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August 27, 2007

Have Fun in Mexico, Elvira Arellano


Elvira Arellano entered the United States illegally in 1997 and was deported back to Mexico soon afterward. Only days later, she re-entered the country, used a fake Social Security number and went undetected for several years until she was caught again in 2002. Somewhere in there she gave birth to an anchor baby who now carries American citizenship.


Due to our government’s incredible ineffectiveness in dealing with illegal immigrants, this criminal was allowed to hang out in the country until only a few days ago. During this time she became a major figure in illegal immigrant pop culture, and had her son present at almost every possible public relations opportunity (despite all of the health problems he apparently has).


Earlier this month, Arellano took refuge in a church in a highly-publicized stunt, probably praying that the authorities would snatch her Janet Reno-style so she can receive even more camera time. She claimed to share the lifestyle and burdens of Latino illegals everywhere. Perhaps that is true, assuming they were all followed by cameras and were regularly flooded with attention, gifts and donations.


Finally, the authorities deported her about a week ago – and good riddance. But while she’s out of our country, she’s not out of our hair.


Upon her arrival in Mexico, she lost no time before going to the Mexican Congress to plead her case. Her case being, of course, that she needed Mexican congressmens’ help to leave Mexico for the United States, even illegally. Can you imagine what that would look like?


Imagine Arellano walking on the floor of the Mexican Senate, for instance, essentially saying: “You run this country in such a terrible manner that I really, really need your help to raise my son as far away from you as possible. Life is so bad here under your government that I risked my liberty, future and family ties to live illegally in a country that passionately doesn’t want me there without the proper paperwork. Can you help me achieve that dream once more?”


The sad part is, this thought is not even insulting to the Mexican government. The Mexican Congress, in fact, took her side on the issue. Senators passed a measure urging the Mexican president to officially protest Arellano’s deportation. Rumor has it that the exact wording of the measure was, “We, the leaders of Mexico, care so much about our people that by God, we are going to fight for their right to live illegally in any other country they choose.”


It is no secret that Mexico’s long-standing policy to improve its people’s standard of living has been to send the poorest and most desperate across its northern border. The Mexican government has in fact distributed maps designed specifically help migrants cross the border into the United States.


How low must the national pride be for the Mexican authorities to get away with such behavior? What better way is there for the Mexican government to admit that it has no intention of trying to make Mexico a better place for Mexicans to live?


There is clearly no way to rely on the Mexican government to help curb illegal immigration in the United States. This, of course, hurts Mexico as well as America. With the millions of Mexicans residing illegally in the United States, and when there is no wall to prevent more from coming in, there is absolutely no incentive for us to open wider gates for Mexicans to legally enter the United States.


The American public is overwhelmingly in favor of a regular stream of legal immigrants joining our community, and would rightfully be willing to allow more of those patiently waiting in line to get in. But the contempt of illegal Mexicans for our laws, and that of the Mexican government for its own people, discourages us from inviting more Mexicans when too many of them are already here without having the courtesy of letting us know.


Respecting law-abiding immigrants and our own American people requires us to resolutely shut our door to illegal immigrants. Elvira Arellano’s first action in the United States was to break its laws. She raised her son in an environment of dishonesty and unlawfulness. She had the audacity to ask the Mexican government to criticize ours for upholding what every American expects it to uphold.


And she still expects us to welcome her with open arms.


Have fun in Mexico, Elvira.


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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This is Column # PI067. Request permission to publish here.