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Saturday, March 25, 2006

An Island of Sense In A Sea Of Political Correctness

The city of Costa Mesa, California (coincidentally, the city in which Tony Soprano has found himself during his coma induced hallucinations) has instituted a policy which would allow police to check the immigration status of suspected violent felons. The response of those opposed is typically moderated: "What we need is a national immigration policy," said attorney Chris Blank. "We don't need a cowboy sitting in the mayor's seat in Costa Mesa saying, `I'm going to round them all up and send them away.'" Why should anyone be concerned about being "rounded up" unless you are a violent felon or here illegally anyway? What am I missing here? The debate over illegal immigration is so confoundedly untruthful. The issues are rather simple and can be summarized by a few questions: 1. Do citizens of a foreign country have the right to enter this country at the time and place of their choosing and without any restrictions or do we have the right to exercise control over our borders? 2. Do we have the right to return to their countries of origin those who have entered this country without having gone thought the proper channels? The question of whether illegal immigrants are, on balance, good people only looking for a better life for themselves and their families (which I believe to be the case) is not particularly relevant to the threshold issues. We wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) be having this debate unless this were in fact the case. Casting in a xenophobic light anyone who advocates against illegal immigration is simply the (typical) liberal debate technique of using ad hominem attacks in place of facts. Just like the "If you are against affirmative action, you must be a bigot" line of attack. Most Americans do not have a problem with immigration per se and recognize that the welcoming of immigrants from throughout the world is what we're about and is what made this country the beacon that it has always been. On the other hand, most of us are resentful of the notion that we are obligated to accept anyone and everyone who wishes to come here irrespective of who and what they are. That's why the idea of a coherent policy coupled with insuring our ability to keep out those who will not follow the rules makes sense to most clear thinking Americans.
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