Thinking Out Loud: The Darker Side of the Immigration Story

What to do about America’s 11 million illegal immigrants has been an issue percolating for some time now with — broadly speaking — Republicans demanding stronger border security before agreeing to any form of amnesty, and Democrats demanding an amnesty fast track as priority one.

The amnesty issue is tricky because many of these illegals, through no fault of their own, were brought here as babies or very young children.  They have grown up here, consider America their home, and for the most part have assimilated well.  To ship them home would seem cruel and unjust, which was President Obama’s thinking when he gave a blanket amnesty to approximately 1 million of them if they met certain criteria — had no criminal record, were in school or had graduated, served in the army, etc.

President Obama had no legal authority to do this.  Such an amnesty should be based on legislation passed in Congress, which twice voted down legislation that would have provided a similar type of amnesty, but President Obama has a habit of ignoring Congress and issuing executive orders that contravene established law.  Still, even though my preference is an actual law that takes this special class of illegals into account, I understand the president’s goal.

But there is another, darker side to the illegal immigration story, although try finding it in press accounts.  What astonishes me — but perhaps it shouldn’t given the media bias — is how benignly the act of illegally entering this country is portrayed.  Sneaking past border controls is considered a minor infraction of the law when in fact it is a felony.  Ditto staying in this country past the expiration date of a temporary visa, which is often portrayed as a mere oversight, when in fact it is perjury because in obtaining a visa one must swear to abide by its terms.  Also making false statements is common when obtaining a visa, which is also perjury.

And once in the country most illegal aliens obtain false or stolen identity cards in order to avoid being deported.  That is also a felony, as is collecting government benefits, which scores of illegal aliens do via these stolen and false identity papers.

Income tax evasion is also a felony and most illegal immigrants don’t pay income taxes.  And let’s not forget that among the millions of illegals here are criminals fleeing prosecution from their home countries, and terrorists bent on doing America harm.

Tolerating lawbreaking is wrong regardless of its severity, but regarding that severity, ask yourself this:   If a reporter asked you if you would grant amnesty to a person who had committed multiple felonies, including smuggling, perjury, welfare fraud, income tax evasion and identity theft, what would you say?