Welcome new border law; enforce existing ones

By D.A. King, Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 3, 2006


The U.S. House last month took a prudent and welcomed step in heeding the will of the people who have been kept in the shadows regarding the illegal immigration crisis in America.

Less than a year away from election day, resisting the well-funded lobby that represents the employers who demand continued access to taxpayer-subsidized black-market labor was a wise and well-timed accomplishment.

As far as it went.

Under HR 4437, employers now have six years to comply with employment laws that have been in place, but seldom enforced, for 10 years.

In a war on terror, the House actually recommends that we secure American borders with a partial border fence. This seems to be driving the Mexican government loco.

"Disgraceful and shameful . . . a violation of human rights," warned Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Mexico " is not going to permit . . . this wall," said Mexico's foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez.

Angry protests from Mexico mean that we are on to something.

We should remember this when the "give the illegals and their employers amnesty so we can return to the rule of law" crowd indignantly wails about language in the bill making illegal presence in the United States a felony. Or that using local police to enforce American law is a "waste of resources." Indeed.

Real "immigrants" enter the United States lawfully. To suggest that those who are allowed to ignore several federal laws to steal the American dream be rewarded because it is not profitable to enforce American law is the real "immigrant bashing." Awarding legal status and eventual citizenship to whomever will work the cheapest will quickly make the title of "citizen" meaningless and eliminate any pretext of government based on the rule of law.

The logic that rewarding criminal activities will somehow deter that behavior is sadly amusing given that we granted a "one-time" amnesty in 1986 for about 3 million illegal aliens.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 makes it a felony to re-enter the United States after having been apprehended and removed, a description that fits a very large percentage of the millions of illegal aliens presently demanding the rights of citizens because they were able to make it past our Border Patrol.

Existing law makes it a felony to employ, assist, shelter, transport or commercially profit from illegal aliens, or to encourage an illegal alien to remain in the United States. The recently approved House bill does not change that politically incorrect fact.

The hand-wringing howls that the new "Sensenbrenner bill" will make criminals out of day-labor center operators and religious organizations that provide assistance to illegal aliens is merely an effort to conceal that these co-conspirators are already in violation of federal law.

The reality is that what is vital to American border protection, anti-terrorism and illegal immigration control is the enforcement of existing laws in our republic. That job falls to the chief executive, and it is long past time for the president to obey his oath of office.

Maybe what is needed is a bill demanding that happen.

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