Illegal Aliens in America: Problem With a Solution
By John Owen
Moore County Republican Chairman
A story is often told about Sonny Bono, the late singer, mayor of Palm Springs and Republican congressman.
When he first ran for Congress, Bono found himself in a public forum being asked about the issues of the day. Beside him was a notebook that his campaign managers had prepared with all of the relevant issues and his suggested responses, even including a cute response to questions about his ex-wife, Cher.
At this town hall meeting, a constituent asked candidate Bono, "Do you support illegal immigration?"
Sonny flipped anxiously through the pages of his issue book, but he could not find anything on the issue of "illegal immigration." So he suddenly closed the book and replied, "Well, it's illegal, isn't it? So I'm against it."
The simplicity of that response and the truth found within its simplicity spoke volumes about the issue of illegal immigration.
Democrats often defend it, calling those who break our laws, simply "undocumented," as if, by accident, the dog ate their green card. At its heart, illegal immigration is a systematic practice of criminal behavior, breaking laws in a way so as to undermine the integrity of the world's greatest democracy.
Those who break other laws are branded as "criminals" by our society. And those who gather in a group to break laws are called "racketeers."
But when masses of people gather at our southern border with the sole objective of defeating law-enforcement north of the Rio Grande, many in our society call these criminals "migrants" and demand that they become the sole class of criminals to receive free education, subsidized housing and medical care so expensive and, at the same time, "free" that it places bankruptcy signs on hospitals in two languages.
Nor is illegal border crossing a victimless crime.
The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that there are 11.3 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. By contrast, the entire population of North Carolina is about 8.8 million. It is as if there exists in the United States a secret, underground 51st state, the State of Criminality. And it exceeds in population all but seven other states in our Union.
Until very recently, illegal immigration was on the rise uncontrollably. In 2000, the Census Bureau estimated that there were 260,000 illegal aliens in North Carolina, a city of illegals the size of Raleigh. By 2005, that figure had risen to 360,000 or about the size of Greensboro and High Point combined.
The victims of illegal immigration are many. They include children who do not receive proper school resources because money has to be spent on bilingual teaching.
It also includes sick people who do not get proper medical attention at emergency rooms because illegal aliens seek "free" medical attention for minor illnesses and major "anchor baby" pregnancies, all paid by overcharging citizens and employers, who pay for this "free" care with inflated insurance premiums.
But no population fares worse from illegal alien criminality than the supposed backbone of the Democratic Party, working-class Americans from construction workers to clerks at Wal-Mart. These are the people hit hardest by the influx of cheap labor, holding down wages for semi-skilled and unskilled labor.
Currently, the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent and rising. Almost nine million adult Americans are out of a job. Eliminating the 11.2 million (workers plus children) illegal alien problem would virtually eliminate the unemployment problem. The resulting tight supply of workers might even raise salaries of average American citizens and cut welfare costs for those poor single parents who cannot find work with sufficient income to pay for child day care.
Most Republicans have fought the Democratic "one world agenda" of open borders and cultural destruction for years.
Of course, there are exceptions. But after rank-and-file Republicans let their feelings be known, the current Republican administration has not only stepped up border security, but has also begun a massive program of rounding up criminal aliens and illegal workers, sending them back home to learn that the first duty of an American is to obey the law.
This seems to be working. Last month, demographics expert Steven A. Camarota wrote that stepped-up interior enforcement of immigration deportation has caused a decline in illegal populations.
But this ray of sunshine has a Democratic dark cloud forming near the horizon. The people who fought for cheap college tuition for criminal border-jumpers and driver's licenses to transport illegal workers with stolen Social Security cards want your vote for a "new" America.
Enforcement of immigration laws has been a difficult quest for many of us of both parties. But keeping even the small gains we have made requires a vote for a party that will listen to concerned Americans who want to preserve the great country we all love.
It is a country that will always include legal immigrants ready to adopt a culture of freedom and self-reliance. It must never include those who have no respect for a great nation founded on the rule of law.
John Owen, chairman of the Moore County Republican Party, lives in Pinehurst. Vice Chairman Robert M. Levy contributed to this column.
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