Twenty years ago, I went to China on a visa and never left. During all those years I landed a couple of decent jobs, rented a place and felt I contributed my share to society. But since I wasn’t a citizen, I couldn’t get any health insurance and no kind of welfare assistance like the United States provides.

So I decided it wasn’t fair and launched a campaign for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Well, that didn’t go over too well, and now I’m in jail. What I don’t get is after all these years of living and working there, how come I couldn’t get a bunch of free stuff and become a Chinese citizen?

Sound ridiculous? It is. Just try to pull off that scenario in any other country on this planet besides the United States and see where it gets you.

So how come America is placed in a box and being forced to come up with “immigration reform” when we already have a process in place that has been working just fine for those who follow the law? First, it’s because of the old adage if you repeat something often enough people will start to believe it. The left has hammered us for so long with the need for immigration reform that it’s made many believe it’s now a requirement. And they try to guilt those who are opposed as racist and cold-hearted who don’t care about the lives of other people. What about the lives and welfare of American citizens?

To further exacerbate the problem, in the interest of being humane, the offer is now going out to invite the extended family. This will be huge. It sounds nice and cozy, but it’s absolutely insane. And where does it end? How far reaching is the “extended” family? You know who will pay for millions upon millions of new people entering America without jobs and education. The ramifications upon the American citizenry will be so harmful we can’t even begin to comprehend the outcome. And the argument that this massive influx of humans will be paying taxes is absurd. Already half the country doesn’t pay a dime as it is.

This isn’t about and never has been about trying to be nice and give someone a free ride. It’s always been about politics. It’s always been about the left using the poor immigrants as a weapon to go after Republicans with the ultimate goal to expand the liberal position. To create a solid voting block to put in office those who continue to tax the living hell out of us and waste even more of our money. We witnessed this to be true in the last election.

The debate isn’t over whether immigrants work hard or contribute something to the American society; it’s how come we’re being forced to change our policy to accommodate one group over another. And keep in mind there is a vast segment of these immigrants responsible for domestic violence, gangs, drugs, drunken driving and human smuggling. You only need to read the paper to see the result of this everyday. This isn’t racist, it’s factual.

Regrettably, for the hardworking portion of immigrants this bad element taints the entire group, but in the end we all suffer for it and it’s only getting worse. And then there’s the huge amount of assistance immigrants receive, which won’t go away and in fact will more-than-likely massively expand with an extended family.

The term Comprehensive Immigration Reform is nothing more than a pretty phrase. And we all know it’s also nothing more than a fast-track way to make millions upon millions of illegal people citizens. And how is this fair for all those who have struggled through the legal process, waited years and spent thousands of dollars to do it the right way? For one thing, it diminishes their pride in becoming an American citizen after all their hard efforts. They would have to ask themselves why they bothered. Those still waiting in line will want to know, where’s their ticket?

If politicians with cajones could agree to secure the border, really lock it up, have all those immigrants who want to be part of America register in some form and then start the clock ticking toward earning their legal status using the process we already have in place, then I say give them a shot. But again, we all know that isn’t going to happen — that makes too much sense. The only thing the government is really good at is making a mess with whatever they get their hands on. And this is destined to undermine our country even more than it is already.

So what do we do? Who the heck knows?

— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.