Alas, the defeat of this latest foray by my party, the Democratic majority, to ram the DREAM Act down the unwilling throats of the American majority will not deter further attempts. Huge illegal immigration riders will be added to upcoming agricultural bill legislation, according in Capitol Hill observers.
The same day the DREAM Act went down to defeat in the Senate, my wife attended a meeting of a chapter of the League of Women Voters here in DC. The featured speaker was Bill Clinton's INS Commissioner Doris Meissner. Her record there was clearly biased toward opening borders. Now she is going around the country talking about the shortage of labor and the need for more immigrants. She shared the podium at this event with a woman from Catholic Charities—who of course played the sob sister card in front of this audience of white haired mothers and grandmothers to excellent effect.
And American citizens should be keenly aware of the growing arrogance of illegal immigrants. This "I'm illegal but you can't make me leave" attitude is perfectly illustrated by the October 25, 2004 front page article in the Washington Post, Latino Immigrants Stand Their Ground. [By Pamela Constable (Email her)]
The tone of this article is so pro-illegal immigrant as to make you wonder whose country the WP is in. Opening paragraph:
"Latino immigrants and lawyers in Prince William County are trying to calm community panic and spread accurate information, urging people to stay and defend their rights in the aftermath of new county measures aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants."
What? What rights? These are people here illegally. They are out demonstrating in our country demanding "rights"—but if we Americans similar demands in Mother Mexico, we would be put in jail.
Notice that Constable's Washington Post story tries to obliterate the distinction between legal and illegal with this anecdote:
"Mirabel Martinez, 25, sat on her doorstep last Thursday afternoon, phoning a list of volunteers to plan a strategy meeting at a taco restaurant. She, too, is a legal immigrant and homeowner from El Salvador who lives in a quiet county neighborhood. She, too, said she had felt a new sting of hostility, even from a local church, which demanded proof of residency when she went to pick up donated food for a needy friend."
"'I showed them my voter registration card, and they said it was not enough,' Martinez said. 'I am here legally. But I have a lot of relatives and friends who are still illegal, and I can imagine how scared they are. I want to tell them to not be afraid and try to live normally, but to be careful and not do things like drive with false licenses. We can't be defeatist. We have to stay and fight.' "
In short Mirabel thinks it is OK to shield illegal aliens—no doubt on advice from one or more of these open border advocates. She wants to "stay and fight"!
For what? The right to break American law.
Then, of course, we have charitably minded folks, including the immigration lawyers, who, according to Constable, "are also trying to reassure the Latino community that the provisions enabling county police to detain illegal immigrants and turn them over to federal officials will not take effect until at least early next year, after a police training program."
One of them is particularly straightforward in his counsel about how to get around our laws
"'We are telling people: 'Don't react in haste. Don't run away and abandon your houses,' said Ricardo Juarez, a Woodbridge resident and a leader of the Virginia group Mexicans Without Borders, which has organized numerous protests against the policies. 'Let's wait and evaluate. Let's see what happens in court.'"
"Several advocacy groups have filed suit against the Prince William measures in U.S. District Court. Lisa Johnson-Firth, [Email her] an immigration lawyer in Manassas, said her firm is advising callers and clients about how to prepare for the possibility of being detained and deported."
Well, at least this lawyer understands that our laws could possibly be enforced! How quaint, based on the record to date.
Hey, with a little help from your friendly Congressperson and the ACLU, our Rule of Law will be shuffled into the trash bin. We have had 40-plus years of failure by both parties to fix this situation. And it will generate this kind of dilemma:
"The longtime Prince William resident ...was stunned by the cold shoulder the board of supervisors turned to the entreaties of Latino immigrants, who testified that the county policies would separate families and destroy their lives.
"I came here as an undocumented person. But I respect the democratic process, and I believe we all have the right to participate in it," she said, explaining why she decided to enter county politics at a time of intense division and hostility. "There is a feeding frenzy to blame immigrants for other problems. We pay mortgage taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes. A lot of us can't vote, but we all contribute, and we need a new voice."
Most of our major media, like the Washington Post, gives front page coverage to these illegal voices since they want to please their paymasters in business. Moderate Americans don't want to blame illegal immigrants—but they have been pleading for years to get our Federal government to do its job and enforce existing immigration laws. The failure of our elected officials has created this massive invasion situation. Passing another big amnesty bill, in whole or piecemeal, won't fix it.
Don't think this transition will be easy. But, this issue has become a truly bipartisan matter. We Democrats and you Republicans reading this are in this together. It will take a bipartisan effort, since too many among my party's leadership really think that our party's future rests on continuing this law-breaking importation of huge numbers of unnecessary, illegal and mostly uneducated aliens.
There is, of necessity, going to be considerable pain here. The people we elected to uphold our laws should be the ones to share in the pain of those here illegally. Those elected officials should not be elected or reelected if they won't take the heat, do the right thing and deport those here illegally—so that those who would come here illegally realize it is not a winning strategy.
As these recent votes in Congress show, the tide against open borders is turning in America. And it is high time too.
Most citizens who can read realize now that immigration is indeed out of control. They will be looking to vote their best interests in 2008. Those "best interests" do not include adding another 150 million people to our present 305 million population by 2050 to share our limited resources.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.