Turning immigration inside out

By Richard Olivastro
Posted 6/12/07

Compromise isn’t always a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing when considering the recent debate over immigration reform.

The comprehensive immigration reform being pushed in Washington is driven purely by politics. Politics gave birth …

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Turning immigration inside out


Compromise isn’t always a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing when considering the recent debate over immigration reform.

The comprehensive immigration reform being pushed in Washington is driven purely by politics. Politics gave birth to it, and politics sustained its life and brought it to the floor of the Senate where we all watched it die under the weight of principle. Only it’s not yet dead, and the deal-makers in Washington — a Democrat-controlled Congress and a second-term president looking for accomplishment — will be back with what will be called yet another ‘grand compromise.’

Unfortunately, the compromise will serve only to compromise American rule of law, the real meaning of U.S. citizenship, our values, our culture, our freedoms and more.

These tenets of what it means to be, or become an American must not be compromised. Undermining the very meaning of America — and U.S. Citizenship — in hopes of securing new Democrat-supporting union members or cheaper labor for corporate Republican bedrock is not reform. The American people know it’s not reform and have mobilized.

America’s citizens see a growing population of people living in the United States, but not all of them are here because they want to become Americans.

America’s citizens see people marching in the streets of our cities carrying not the American flag but the flag of another country.

America’s citizens see representatives on television saying some of the states in our United States actually belong to another country. And they read that many ‘immigrants’ agree with those who say that. And they learn that some special interest group organizations propagate that belief among the young in our cities -— talk about taking it back — and even have such written plans in their organization founding documents.

It worries and concerns America’s citizens that our country, for which so many Americans have fought and died since the founding, and over the generations, will lose its sovereignty.

Why do our citizens worry? In addition to the above, here are some data facts:

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “legal immigration in fiscal year 2003 was 705,827, coming mainly from Mexico (115,864), India (50,379), the Philippines (45,397), China (40,659), El Salvador (28,296), the Dominican Republic (26,205) and Vietnam (22,133)”. Interestingly, these seven countries accounted for nearly half of all legal immigration.

But, in my judgment, it is not individuals who properly apply and are legally permitted entry into the U.S. that worry and rightly concern the vast majority of America’s citizens. Instead, it is the illegal (sic) unauthorized individuals entering our country surreptitiously — crossing unsecured borders — as well as those who pass through U.S. border inspection posts using fraudulent papers that are driving Americans to demand officials in Washington must ‘get it right.’

With estimates of 12 to 20 million illegal (aka undocumented) individuals already in our country, where do the individuals here illegally actually come from?

U.S. Census Bureau analysts report that “Mexico remains the leading country of origin, claiming nearly half of the total, with several Central American and European countries also strongly represented.” More specifically, “Mexicans account for the largest proportion of the illegal immigrant population by far, with El Salvador and Guatemala running a distant second and third place.”

How many “foreign-born” individuals have been counted in the U.S. Census?

Across the United States, the “foreign-born population increased from 19.2 million to 30.8 million between 1990 and 2000” representing an increase of 60.3 percent; then grew another “16 percent from 30.8 million to 35.7 million between 2000 and 2005.” In 2005, 40.9 percent of the foreign-born were U.S. citizens.

Where are legal and illegal immigrants locating?

We all are aware of heavy immigrant concentration in the states of California’s (9.6 million), New York (4 million), Texas and Florida (3 million each), although somewhat surprising is Illinois and New Jersey (1.6 million each).

But when we look closer, to understand which states have seen significant increases, we find some surprises in the numbers. Many readers around the country may see the following and likely conclude: “So, that’s why I’ve been noticing more.”

The top 10 states with the highest percentage growth of immigrants in the five years (2000-2005) — each over 30 percent — include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Which state had the largest growth of immigrants? South Carolina set the pace at 47.8 percent. That compares to Alabama at 38.9 percent, Delaware, 40.5 percent; New Hampshire, 44.9 percent; and Tennessee, 42.6 percent.

What do the vast majority of Americans want to see done about‘immigration reform?

Without tongue in check, they want our elected officials in Washington, D.C., to first reform the way they have been thinking about this issue (indeed many other issues, too).

And, next, they want elected officials at every level of government everywhere to realize that the first action to take, forthwith, is to establish secure inviolate borders and absolute respect for our American Rule of Law along with consistent enforcement.

Any individual already here or hoping to immigrate here who does not understand and accept U.S. laws, rules, regulations and procedures regarding entry to the United States relinquishes any opportunity to apply for entry, reentry or to stay here.

We know the officials in Washington heard the strong outcry from a broad cross-section of American. That is what caused Harry Reid to pull the bill, for now.

But, have they gotten the message? Have they learned the lesson? I would hope so.

To paraphrase Lao-Tzu, the lesson here for officials everywhere is, “To Lead the People, Walk Behind Them.”