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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  April 2, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Problems ignored.

There’s this thing about problems. Most of us know that, left to themselves, they seldom get better.

Which seems to be a lesson many of our elected leaders have yet to learn.

Water heater’s leaking? Not to worry.

Engine’s making funny noises? Keep driving.

Illegal aliens crossing the border? It’s a big country.

Trouble is, a funny thing happened about a week or so ago.

Congress finally bestirred itself to make some proposals regarding illegal immigration and this led several hundred thousand people - many of them here illegally - to get together and protest.

Chew on that one a minute.

Individuals who broke the rules to get here took to the streets to tell law-abiding citizens that we can’t enforce the laws that help make this the country they want to enter.

Makes your head spin is what it does.

By most accounts, there are now10 to 12 million illegal aliens in the United States and the time’s come to do something. The problem is what.

Everyone who thinks we can just round up those already here and deport them raise your hands.


There would be problems.

The first would be unclogging the phone lines to D.C. jammed by business owners shouting about the loss of labor these individuals provide. Were we to clear the lines, though, they’d be immediately jammed by those howling about the "inhumanity" of it all.

Forget about the logistics of an operation that would make the Katrina relief effort look like the performance of a precision drill team at the Super Bowl. Forget about the fact that neither political party has the stomach for it. No, the real problem to consider is what would happen if those10 to 12 million people simply decided that they weren’t going to leave. Ugly would be the mildest adjective to describe what came next.

So, deportation is probably out.

Amnesty’s another option, but I guarantee that’s non-starter.

Leaving the ordinary, law-abiding (and now thoroughly riled) American citizen out of the equation, there are thousands of families in the United States who’ve been trying to get relatives into this country legally. They’ve played by the rules. They’ve gone through bureaucratic hell. They’ve endured waits that would try the patience of Ghandi and paperwork that would strain the wisdom of Solomon. Now, after all of that, who’s going to tell these people that we’re going to grant amnesty (under any name) to those who’ve broken the law to get here?

Guarantee it won’t be me.

Building a 2000-mile-long fence to stem the tide of those still coming won’t work either unless we’re willing to put boots on the ground behind that fence.

Fail to do that and hardware manufacturers worldwide will get rich making fence cutters. For those who couldn’t afford fence cutters, there’d be the very low-tech approach of waiting until dark and climbing over. Too, the boom in tunnel construction would probably be pretty impressive.

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, our representatives have known about the illegal immigration problem for more years than I care to think about. Still, they decided to adopt the attitude of Sergeant Shultz in the old "Hogan’s Heroes" sitcom.

"I see nothink! Nothink!"

People residing south of the border noticed and took advantage.

Now, with state budgets strained, with the number of unassimilated people in our country growing geometrically, with the certainty that terrorists have used the same route, and with voters across the country readying the tar and feathers, Congress has finally decided to do "something."

Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re serious because I haven’t heard anyone say that we’re going to seal the borders - like yesterday. And, if we don’t do that one thing, then there’s no use rearranging the deck chairs because the flooding’s still happening down below.

Were we to actually regain control of our borders, though, maybe then we could get our arms around this entire goat rope. Maybe then we could find solutions that are at least palatable to most citizens, fair to those who’ve played by the rules, charitable to those here illegally, and far-sighted enough to not wreck an economy that’s grown used to having this labor force readily available.

In the end, one hopes that, at the very least, having been hit upside their collective heads by the proverbial cluebat, our elected officials may have finally learned that making no decision in the face of a problem is, in fact, a decision.

Don’t think I’ll starve myself of oxygen while waiting to see about that one, though.

Interesting times coming, I’m thinking.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2006 by Larry Simoneaux
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