Amnesty policy must come with preventive measures

A. J. Atchue

It has been called “a civil rights movement reborn in this country” by one leading supporter. While that is clearly foolish rhetoric that should have Martin Luther King rolling in his grave at the comparison, the recent push to legalize all illegal immigrants has grown significantly in visibility. With it, there has also been a growth in the attention paid to the problem by Washington.

The numbers are staggering. More than 11 million illegal immigrants currently reside in America. They strolled across the Mexican border and made America their home. These aliens enjoy all the hope and opportunity America has to offer without giving anything in return – they do not learn English (for the most part), and worse, have not paid a dime in taxes.

For the better part of five years, and that’s being generous, the majority of legal American citizens have looked the other way. No one seemed to care. It doesn’t affect me, people say – let these people enjoy the American Dream. People who hold this view are terribly misguided, but they ruled the debate. As a result, waves of illegal immigrants have continued to pour in.

Despite all this, supporters of illegal immigrants and the aliens themselves continue to have no shame. In a series of demonstrations, protesters have gathered in the streets of American cities in recent weeks to demand full amnesty for everyone.

In round one of the protests on March 25, thousands of Hispanics decided to wave the Mexican flag high and hold signs reading, “This is our continent, not yours.” Whoever came up with that laughable plan must have a had a few too many cervezas at the fiesta the night before.

As Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer put it, “If you are appealing to Americans to give you the rights and privileges of citizenship, it is not a good idea to hail Mexico.”

Apparently the protesters figured this out, because about two weeks later, they were back on the streets fully clad in white t-shirts and bearing the American flag as far as the eye could see. The fact that these Mexicans ditched their own flags in favor of Old Glory so fast speaks to a disconnect in their strategy and leadership. They want something, but have no idea how to get it.

It brings us to the debate in Congress over how best to respond to the issue. These demonstrations were a result of legislation passed

in the House of Representatives that would make it a felony to be in the United States without proper immigration papers and make it a crime to aid an illegal immigrant.

Finally, a sensible solution! It’s amazing to me when people balk at the suggestion of punishing a group of people that has the word “illegal” in the means by which everyone identifies them. However, sticking their heads in the sand is exactly what the Hispanics and their supporters are doing.

As a brief sidebar, their supporters shamefully include the Catholic Church, which has sent priests, parishioners, and postcards across America arguing for amnesty. I am a practicing Catholic and not ashamed of it. However, as with the clergy sex abuse scandal and the War on Terror, the Church is inexplicably dropping the ball. What, exactly, is their interest or end game here?

Speaking of end games, the same question must be asked of the Hispanic protesters. What is their final goal? What does the movement’s leadership, feeble as it may be, wake up in the morning and dream of? Basically, this question must be asked: Are they willing to accept the amnesty of the 11 million aliens already living among us, but acknowledge that by whatever means necessary, it will stop there? If amnesty is to occur, it cannot be interpreted as a sign of encouragement for more immigrants to enter illegally.

Angela Sanbrano, one of the organizers of a March 25 rally in Los Angeles, said, “We needed to send a strong and clear message to Congress and to President Bush that the immigrant community will not allow the criminalization of our people.”

Excuse me? Sorry, Ms. Sanbrano, but “your people” became criminals the moment they set foot on American soil without legally immigrating to the country. It would be a favor of epic proportions for Americans to forgive that crime, and you have given no indication of anything in return for such for-giveness. Will the illegal immigration stop, or not?

As (legal) Americans, we need to draw a line in the sand. The only way I listen to morons like Sanbrano and accept total amnesty is if preventive measures are taken for the future. If this means building a wall at the border and another behind that and another behind that one, do it. If it means putting the National Guard on the border, do it. The stampede has to stop. When talking about 11 million people, amnesty may be unavoidable, but this does not have to be, and should not be, a one-way street.