There is some truth in the political cartoon posted today by Cox and Forkum.

Stars Barred

I like immigrants. But I think there should be a little order in the way they are admitted into the United States. So I propose that we allow immigrants access to the U.S. in the same way students are accepted into universities. Universities cannot, of necessity, admit every student who applies. If they did, they would soon be overwhelmed by mobs of students and would be unable to teach any of them properly. When wants are unbounded but resources are limited, someone has to say, “This is enough, and more is too many.”

Should the U.S. allow into the country everyone who wants to enter? Really? Then what happens when mobs of people try to enter a small area with limited resources? When there are unbounded numbers of people desiring to enter the country, but physical resources like living space and water are limited, then someone has to stand at the border and say, “Sorry, we’ve filled our immigrant quota. Try next year.”

Do we limit the numbers of legal immigrants because we hate them? No more than universities turn away students because they hate them. The reality is that we cannot accommodate everyone, even if we really want to. That means that we have a say in how many people get to come into the country, just as universities do. And just as universities do, we ought to select the very best of the applicants.

Our local college held a rally in favor of illegal immigration today. Not that they would actually use the phrase “illegal immigration.” That’s far too mean for these people. Instead, they used phrases like “our friends” and “undocumented immigrants.” Michelle Malkin puts the kibosh on the use of the word “undocumented.” Many of our friends the illegal immigrants have plenty of documentation, although it’s fake. She sums up her post with, “Not that the law matters anymore, but identification document fraud is a crime.” Yep. It’s a crime all right, but since these people were willing to break the law just to get here, what makes you think they would stop once they arrived?

I would welcome an uneducated, but legal immigrant over a brilliant doctor who sneaks into this country because he believes that immigration laws shouldn’t apply to him.

The choicest nugget of stupidity I heard from the kids rallying for illegal immigration came from a mental marvel who stated, “My parents were undocumented citizens…” This kid deserves to have his tuition refunded, because he clearly hasn’t yet learned that words have meaning. Or we could take his teachers to task for failing to instruct him. This kid’s parents aren’t “undocumented citizens;” they are freakin’ illegal immigrants who broke the law to get here–and who remain in this country in defiance of the law.

Is it really so hard to grasp the concept that the law applies to everyone? Apparently so, judging by the people who march for lies, injustice, and the un-American way.

A tiny handful of students at the rally didn’t concur with the mass of ignorant idjits marching for illegal immigration. One in particular was calling from the sidelines, “Didn’t you learn from kindergarten that you don’t cut in line?” He was being booed for his trouble. If you ask me, he should have pushed his way to the front and seized the microphone away from the current protestor to say his piece. He should have demanded to participate in the discussion, since he’d been there long enough. Sure, he wasn’t part of the demonstrating group, and there were people scheduled to talk before him, but he was willing to do a job that no one else there was willing to do, so why not grant him amnesty from the heckling and let him talk?

I bet that line of argument would go over like a lead balloon.

I spent the last week away from home, and since internet access was very limited, I decided to take a short break from publishing anything. But as I was driving over 2,000 miles in a week, I had some time to think about some subjects. Writing down thoughts as you are driving is a bad idea.

While I was away, I was happy to know that my friend Podkayne was stopping by to get some rest on her own long journey. I knew no one else would be at the house, so I made sure she had a key to the place. She was a welcome guest in my home, and I could trust her not to run off with the good silver. Better than that, she even did some dishes for me! Thanks, Podkayne!

I hope you have family and friends whom you trust enough to use your guest bed if they need it, whether you are there to watch over them or not. But how would you feel if a non-invited person were to enter your home, sleep in your bed, and eat up your food? Whether this unwanted person used a key to unlock the front door, entered through an open window, or used a brick to smash open a lock, there is a name for someone who enters your home uninvited: intruder!

Our nation is our home, and we should be just as concerned about people crossing our borders as we would be about people entering our home at will during the day or night. This is why I’m upset to see how President Bush is failing to fix the issue of illegal aliens in the United States. President Vincente Fox of Mexico made a statement recently that Mexicans (read that as illegal aliens) do work that not even Blacks would do. While this is an offensive statement to Blacks, it also shows Fox’s belief that it is both just and right for his countrymen to break laws to cross illegally into the U.S. And it’s no wonder — the wages that move from the U.S. to Mexico are the second largest money-making industry for Mexico. Fox isn’t going to cut off his national gravy train by stopping Mexicans from crossing into the U.S. Yet it is interesting that the Mexican government is not so lax on its own southern border.

Mexico is not a country starved of resources or filled with lazy people. In the two years I lived in Mexico, I saw hard-working people, but they were prevented from doing as much as they could because of government corruption. When a country offers freedom and protection of people’s rights and property, economic success will follow. Can you point out any country where this is not the case?

Don’t expect to see much from the U.S. government to stem the flood of illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. There is a perception that doing anything against illegal aliens will be seen as an attack on Hispanics who already live in the U.S., but if I were someone from Mexico who had entered legally into the States, I’d be both ashamed of how other Mexicans are illegally crossing into the country and angry that their illegal actions are reflecting negatively on myself. Why is it that the legal immigrants are not policing out the illegals who are crossing into the States?

Could it be that this isn’t happening because the legal immigrants are not identifying themselves as Americans first? There is a very simple reason why Mexicans — or any other group, for that matter — don’t feel like they fit into the larger society, and it isn’t because of skin color. It is language.

English is the common language here in the United States, but it is possible to enter enclaves where Spanish is the only language spoken. In a situation like that, you could spend your whole life never needing to learn English, but there is a limitation to living that way — you are stuck in that enclave. Leaving the enclave requires learning a new language, and choosing not to learn English means you are limited to certain jobs, certain places to live and shop, and certain opportunities you can provide your children. Do you really want to place limitations on your children? You will, if you never learn to speak English.

Before I visited Singapore for the second time, I spent several months studying spoken and written Chinese. I never got very good at it, and I realized that it didn’t help me all that much since I was practicing Mandarin, and all the friends I met in Singapore spoke either Cantonese or Hokkien at home. Also, the traditional characters I learned to read and write were different from the simplified Chinese used in Singapore. This island nation has four official languages: Chinese, Malay, English, and Tamil. It was fun watching the same commercial on TV done in four different languages. Because Singapore is as polyglot as it is, I didn’t feel as bad that I didn’t learn the right version of spoken Chinese, but at least I made the attempt.

I lived in Germany for three years. We could have lived on the military base with the rest of the Americans, but we preferred to live in a small town away from the base. Frau Roch spoke excellent English, having lived in the States for several years. Our landlord had a working English vocabulary of about 400-500 words, and it is amazing how much information you can communicate with that many words. Frau Fuchs didn’t speak a word of English, but over time we were able to talk with her in halting sentences. Frau Roch confessed that even she had a hard time talking to Frau Fuchs because of her old-fashioned accent. While I never became perfectly fluent in German, I got good enough to travel about, and I didn’t have problems buying items in the stores. People even stopped me to ask for directions, and assuming I knew where the place was, I was happy to direct them. My main limitation to learning better German came from spending most of my time in my own English-speaking enclave. High school was all in English, my family and friends all spoke English with each other, and my job was in English. But notwithstanding all that, I made a good attempt at learning the language of the land.

I spent only two years in Mexico, but my Spanish became much better than my German ever did, even with the extra year living in Germany. Since I didn’t live in a little English-speaking enclave, I had to learn Spanish as fast as I could just to be understood. It took much study and practice, but I became very fluent in Spanish. I remember visiting a cement tile factory and talking with the head craftsman there. He thought that I, with my blond hair, was a native-speaking albino rather than an American gringo. I knew I was really speaking Spanish well when the people stopped noting how good my Spanish was and just talked with me. At one point I was so immersed in Spanish that speaking English became very difficult. I had to really think hard to speak in English with the occasional Americans I encountered, or I would just lapse back into Spanish.

If I had to depend on people speaking English to me while I lived in Mexico, I couldn’t have traveled through the northern states as I did. I would have been stuck at home with books and whatever English TV or radio I could find. My opportunities would have been very limited, and I probably would have been frustrated to tears being stuck in my little area. It was very hard work for me to learn Spanish, but the effort was well worth the time and the struggle. And since I was the minority in the country, it was up to me to learn the people’s language.

I don’t care where you emigrated from; now that you are here in the United States, the first thing you should do is learn English. It’s the best thing you can do for your own future and for the future of your children.

Let me set the scene at the southern border:

Freight trains leave each day heading north. At the border “undocumented workers” swarm over the tracks, trying to catch a free ride into the promised land, and it isn’t uncommon for a train to have hundreds of people clinging to it, hitching a ride up north. But not everyone makes it — Hector fell under the moving train and lost both of his legs. Dangerous gangs roam along the border, and violence and prostitution run amok. Immigration officials catch some of the people crossing the river, but many make it past them. The officials and police will send the migrants back, but there are mixed signals being sent here: people from other government agencies patrol the border to advise people about their human rights, often giving them food and clothes. Commissioner Felipe Preciado laments over the Sisyphean nature of the illegal immigrant problem: “It took longer for our buses to turn around at the border than it did for undocumented migrants to re-enter [the country] somewhere else.”

Just north of the border, farmers and ranchers take advantage of the “temporary migrant workers,” paying them less than the minimum wage, and most often ignoring taxes like social security. Paying them in cash means not having to report the money to the government. These workers are often worked hard for a week or two, right up to payday, and then the immigration officers are called in to deport them before the money has to be paid out.

Edwin Morales has been an exile from his native land for almost twenty years now. He fled his home after the abduction and murder of one of his wife’s relatives by security forces. He went north because of the nation’s reputation for tolerance and democracy, but after three weeks in the capital city, he was arrested and detained by security forces. He was later deported to Cuba and told not to return for 10 years. Months later, Morales met up with his family in Nicaragua, and they now live in Costa Rica.

Not everyone is equally distressed over illegal immigration. Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, recently referred to “our wonderful neighbor country that has been so dedicated and interested, that has made such great efforts in respect to the negotiations that are being conducted to achieve peace, [and] that has received and admitted so many refugees and exile[s]…” She said she was willing with “satisfaction and gratitude” not to keep her Nobel Prize medal, but instead to place it in a museum in the “wonderful neighbor country” to the north.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I once stood on a bridge spanning the Rio Grande between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. As I stood there, feet straddling the center line of the bridge, I spotted eight people wading across the river and running past the Immigration office. But none of the stories mentioned above took place on the southern border of the United States. They all took place on the southern border of Mexico. Just as the U.S. lures Mexicans who want to work and make money here, Mexico is likewise a shining lure to people living in Guatemala and places further south.

Mexican President Vicente Fox doesn’t like American plans to shut down easy access between the U.S. and Mexico. In a meeting with President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, President Fox said, “No country that is proud of itself should build walls. It doesn’t make any sense.” He also said that the new wall going up between the U.S. and Mexico should and must be demolished. If heading north is a basic human right for Mexicans, why doesn’t Sr. Fox feel the same way about Guatemalan nationals who wish to do exactly the same thing? I have previously pointed out that as individuals we would be very distressed to have neighbors and strangers wander freely into our homes at any hour of the day or night. A sturdy fence between the U.S. and its neighbors has the same purpose and function as a fence around one’s property and locks on the doors.

I don’t have a problem with legal immigration, as I have stated before, but I have a serious complaint against illegal immigration. This is one of the few issues where I strongly disagree with President Bush and his plans. And this is why I am in favor of the Minuteman Project.

Right now, hundreds of volunteers are patrolling a stretch of the Arizona border, and they plan on maintaining this patrol throughout the month of April. They are not there to physically stop people from crossing the border. They are there to spot anyone who enters the United States illegally and call in the immigration officials. They are extra eyes for the law, and a helping hand for people who are hungry and thirsty.

But not everyone appreciates what the Minuteman Project is trying to accomplish. Some of the attitudes against the Minutemen seem very similar to sentiments voiced by the ranchers and farmers in southern Mexico, who take advantage of cheap undocumented labor coming over the border. A Reuters article from April 6th echoes this sentiment:

“I had a Salvadoran work for me for six months, and it’s not uncommon for people here to drive a migrant north in their car rather than hand them over to the U.S. Border Patrol,” said cafe owner Charles Lewis.

The fact that these people are in the U.S. illegally doesn’t seem to matter to Mr. Lewis. I wonder if he would be as sanguine if his neighbors were in the habit of escorting people into his own home. Something tells me he would be very uneasy with that idea if it were made reality. But he has no problem with “people” performing a similar act toward his nation.

The article quotes another local’s opinion of the Minuteman Project:

“I’d rather take my chances with the Mexicans than one of these U.S. military type idiots taking part in the patrols,” local truck driver John Porter told Reuters, as he took the sun on a sidewalk table outside the Daily Diner.

“Migrants pay their taxes and I don’t have a problem with them,” he added.

“Migrants pay their taxes…” Do they really? I can’t deny that illegals must pay sales taxes on the things they buy, but how much property tax do they pay? How much income tax? I’m sure Mr. Lewis filled out a W-2 form for the Salvadoran who worked for him for six months, right? And since they don’t have a Social Security number, how could illegals be paying Social Security taxes? The answers to these questions are obvious. Illegal immigrants use our infrastructure, taking advantage of programs paid for with American tax dollars, but they do not pull their own weight because, as undocumented illegals who are usually paid under the table, they are not assessed taxes the rest of us must pay.

There is a much more compelling reason to secure the U.S. border. People exist who hate us, and who want to see us dead. An open border policy does not help keep these thugs away. Just as a fence around the property and locks on the doors are common-sense ideas, so is a secure border. New passport rules are a step in the right direction, regardless of alarmist claims that they will “threaten business relations.” I only wish President Bush would be as serious about securing our own borders as he has been in the rest of the War on Terror, but the sad truth is that he’s afraid to play hardball. Hispanic voters are a growing group, and woe unto the politician who angers a large group of voters in the United States.

I have written about illegal immigration in the past, but the time has come to revisit the subject. Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge said before a town meeting in Florida, “The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our immigration policy is and then enforce it.” I agree 100% with his last part. We do need to decide what our immigration policy is and enforce it. Currently, the federal government and many states turn a blind eye to the problem of illegal aliens. In my mother-in-law’s school, there are many families that she is certain are in this country illegally, but she is prohibited from asking them for proof of citizenship or immigration papers. This is a kind of stupidity only the government could create: make a show of guarding our borders from aliens, but ignore them when they get inside.

This new proposal on immigration by President Bush is based in legislation already drafted by three Arizona Republicans : Rep. Jim Kolbe, Rep. Jeff Flake, and Sen. John McCain. The first part of this legislation would make it easier for businesses to bring in an unspecified number of aliens for low-wage jobs, and the second part would allow illegal aliens and their extended families who are already hiding in the U.S. to remain here legally. The administration claims this isn’t an amnesty plan because the illegal aliens would need to wait for some time and pay a fee before obtaining legal permission to stay, but if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and shouts “AFLAC!” like a duck, then it’s a duck, President Bush. And this is an amnesty program, regardless of what political verbiage is used.

What would happen if you announced to the community at large that the Krispy Kreme donut shop would be giving away boxes of donuts to everyone who drops by before midnight? Before the announced deadline, people would be rushing through the doors to get their hands on the free food. This is human nature. Now that the administration has announced a general “Ollie Ollie oxen free!” for illegals, what do you think has happened to the rate of illegals pouring across our borders? If you said the rate has gone up since the announcement, give yourself a gold star on the forehead. And if you think that we have lots of people pouring across our borders now, just wait until the legislation passes and the cutoff time for free entry draws close. Our borders will show just how porous they really are. And here’s the big worry: mixed in with the floods of decent people looking for a new and better life for themselves and their families, how many evil-minded terrorists will also pass through our borders? In a time when our nation’s safety is considered so important that a new cabinet-level post was created – the Secretary of Homeland Security – why is the administration proposing a plan that will raise the illegal immigrant rate in the same manner as actress Charlize Theron raised her weight for the movie Monster, by binging on Krispy Kreme donuts?

I am strongly against illegal immigration and the government’s approval of it, but I am very much in favor of legal immigration. Now before you get your undies in a bunch, let me clarify that I am not a racist. I do not care what country you come from, your age, race, sex, or ethnic background. I do care if you will be a honest and law-abiding visitor or aspiring citizen-to-be. As long as you enter the country legally, then I welcome you with open arms. If you cannot be an honest and law-abiding visitor, then I don’t want you even to think of heading toward the U.S. If you enter illegally, then I want the screen door to hit you on the butt hard as you leave this nation.

And don’t ever come back.

Have you ever noticed that there are places where you feel free to just walk on in, and other places where you always knock first? When I visit my Grandma, I never knock; I just walk on in and give her a big hug. I also learned that I could just walk into my mom-in-law’s house with a shout of “Who’s naked?” to let people know I was there. But when I visit my parents, I always knock first, and I don’t really know why. I certainly feel perfectly accepted in my parents’ home, so it is not as if there is some barrier of unkind feelings in place. The only thing I can possibly think that would explain the difference is the newness of my parents’ place. I guess it just does not feel like home to me.

In the not-so-distant past, people used to know their neighbors more than we do today. It was no big deal to pop over to the next-door neighbor to ask for a cup of milk or some eggs. But I think those days have passed us by. Do you have that type of relationship with your neighbors, or are you like most of us–too busy to just sit down and get to know them? There is something sad about how the times have changed this way. If you are like most people, you might recognize your neighbors, but you would be hard pressed to remember their names. And like most people, you probably keep the house locked up tight while you are home and away.

Would you mind if your neighbors felt comfortable enough in your home to just walk in uninvited? Would you care if they brought their friends with them or showed complete strangers how easy it was to waltz on into your unlocked home? If you are like me and a product of our times, the idea of someone unknown having access to the house gives you the heebie-jeebies. Now imagine that some nutcase has issued death threats against you and your family, and he has already been caught once burglarizing your home. Would you ever leave the doors unlocked? No! You would buy some extra deadbolts and install a potent security system. After all, we are talking about your family!

Right now, our nation is like an unlocked house. Every day illegal aliens cross the porous borders into our national home. If everyone were kind and thoughtful, then we would not mind them dropping by to say hello. But since there are people out there whose primary goal in life is to kill us, it is foolhardy to leave the doors open and let everyone into our nation. Before you think I am anti-immigrant, let me clearly state that I am not. I am all in favor of legal immigrants, as I am a descendant of legal immigrants. If you are a foreigner and you want to become a law-abiding citizen of the United States, I welcome you with open arms. But if you start off by breaking the law as you illegally sneak into this country, I do not have much faith that you will improve your outlook on our country and our laws. And if you are someone who has illegally crossed these borders, then I do not want you to remain in this country. I do not care whether you came from Mexico or Canada, Hong Kong or England. If you did not get here legally, then you are persona non grata, and I want you gone.

Is this harsh? No harsher than calling the cops to boot out someone who has broken into your home. I do not see a difference between the protection I want surrounding my home, and that which I want surrounding my nation. But not everyone sees it this way. My mom-in-law teaches grade school, and she knows which families are here illegally, but she cannot ask the parents or the kids if they are. If she did, she would be sued and possibly fired. Apparently this question violates their civil rights, but how does anyone have the civil right to do something illegal? This must somehow make sense in the minds of the liberals who drafted these laws and the loony ACLU who fought for these “rights.”

I once stood on a bridge crossing the Rio Grande, right on the painted line marking the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In the fifteen minutes I stood there and watched, I counted eight people wading through the low-running river and passing through a fence into the United States. One lady paid a kid to push her across the river in a little raft so she would not have the tell-tale wet pants of someone who had just waded the river. Multiply this scenario by the long length of the U.S.-Mexico border, and you may begin to get an idea of just how porous our borders are.

Governor Gray Davis of California signed the Illegal Alien Drivers’ License bill on Sept. 5, 2003. At that time he said, “They deserve the right to drive.” No, Governor, they do not deserve that right. They are not here legally, so they should not enjoy the privileges that come with legal status. Gov. Davis knows that this is a terrible idea, since he vetoed the bill twice already, but now that he is desperate to keep his governorship, he is blatantly catering to the Latino vote. And since the Motor-Voter laws make it simple to register to vote if you have a driver’s license, this opens up California to massive voter fraud. For this act alone, Gov. Davis should be removed from office. Harsh? Yes. But anyone who is this willing to throw open the doors to illegal aliens has violated his oath of office to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And this law makes it ridiculously easy for foreign enemies to gain a valid driver’s license in California and spread out through our home–the United States–to do their work of evil. I think it’s high time that we called the cops to kick them out of our home.