Nineteen months have passed since 9/11. Despite the magnitude of that tragedy, the U.S. still hasn't taken a firm hold on the pitfalls created by lax immigration policies.
Shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, political analysts predicted that the U.S. would tighten its immigration laws and make major strides toward slowing the flow of human traffic across the northern and southern borders.
That was a logical expectation. But, as I have written before, throw logic out the window when dealing with immigration.
The latest I.N.S. statistics show that approximately one million legal and another one million illegal aliens enter the U.S. annually. That's a powerful number of people coming into the country—especially if you don't know what their intentions are.
Some are probably terrorists. U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-ARIZ) said last week at a Phoenix news conference: "It's hard to imagine terrorists not trying to come in through this southern border. We have every reason to believe that they have done so."
Proponents of mass immigration are not deterred by the possibility of terrorists crossing at will. They still argue—using infuriating vagaries—that more is better.
Here is one of their favorites: "they just come to work and make a better life for their families."
You could say that Alejandro Rios, Marco Estrada and Marco Martinez just "came to work." But their profession is cooking methamphetamine right here in lovable, livable Lodi.
Last week in a bust about two blocks from the Lodi Adult School, local police seized meth with a potential street value of $1 million.
Rios, Estrada and Martinez - all illegally in the U.S. from Mexico - are being held without bail.
[Joe Note To VDARE.COM readers: If you r-e-a-l-l-y want to stretch the "work and family" point, you might say that 22-year-old Hector Majarro Frausto had "family" on his mind when he kidnapped 11-year-old Dana Pevia and transported her to Mexico. Now 15, Pevia is back in North Carolina with the two children Frausto fathered.]
None of these four criminals is a typical illegal alien. But they are examples of how far wrong things can go when 10 million people are in the U.S. illegally.
While our borders remain open illegal aliens, through their lobbyists, insist on and more services. You read correctly - insist.
And again, feeble arguments support their outrageous demands.
Take, for example, the Mexican matricula consular card. The matricula's "new" version came out a year ago. Since then, more one million illegal residents from Mexico have received matriculas.
Mexico insists—for reasons that suit its own purposes - that the U.S. recognize the matricula as valid I.D. The card allows aliens to open bank accounts, reduces their risk of deportation and paves the way for state and local services.
[Joe note to VDARE.COM readers #2: An amazing example of Mexican creativity has just crossed my desk. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that according to San Bernardino Mexican consulate Carlos I. Giralt-Cabrales, Mexicans need matricula cards so that - they will not be mistaken for Arabs! This, according to Giralt-Cabrales, will protect Mexicans from mistakenly being victimized in the anti-Arab environment. The story has the very politically incorrect subtitle, "Cards Provide Peace of Mind for Immigrants Fearful of Being Mistaken for Arabs." Honestly, these guys should write sit-coms!]
One clear fact remains: the matricula is not a secure document. Any Mexican national with $28 can get one, no questions asked. The documents used to obtain the card – Mexican birth certificates, for example - are not crosschecked against computer data files in Mexico. The issuing consulate offices rely instead on the "expertise" of the authenticating staff.
Another big push is for in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. Illinois, Washington, Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon and Kansas are lining up behind New York, Utah, Texas and California to cut tuition rates.
Massive whining accompanies the plea that "these children are really Americans," "they are here to stay" and "it is in your best interest that these 'young people' get the best possible education."
Never mind that taxpayers have already funded a K-12 education for these "young people."
And why doesn't anyone ever point out that these students could return Mexico—where they are citizens—to attend the highly respected Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico?
Finally, the incessant yammering for driver's licenses for illegal aliens proves we're not serious about national security. Since all of the 19 hijackers had licenses or state-issued I.D., logic—that elusive component—would dictate that no bill proposing licenses for illegals would have a chance.
Alas, such is not the case. Last week in California, the Senate Transportation Committee passed by a 7-3 vote S.B. 60 that would give licenses without background checks to all illegal aliens. Fifteen other states have similar legislation pending.
Guess what will happen if you testify in opposition to driver's licenses for illegal aliens? People like State Senator Nell Soto (D-Ontario) will shout you down and call your position "blatantly racist."
We live in an upside down world. The U.S. is in a full-out war against terrorism in Iraq. Many Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice.
But we don't have enough political will at home to take the simplest step for greater security.
If there is anything on the political horizon that trumps accommodating illegal aliens, please let me know what it is.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.