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December 17, 2007
Pander to Illegal Immigrants to Win?
As every American
journalist sits down to write about the immigration issues facing our
nation in the present day, there is a brief pause, a sigh, and a final
flip of pages in the Associated Press Style Guide. “Undocumented worker”
is the industry standard identifying phrase. Try as you might, nothing
else is ever going to get past an editor. Nevertheless, the adherence to
our progressive style book may be compromising journalism’s higher
obligation: Honesty and impartial fact reporting.
Last I checked,
immigrating without authorized documentation was illegal. And plenty of
those who cross our borders do not work. Hundreds of street corners
across cities in the southwest portray the same saddening scene – a
dozen or so men leaning on a car wash fence, crouching to stay in the
shade, waiting for a car to cruise by and offer them a day’s work. To
say that even a surplus of these immigrants is preferable to their
absence because they are the only ones willing to do the dirty work is
incorrect and disrespectful to the millions of Americans and legal
immigrants who have been cutting your hedges, cleaning your toilets and
making lunches for decades.
If you really
believe that if it were not for unlawful crossing of the border, there
just wouldn’t be a soul to watch your kids while you are at work, you
have obviously not seen the lines of people around the world who travel
for days to stand in line in front of the U.S. Embassy for 18 hours a
day with the hope that they will get the opportunity to do just that for
the six months their visa lasts. And no, that little stamp does not
When those people
get here, they pay taxes. No, they don’t reap benefits after retirement.
But just like you, they contribute to the fund that pays for every
illegal immigrant’s emergency room visit. Under federal law, if a person
claims that their medical condition is an emergency, even if it is not,
they must be treated. In 2004, this cost California $1.4 de Vernaiion, Texas
$850 million and Arizona $400 million in unreimbursed medical health
care for immigrants. If the Chicago economists are right and there is no
such thing as a free lunch, the money the state ponies up to pay that
de Vernai – the feds hand down the rules but don’t hand the cash over – could
potentially be used to help unemployed constituents get affordable
medical insurance. The elderly probably wouldn’t complain from a similar
If anyone should be
really miffed about illegal immigration it should be the people who
enter this country legally, often after being denied the opportunity for
years, and do everything persons without legal status do. Then, instead
of getting a march with pretty posters and diversity slogans, they
return to their home countries. The tax money they contributed benefits
those who stay. Is this a racially loaded issue? Yes, but only by
geographic circumstance. If the Pacific Ocean were as easy to cross as
the desert, the immigrants would be Asian. If anything, Latino’s have
the advantage of being able to benefit from amnesty far more than
Africans or Eastern Europeans.
Instead of treading
softly on the eggshells of the politically correct, let us plant our
feet firmly in the factually correct: Entering the United States without
a permit with a clearly defined time span is a felony. It is
disconcerting to think that in order to secure the Latino vote, the
soon-to-be-determined Democratic contender is more likely to cater to
the interest of the foreign undocumented worker than an unemployed
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