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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:  May 8, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

A nation of laws?

A few words about the immigration problem.

Not that I think they’ll change anything because, with what I’ve seen from our elected leaders on this matter, they won’t.

I don’t fool myself.

However, last week’s demonstrations by illegal aliens (yes, that is the proper term and, no, it isn’t racist, hateful, or meant as a slur) raised a bit of anger in me. Actually, more than a bit and the reason is because of a simple idea.

That idea is that this is supposed to be a nation of laws.

Lay out the rules, make sure everyone knows them, and then (and this is a "biggie") enforce them. That way the playing field stays level and everyone gets along.

Do anything else and, very quickly, it’s every one and every group for themselves.

Not a good way to run a pizza joint let alone a country.

To be honest, I understand why many illegals are here.

If I were desperate to make a better life for my family and myself, you can bet I’d do whatever was necessary to make that happen.

If I noticed that the (very foolish) leaders of a very rich country basically left the gates unlocked, the lights on, and posted a note to the cops that said, "Pay no attention to anyone you see on the grounds," I would’ve been here in a heartbeat too.

Doesn’t make it legal, though. And forget about right. As for being good for the country, that’s an idea that has the flight characteristics of a Caterpillar bulldozer.

Americans are a decent people. Outside of Washington, D.C., they’re also possessed of a vast reservoir of common sense, tolerance, and wisdom.

Give them a problem and they’ll come it from a perspective that seems to have completely disappeared inside The Beltway. That perspective would be that the solution has to benefit this nation as a whole rather than some political party or special interest group.

There are established methods for those not born here to become citizens. Trust me, they’re not easy and they’re often frustrating as hell. But those pathways allow us to know who’s coming, when, and in what numbers. Keeps things manageable is what it does.

Right now, there are thousands of people who’ve been waiting to enter this country legally for more years than you’d care to count. If what the demonstrators are "demanding" is allowed to happen, what these people will have gotten for abiding by the rules is a slap in the face.

In simple terms, those who’ve entered illegally have jumped the line. And that’s just plain wrong.

Too, were we to give in (which is precisely what I’m afraid our leaders are about to do) to their demands, there are questions to be answered.

If they can ignore this law, why can’t I ignore that one? And, if I can ignore that law, why can’t you ignore one of your choosing? There’d be no end to it.

It’s long past time that we did something about this situation, and (Lord, how many times does this need to be said?) we should start by sealing the borders. Cut off the flow. Stop it cold. Do it now.

That this hasn’t happened tells me that we still aren’t anywhere near serious enough about this problem.

After sealing the borders, we might turn our attention inward and consider: (1) Levying tough fines on businesses for each and every illegal alien they’ve hired, and (2) Requiring proof of legal residency before granting any public benefits except emergency medical treatment.

Harsh? Depends on where you think all of this is taking us as a nation.

Don’t agree? Fine. That’s what debates are for.

In closing, a word or two for those who took to the streets last week.

We know you’re here. We know that most of you are decent people. We know that what you want is simply a shot at a better life.

What you should understand, though, is that being here illegally precludes you from telling us how to run this country.

Waving a foreign flag in our faces and "demanding" what you’re not entitled to isn’t going to win you a lot of support. Neither will producing a Spanish language version of the National Anthem.

The common language of the United States is English. It’s one of the main things that’s helped unite Irish, Filipino, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Russian, Arab, African, Indian, Cuban and all of the other immigrants who’ve come here legally.

Keep doing what you’re doing, however, and my guess is that you’ll soon discover another trait that binds those known as "Americans."

It’s a tight-lipped, white-cheeked anger that comes with the belief that their hospitality, generosity, and kindness are being taken advantage of.

Trust me on that one.

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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