforms such as not just dumping them back in Mexico, it starts to make sense. It's a solid plan, and it has been proven effective. It's a real plan that can actually help deal with the problem, however unclassy it may feel.

Let's get one thing straight; illegal immigrants are criminals, and should be treated as such, otherwise the law in this country doesn't mean a damn thing.

It's up to them where we go from there.

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Apr 12, 2006, 10:40:00 AM
And I thought I was the only one who thought the argument that immigrants are valuable to the US was absurd. Of course they are, and were. When you speak of illegal immigrants, though, it doesn't matter whether they are or not - they're in the US illegally, and no amount of arguing will change that. If they really want to be a contributing part of the US, they should do it, legally.

Oddly enough, countries around the world make like rules and like constraints, but it's only when it's the US that it creates such a political uproar that a whole month of demonstrations the country over are required. Fancy that.

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