Illegal immigration laws place America on trial
Word has spread far south that the United States is the land of entitlement. Each month, tens of thousands of people flood across our border with Mexico. From the moment they illegally set foot on American soil, advocates ensure the “rights” of new arrivals are upheld. Those who disregard our sovereignty are a new protected class and illegal immigration laws have placed America on trial.
U.S. border patrol agents are unable to stem the rising tide of illegal entry. Not long ago, their jobs entailed detecting, pursuing, and apprehending aliens sneaking into the country. Now thousands of illegal entrants, a third of them unaccompanied minors, eagerly surrender to U.S. authorities each month. They know there is nothing to fear.
Detainees tell immigration officials that media in their home countries reports that anyone who makes it into the United States will be protected and allowed to stay. They know about President Obama’s controversial authorization of the Dream Act, which aims to legalize young illegal immigrants. News that undocumented immigrants can get driver’s licenses and work permits in the U.S. has also traveled far.
The real lottery ticket for young illegal immigrants is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants an asylum hearing (a.k.a., deportation hearing) to any child who doesn’t originate from a border nation. The White House is pushing to expand the program to include the parents. This law has already clogged our courts such that minors are turned over to alleged relatives already in the country, with hopes that they will return on the date for their hearing.
With our own law preventing us from simply sending illegal aliens home, immigration processing facilities along much of our 2,000-mile southern border are crammed beyond capacity. Undocumented persons are being bused and flown to military bases and dozens of Health and Human Services shelters in other parts of the country.
Amidst the illegal immigration chaos, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit against the federal government. They are demanding that each child who comes across the border be provided with a taxpayer-funded attorney for his or her deportation hearing. Concurrently, the President wants Congress to authorize nearly $4 billion to provide for the health and legal needs of illegal aliens.
Lawsuits are also being brought forth regarding “unacceptable” conditions at processing and holding facilities. In one case, a woman claims the border patrol kept her in a car for eight hours without feeding her. Other suits allege bright lights, cramped conditions, inadequate bathrooms, and a lack of activities for children.
“We’re monitoring the situation,” said ACLU of Texas senior staff attorney Adriana Pinon. “There’s always the possibility of a lawsuit.”
Border patrol agents are under legal scrutiny too. Drug cartels and traffickers in humans and weapons are operating with impunity along the porous border. It’s a dangerous situation for U.S. agents who must be prepared to use force. Yet in July, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that an aggressive Mexican teenager killed by a Border Patrol agent had rights under the U.S. Constitution. His family is suing for $325 million.
Worst of all, the character of law abiding U.S. citizens is under assault. Activists level charges of racism against those who demand enforcement of immigration law, equating deportation with discrimination. When conservatives express the desire to preserve American culture, which is rooted in independence and responsibility and not race, the left castigates them as racist bigots.
Christopher Parker, a political science professor at the University of Washington, asserts conservatives oppose immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) because they’re “haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re losing their country to immigrants from south of the border.”
The influx of undocumented people has truly reached the proportions of a crisis. Border security is overrun and there are no counter-measures. Meanwhile, the entire U.S. legal system has been hijacked. In this new upside down world, those who break the law are now protected by the law.
It is common sense, not racism or bigotry, to preserve U.S. sovereignty and the rule of law that governs our nation. The true racists and bigots are those on the left who assassinate the character of those who believe America is the land of equal opportunity for those who abide by the rules. Legal immigration must be the only path to Constitutional rights, otherwise a “guilty” verdict is certain for America.
This Right Angles column by James D. Kellogg appeared in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on January 22, 2015