The Very Real Differences Between Legal and Illegal Immigration

My wife, a native of Indonesia, became an American citizen not too long ago, along with dozens of other immigrants. An important event in one’s private life, to be sure, but not momentous from a societal perspective, you say. And yet, it is.           

Consider this: she entered this country legally, filled out piles of paperwork, provided lots of documentation, paid the required fees and grit her teeth while putting up with the rudeness of INS bureaucrats (apparently, being obnoxious is a requirement for working at the INS). Additionally, she has paid both income taxes and property taxes and has obeyed all laws and is hard-working. Curiously, she also became very patriotic years ago (I mean, very patriotic).

Just as important is what she has not done. She has not insisted that signs should be in Bahasa Indonesia, the main Indonesian language, nor that there be bilingual education for her kids. She did not arrogantly demand residency, or citizenship. She did not steal other people’s identities, deal in drugs, nor trash her neighborhood.

Now consider illegal immigrants. They break the law by entering this country through the so-called border (that’s the first thing they do in entering the country: they break the law). They routinely steal other people’s identities and Social Security numbers. They smuggle drugs. They break countless other laws while they swamp our schools, prisons, hospitals and welfare agencies. They foster a gang culture and they trash their neighborhoods (in a Hispanic neighborhood, one can always tell which houses belong to American citizens and which to illegal aliens (i.e., criminals). They don’t pay much, if any, income taxes by claiming 27 dependents on their W-2 forms.

Now, I’m not making this comparison in order to put my wife up on a pedestal for general admiration (though there is a lot to admire her for). After all, many others became citizens when she did (from Cuba, Germany, Bosnia, India and, yes, Mexico). The point is that there is a correct, legal, procedure to entering and working in this country. But the criminals just don’t care. And neither do their cloned apologists in the media.

The other point is that those who break the law should not be pitied, or justified, or amnestied, simply because there is a very vocal, highly organized cadre of militant apologists and traitors. If a man murders his wife, do we really care that he did it because she wouldn’t stop nagging him? If a woman sells crack cocaine, is it really relevant that she desperately needed money? If a man burglarizes a home and is caught, should we take into consideration and cry buckets of tears that the family will be split up if he’s incarcerated? Yet, identical arguments are daily being made in regards to those other criminals. The sob stories are unending and usually involve a whining, blubbering woman with her four or five kids. And the media always puts pictures of the kids. Always the kids. Never the über-tattooed career criminals. Always the children.

By the way, I’m Hispanic, an immigrant, and I oppose illegal immigration. And I’m not the only one.  Millions of Hispanics voted for Trump even though the media predicted that a “Hispanic tsunami” would wipe out Trump’s chances for the White House.

But the politically correct fanatics in the American media are determined to turn this debate into some sort of racial confrontation (and, true, a lot of Hispanics have swallowed this scam hook, line and sinker). You all know the type: they are the whites forever looking into ways to balkanize America and those Hispanics who hold a grudge over some slight, either real or imagined. The former are the psychotic thought police who are always perusing the popular entertainment venues in order to shout, “That’s racism!” Regardless, the media are adamant in ignoring American citizens of Hispanic descent who oppose illegal immigration because the stance would shatter their stereotype.

Now hear me out.

The position of those opposing illegal immigration is a simple, clear-cut one: illegal immigration is illegal. So stop pretending it's not a crime. The position of those advocating illegal immigration is, on the other hand, convoluted. One argument of the latter is that the American economy would collapse overnight without the illegal immigrants (unfortunately for them, they held 'A Day Without an Immigrant' - and nobody noticed). Another is that Americans should have no say-so whatsoever as to who comes into their own country. Another is that illegal immigrants are here just to improve their lives. Still another is that illegal immigrants take jobs that Americans don’t want.

 What has made this debate confusing is that many liberals and conservatives have taken positions that, if you think about it, are contradictory to their traditional stands. Some of the Establishment East Coast Republicans abandon their customary law and order principles and integrity in favor of illegal immigration because it provides businesses with a source of ultra-cheap labor. These are the businessmen who throw thousands of Americans into unemployment by outsourcing jobs to India and China so they can get an even shinier “golden parachute” at the end. They are the types that would sell their own country for a buck. Or even a quarter.

As is usually the case, the liberals are more vociferous, whereas they should be quiet on this issue. Think about it. The majority of Hispanics are religious, family-oriented, despise homosexuals and do not view blacks as a sacred cow. And liberals want millions of Hispanics as future voters? Apparently, they believe that Hispanics will be like blacks and vote Democratic, forever and ever, regardless of the candidates’ qualifications.

Then, there are the labor unions -- where are they on this issue? They should be as belligerent as a hornet’s nest on the issue of illegal immigrants depressing wages; we have seen this effect in the fields of construction and landscaping. Yet, unions are continuing their decades-long decline, nay, their irrelevancy in American society with their comatose attitude. The only thing that American labor union leaders seem to do in America nowadays is serve as fundraisers for the Democratic Party (I’m surprised that the rank and file union members don’t string up their union leaders from the nearest lamp post).

Now, let’s address the many arguments dished out in favor of illegal immigration:

1) “Illegal immigrants perform jobs that Americans do not want.” First of all, there are a lot of Americans out there looking for a job and they are being passed over in favor of illegal immigrants. I know this because I have seen it happen. Second, no one says, exactly, what and where these mythical jobs are. Lastly, if Americans do not want a job it is because the wages are too low, thanks to illegal immigrants (again, where are the labor unions?)

2) “When we deport illegal immigrants, we break up families.” This argument is usually and elaborately presented in a tear-jerk fashion, usually by finding and filming a sniveling woman who is here illegally. Yet, consider: first, we do not prevent the remaining family members to accompany the criminal back to his/her country. They are free to do so. Second, when another type of criminal, say a drug dealer or a thief, goes to jail, do we hear wails that the criminal should be spared because his family will suffer from the separation? No.

3) “Illegal immigrants are here just to make money and improve their lives.” Yes, so what? A mafioso or a drug dealer are both just making money and trying to improve their lives. Since when is the motivation for committing a crime an excuse? Do we really care that a man assaulted his neighbor because the neighbor played music too loud?

4) “Illegal immigrants are here paying taxes, they should have the same rights as citizens.” This is a lie, a flat-out lie. First, many illegal immigrants are paid in cash. Second, if they do file income tax, many will list 47 dependents, some 40 of which will be their children - and they are 24 years old. My wife routinely encountered these fraudulent claims as a tax preparer in the local Jackson Hewitt. On the flip side, illegal immigrants have swamped the prisons, the hospitals and the welfare agencies to such an extent that they are near the breaking point. One goes to these agencies and sees a sea of illegal faces - and not one speaks English.

5) “We should not enforce the law with illegal immigrants since they are a racial minority; as such, they should not be held legally accountable. About anything.” Sorry, but this country functions by the rule of law.

6) “Opposition to illegal immigration is racism.” This is a straw man. The accusation is usually made by those white individuals who practically ejaculate every time the word “minorities” is uttered and spend most of their waking hours either dreaming about the future balkanization of America or perusing the news and entertainment media for someone whom they can accuse of racism. But to get back to the argument, when legal immigrants become citizens at naturalization ceremonies, does anyone object? No. No one protests. Even if the new citizens are from Africa, Mexico, or China. Why? Because they are here legally. If the argument about “racism” had any valid basis whatsoever, then no immigrants from Mexico, or Asia, or Africa would even be allowed to enter this country legally (but one cannot argue with monomaniacs: “it’s racism and that’s all there is to it”).

Now, let us examine the arguments against illegal immigration. Note that these are facts, not opinions.

1) Illegal immigrants have broken the law by entering the country illegally. This is a fact. Again: what part of “illegal” don’t you understand?

2) Many have forged/tampered legal documents such as Social Security cards (which are absurdly simple to duplicate). This is illegal. Again, this is fact.

3) Many have stolen identities from American citizens and run up debts and criminal records have been wrongly attached to them. This is illegal. Again, this is fact.

4) Many illegal immigrants have created a gang culture in Hispanic neighborhoods. This is fact.

5) Many illegal immigrants have trashed the neighborhoods that they reside in. This is a fact. They are particularly notorious for cramming twenty people into a small apartment to live in.

6) Many illegal immigrants utilize the welfare system, the hospitals, the prisons and the schools to the point that they are on the verge of collapse. This is fact.

7) Many illegal immigrants have committed numerous crimes, from felonies to refusing to get car insurance, and have swamped our prisons. This is fact.

8) And the arrogance! Their arrogance is truly breathtaking. The arrogance of these illegals demanding to be above the law, demanding bilingual education, demanding that Mexican holidays be officially recognized - and the nerve of the people changing the American national anthem into Spanish! These are all facts.

9) And do I really need to bring up Aztlan?

The counter-arguments to these facts and these objections by the advocates of illegal immigration is - vituperation, insults and shrieks. The liberal media, on the other hand, focuses almost always on sniveling women, whining that enforcing the law would be to her detriment, so she should not be deported. Either that, or it focuses on the children (never on the criminals who are illegal immigrants). Compassion and sympathy as weapons.

Oh, yes, and stating that our country is a country of immigrants.

And in the unlikely case that you have actually read this far and you favor the illegal immigrants, ask yourself this question. Ask yourself honestly and sincerely. And think hard before you answer: do you really want this country to become like Latin America? Do you? Do you really? I do not. That’s why I am here.

Let me remind you that Philadelphia was known as the City of Brotherly Love because it was almost exclusively populated by Quakers, but because the Quakers could not control immigration into the city, the Quaker culture became diluted and Philadelphia has become just another filthy, crime-infested city.

Now, it may come as a surprise that I also advocate a guest worker program. It should not really come as a surprise, insofar as it would be a legal process. However, this program should have several conditions attached to it: (1) The work permit would not make one eligible for permanent residence status or citizenship. (2) It would be for a specific number of years. (3) The applicant would agree henceforth not to utilize all the various welfare-style programs. (4) Harshly increase the penalties for business that hire illegal aliens (What, you don’t know whether an employee is illegal or not? Well, businesses that sell beer to minors who look like adults are penalized). (5) Change the appearance of the Social Security card to make it harder to falsify, like credit cards. (6) Anyone caught in this country illegally, or any illegal immigrant who commits a crime will be sent to prison and subjected to a ten thousand dollar fine, including confiscation of all property. (7) English will be the official language of federal and state government, at all levels; no other languages will be used, except to teach a foreign language. (8) Any city that officially touts itself as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants would lose all federal funding regardless of where the money was targeted. (9) Most important of all, work permits will be given out in Mexico if the Mexican government agrees that should a Mexican national be convicted in the United States, Mexico will put the said convict in one of their prisons for the same amount of sentencing. And since a lot of Dominicans come in through Puerto Rico, a similar agreement could be formulated with the Dominican Republic.

I believe that this proposal for a guest worker program, welded to the above conditions, accepts the reality of the situation, does not reward illegal activity and is in America’s interest; it would allow us to a very large degree to control it and regulate the traffic. It would certainly put a dent in illegal immigration.


Armando Simón is a retired college professor and the author of A Cuban from Kansas, The U, and, The Only Red Star I Liked Was a Starfish.


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