Illegal Aliens

Bill Neinast

This country’s problem with illegals continues to grow.  Establishing an exact number is impossible, but the consensus is that many millions are involved.  

Take the small town of Torrington, Connecticut, for example.  Verifiable statistics place 10,220 illegals there.  That is a huge number for a town of only 6,501 inhabitants.

These illegals are among those millions of Americans who are charged with various misdemeanors like speeding or parking tickets that they ignore.

These Americans who frequently violate the law commit the same level of criminal offense as those who enter the country without proper authority.  Each commits a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and, in some cases, confinement not to exceed six months.

Foreigners who enter the country legally but stay beyond their visa or other permit make up about 40% of the so called illegal population.   They, however, are not committing even a misdemeanor.  Their unauthorized residency is a civil offense punishable in civil court by a fine and deportation.

So those who rave and rant about the terrible problem of “illegals” in this country should stop, sit back, and take a good look around themselves.

The chances are very good that there will be “illegals” sitting a few blocks from their homes.  Those “illegals” could be high school dropouts who were born in this country to parents whose ancestors came here many years ago when visas were not required.  They just got in from a shopping trip using their Lone Star Card (formerly called food stamps).  Also brought in was a letter from the city reminding them of their overdue speeding and parking tickets.  That warning will go in the same trash basket as all the tickets.

Next door to the ravers and ranters, a young man is mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and cleaning the flower beds of a hardworking, churchgoing,  rock-solid citizen.  The young worker keeps his head down, keeps his mouth shut, and will avoid any activity like speeding that might bring him to the attention of authorities.

He has to avoid attention because he is a wanted man.  He has committed a misdemeanor.  He crossed the nation’s border without permission.  One who commits such a heinous crime cannot be allowed to remain here to swell the ranks of those citizen law breakers surrounding the ravers and ranters.

This facetious look at the gravity, or lack thereof, of the offense of illegally entering the country or overstaying a visa is to illustrate the bigotry and stupidity of arguing that every one of “those illegals” should be rounded up and sent packing.

Equally disturbing is the view that all “illegals” are here for the primary purpose of committing criminal offenses. 

Some illegals have committed murders and other heinous crimes while in this country. That does not mean, though, that every other illegal, or even a few, are here for nefarious purposes.  Drawing that conclusion would require a condemnation of all white males, because serial killers Ted Bundy and the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffry Dammer, were sane, intelligent white males.

Next in line for these haters is the rallying cry to deny instate tuition for illegals at public universities.  If this is not the ultimate absurdity, nothing is.

Consider a youngster brought here illegally as a baby.  He grows up among “solid” Americans, learns excellent English from his playmates, graduates from high school with honors, and wants to become an engineer. 

While this is going on, his parents are quietly going about their business of working for others, paying sales taxes on their automobiles and other non-exempt purchases, and paying property tax through their rent.  

This young student has lived in Texas his whole life except for those several months before crossing the border.  Nonetheless, do not let that scoff law who is here without permission into college on any favored basis.

Conversely, the young trouble maker next door is urged to get a college degree at state expense.   He was brought to Texas from another state just before his senior year of high school. He and his parents have already filled a drawer with misdemeanor citations and are delinquent on their property taxes. 

Does that dichotomy make any sense?  Apparently it does to one recent candidate for a statewide office who had barring instate tuition for illegals as one of the principal planks of his campaign platform.

So here’s the perspective.

The country is plagued with illegals.  On the scales of justice, the offense of entering the country without proper authority is no more serious than speeding.

If illegal entry requires arrest and deportation, why not deport speeders to a penal colony on an island?  That would cleanse the country of all “illegals.” 

This is not arguing against imposing and enforcing rules on who may enter the country.  We have elected, however, not to enforce those rules in the past and have, in essence, invited some to come do our landscaping, food harvesting, hotel cleaning and other duties that most Americans now consider to be too demeaning for their own efforts.

Let’s recognize our own culpability and responsibility for these workers’ residence, and bring them out of the shadows where they can be on the tax rolls and contribute even more to society.  

This can and should be done before the borders are permanently “closed.” 

As a practical matter, the Berlin Wall illustrated that it is impossible to close an international border to anyone deadly serious about crossing over.  Let’s recognize this and just make illegal entry more difficult and decree that amnesty will not be offered to anyone entering the country illegally after a certain date. 


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