Sunday, December 4 , 2016, 5:43 pm | Fair 59º


Randy Alcorn: Our Tacit Acceptance of Illegal Immigration Only Invites More

The proposed construction of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Santa Maria is being fervently and openly opposed there by Latino groups that are threatening lawsuits, strikes and continued public protests to prevent the building of the facility.

These groups fear that a local ICE presence will facilitate the apprehension and deportation of the many illegal immigrants who reside in the area. In other words, they fear that immigration law will be enforced. The protesters are letting everyone know that they will not stand for it. It’s like mice, which have invaded your home, protesting the introduction of a cat.

In reaction to the ICE facility protests, one high-ranking Santa Maria official publicly stated that the city is against roundups of illegal immigrants. City officials are concerned that enforcing immigration law will strain relations with the local Latino community, thus hindering police efforts to reduce street crime.

Never mind that there would be much less street crime if immigration law had been enforced in the first place, and that continuing nonenforcement will only increase street crime. But then, common sense is rarely a government strength.

How did it come about that the United States has an estimated 13 million illegal aliens residing in the nation, many of them here for years, openly living like legal residents?  How does the most powerful nation on earth permit — for decades — a steady stream of foreign invaders to trample across its southern border and stay?

This invasion has diluted public education, strained public welfare programs, bankrupted hospitals, increased violent crime, overloaded prisons, eroded pay scales of manual labor jobs, put more unlicensed and uninsured drivers on our crowded highways, and driven America’s rate of population growth to Third World levels. Yet, somehow it continues. Why?

Because the United States has effectively invited the invaders in. Immigration law is routinely dishonored not only by the many American businesses that benefit from illegal immigrant labor, but also by government itself.

A striking example of the latter can be found with the federal election law that requires ballots to be printed in both English and Spanish. Command of English is a requirement for granting U.S. citizenship, and only U.S. citizens may vote. Yet, by law, ballots and voter pamphlets must be printed in Spanish.

The law requires that illegal immigrants cannot be denied certain taxpayer-funded welfare benefits or free public education. The federal government actively challenges any state or local laws that dare inhibit illegal immigration, but ignores any that actively protect illegal immigrants — like “sanctuary” cities that grant illegal immigrants many of the benefits of legal status. Imagine if a city granted sanctuary to drug dealers. Do you think the feds would ignore that?

There are few if any hindrances for illegal immigrants to conduct all manner of commercial activity in the United States, including getting bank loans and buying real estate. Opportunistic businesses cater to the Hispanic market so that now much of the United States is essentially a bilingual society — Press 1 if you wish to hear this message in English.

So, while it is illegal to enter the country without government approval, once here both government and commerce will extend a warm welcome to the trespassers by awarding them benefits and rights typically granted to legal residents.

Such blatant hypocrisy in ignoring or tepidly enforcing immigration law is, effectively, tacit acceptance of foreign trespassers. It is certainly perceived as such by the illegal immigrants who consequently have developed a mentality that they have a right to be here and should not be subject to immigration law.

The Santa Maria case is emblematic of this. Illegal immigrants have become so brazenly contemptuous of immigration law that they publicly protest its enforcement. And, Santa Maria’s official reaction is a telling example of government complicity in the strident contempt for immigration law.

All the key players know what is going on with illegal immigration. Both the U.S. and Mexican governments know. The illegal immigrants know. Business knows and doesn’t want to give up the cheap labor and the Hispanic market. Politicians don’t want to alienate the Latino voters or the aforementioned businesses. In fact, pandering politicians allow or force local government to cater to illegal immigrants, and so we only get more of them.

Do we need immigration reform? Probably, to some extent. By now immigration law has been over-lobbied by selfish special interests, and gummed up with bureaucratic fly-paper. However, its primary purpose of maintaining the integrity of the nation’s borders and the value of U.S. citizenship is unassailably justified.

For years now, immigration reform has been blowing about the halls of Congress like litter on a windy day. It seems that no one wants to pick it up and properly dispose of it.

But, the crux of the immigration problem is not so much reform as it is the general reluctance by business and by government to honor immigration law. So, whether reformed or not, unless the law is enforced we will continue inviting more trespassers into the country.

— Randy Alcorn is a Santa Barbara political observer. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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