Illegal immigration is fueled by the illegals’ desire to find work that pays a decent – this being a relative term, you understand – wage to provide a better life for themselves and their families and American business’ desire to cut costs. In industries like farming, dairy, etc., illegals’ lower wages can mean the difference between making it and not, given that the competition is doing it, too. Bothe of these drivers are rational logical responses to the people on both sides of the equation. So what’s the problem?
Despite what Latino and other ethnic activists would have us believe, illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. It has real economic and personal costs that most of us don’t really understand. We only know that our lawn gets cut and the price is right, but as I said, illegal immigration is a crime, according to current law, and it isn’t victimless.
Witness the recent murder of Houston police officer Rodney Johnson at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Juan Quintero had already been kicked out of the U.S. once but came back, this time with fatal results. “I got scared,” said a sullen Quintero, who has been charged with capital murder.
Scared? A foreign national with legal papers certainly wouldn’t have been scared enough to shoot a cop 4 times, I don’t think. That his immigration status played a part in his actions is undeniable.
Johnson’s murder has put Houston’s “hands off” policy toward illegals in the news. It always seems to take a tragedy to get politicians to do the right thing; perhaps this will motivate Houston and Harris county to enforce the law.
Not surprisingly, Houston mayor Bill White defends the city’s actions:
White, who disputes the “sanctuary” label, said critics were “disrespecting officers” by claiming that they aren’t doing their jobs. He blames lax border security, and he said officers do cooperate with federal immigration enforcement authorities when they arrest criminals in the country illegally.
By passing the buck, White evidently thinks he can make people forget numerous reports to the contrary over the past few years. Houston has been a Mecca for illegal immigration in the last decade. Although some disagree, it’s a known fact, in Moore Dynasty parlance, that Houston police have been told to look the other way. Not so much in the future, I suspect.
As sickening as it is, the Quintero case is an anomaly. Nevertheless, he’s the bad apple that’s going to spoil the whole barrel of fun for other illegals by opening some eyes around the country. It’s happening already as the U.S. Senate today approved a 700 mile fence along the border with Mexico.
Illegals’ political clout that I discussed earlier did not help them win this vote. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real and that it won’t be used again in the future. When a similar measure was under debate in California, state senator Gil Cedillo said: “Immigrants are not terrorists; we are workers, and this is why we have the right to live here with dignity and respect.”
Cedillo’s statement is quite telling. Note the repeated us of the word “we”. Cedillo is identifying himself with illegals based on ethnicity rather than differentiating himself according to legal status. Which then takes priority with him? It’s certainly understandable that a person who shares an ancestory with people have these feelings. But consider that Cedillo is a state senator. This is political clout; perhaps not fully realized, but real nonetheless.
As interesting as this line of thinking is, even more important is his use of the phrase “we have the right to live here”. Do illegals “have the right” to live here? Not according to the laws of this country. That is, I think, the key to American’s annoyance at the illegals. Their presence in our lives is very useful, but it is also illegal. At the end of the day, all people want is to have the law enforced. If it’s not going to be enforced, then it should be done away with. So should the laws be changed? Perhaps, but at what cost?
Immigrants are an expensive proposition from two important perspectives – health care and education – and the burden they place on these systems must be considered in the debate. In other words, the true costs (and benefits) must be understood before a proper decision can be made.