4/12/2008

Illegal Immigration

Just as a change of pace, I would like to comment on an issue that is at the very core of the political spectrum in America today. Illegal Immigration. It is something that evokes anger, hatred, disbelief and miscommunication.

Politically, I have always been an independent with leanings right of center. I have voted with Democrats on issues such as environment, gun safety, death penalty and other issues. I have voted Republican on tax cuts, abortion, gay rights, illegal immigration and other issues. I simply believe that the extremists in both political parties have taken over and we have an America divided into blue states and red states. If ever there was a time for a third party to step in and gain prominence, it would be now.

However, I do believe illegal immigration effects everything from the economy to the environment in the southwest part of our country. Illegal immigrants do drive down wages regardless of what so-called think tanks would have us believe. They do bring a burden on our overburdened social services system by taking in more than they produce in taxable income (which is a real mystery as to how illegals can get a work ID...but I digress). Specifically, the Hispanic culture is not one that wants to be assimilated. They are proud of their heritage and they seem to think we should learn their culture and their language in OUR country. I only mention the Hispanic illegals due to the fact they are the overwhelming number of illegal immigrants in this nation. Groups such as La Raza do more harm to their cause by forcefully trying to ram amnesty down the throats of the American people and to make Hispanics a special case. The open borders crowd do not seem to care about short term or long term effect that unchecked illegal immigration will have on the USA. In both political parties, you have the Democrats who see Hispanics as another group of block voters to keep them in office. The Republicans see illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labor for corporate America. Somewhere, caught in the middle, are the LEGAL US Citizens of this country who are paying the price for the open borders philosophy of President Bush, and the pro-amnesty crowd. I believe in an enforcement first philosophy in dealing with illegal immigration. Take away the jobs magnet, give all illegals 120 days to leave or face felony arrest and the vast majority will self-deport. Forget about trying to round up 20 million illegals. That will never happen and Nancy Pelosi knows it as well as George Bush. But, that doesn't stop them from talking that nonsense.

Having said all this, I must say that we forget there is a human side of illegal immigration. I saw part of it in a film I saw about three months ago called "Fast Food Nation". Watch that movie and you get a different perspective of illegal immigrants. I also got a first-hand look at the face of illegal immigration this morning while I went to the supermarket for a few items. I saw a young Hispanic male with a small duffel bag sitting just outside the parking lot with his head down. He looked very despondent...and hungry. I remember a little Spanish from my high school and college days, so I approached him. usted necesitan ayuda? Thankfully, he could speak some token English and we were able to communicate. He had not eaten in almost two days, had no money since being laid off from the orange groves of Florida. He was completely destitute. I had an overwhelming reaction to report him to Alabama State Troopers since they do have authority to arrest. But, I didn't do that. I gave him $10 and told him to go buy something to eat. He told me he was going home because there was no longer any work in the US. He was homesick and he missed his wife and two children (I was shocked by this since he looked no older than 16).

As the young Hispanic man stood up, he shook my hand and thanked me with tears welling in his eyes. I admit it, I felt deep sympathy for him. My opinion on illegal immigration has not changed. But, I thank God for allowing me to see another side of this issue.

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