How Dare They
Imagine a man breaking into your house. Of all the other homes on the street, he picked yours because it was easy to get inside. While you're away at work, he raids your cupboards, pockets cash from your nightstand, helps himself to a sampling of the drugs in your medicine cabinet and falls asleep on your couch watching Judge Judy.
You come home to find him still asleep. You call the police. They arrest him. He goes to court. Breaking and entering is the charge. He's found guilty. The judge levies several fines along with time served.
And then you're told that since he broke into your house in the first place because he was hungry and poor with nowhere else to go, you must take him back in. Feed him. Give him shelter. He's now guaranteed residence under your roof.
This is exactly what advocates for illegal immigrants are asking for. This is what illegal immigrants hope to achieve. They both demand that with fines and back taxes the United States gives them what they tried to steal to begin with: citizenship.
How dare they.
Reluctantly, for the benefit of those who will classify what I've said and what I'm about to say as racist, I will qualify this once and only once. I am speaking of only illegal immigration. It is both ridiculous and insulting that critics of our current state of illegal immigration cannot debate this topic without being accused of being anti-immigrant and full of hate. I, like many of those demanding something be done about foreigners disregarding our laws, sneaking across our borders and expecting to be treated as any legal citizen would, cherish legitimate immigration. Following 9/11, when anti-American sentiments and rhetoric returned to its normal pace, I often looked to continuing immigration as a testament of just how great this country is. In spite of everything that may be wrong with this nation of ours, millions emigrating here from other nations are proof that it might not be as bad as it could be. And even though illegal immigrants are part of that proof, I'm unwilling to excuse the method by which they hope to achieve the "American dream."
Just as I'm unwilling to offer them citizenship. Illegal immigrants are essentially trying to steal that which so many have attained legitimately and legally. American citizens who fight for granting them this right are nothing more than accessories to the crime.
At the same time, however, I'm willing to accept that we cannot simply deport the tens of millions of illegal immigrants already here, be they Mexican, Cuban, Russian, Asian or otherwise. What I'm insisting upon is that they never be allowed that which they tried to take.
So here is my proposal:
For one year all current illegal immigrants are allowed to register their presence in the United States without fear of deportation, but they will need to pay fines, fees and back taxes amounting to more than those paid by any legal immigrant. At the same time, the borders will be tightened to insure any further illegal immigration is kept at a bare minimum, including a fence on the Mexican/American border. I'm sorry to say it, but I honestly don't believe any measure short of that will truly solve the problem.
After the one year grace period, any unregistered illegal immigrant discovered will immediately be deported to their country of origin. Businesses employing illegal immigrants will face crippling fines. And registered, illegal immigrants will have the chance to become permanent resident aliens. But that's it. Never, under any circumstance, will previously illegal immigrants be granted full citizenship in the United States of America. Any child born to a previously illegal immigrant would be born a citizen, but not those born to unregistered illegal immigrants after the end of the grace period. Children under the age of 18 who crossed the border illegally will only be able to attain citizenship through military service or by marrying an American citizen. But the adults who tried to steal the American dream will never get the chance of seeing that dream come true.
It should serve as a valuable lesson. As these people grow older and explain to their children and grandchildren why they cannot vote, cannot hold office and, most important, why they will never be Americans, hopefully it will instill a belief in their progeny that they live in a nation of laws and rules that welcomes immigrants with open arms and embraces the diversity of its citizenship.
Just so long as they don't try to steal it.