Abortion and homosexuality are two issues I rarely discuss. It’s been my experience that most people’s opinions on these subjects are fixed in stone, so talking accomplishes nothing except the creation of further discord. I’m gradually reaching that point on the subject of illegal immigration. Some people, many of them being Christians, cannot see anything wrong with people who are poor and hungry and seeking a better life for themselves, sneaking into this country and enjoying all the rights and privileges of citizens.
Now, on the other hand, if Americans who may be poor and homeless were to sneak in people’s homes and take whatever they need, these same people feel that this would constitute an illegal act and the individual should be arrested and thrown in jail. I don’t understand this kind of thinking. I admit that many of us live in different worlds in this country, but it’s still hard to believe that some actually think that Americans who are hungry and homeless, are only that way by choice.
While some Missouri communities are more affected by illegal immigration than others, many people gave a big sigh of relief when the legislature passed a bill adding new requirements and restrictions on municipalities where immigrants live and the businesses that employ them. Even if we were not undergoing bad economic times, taxpayers should have every reason to expect that people signing up for such public benefits as food stamps and housing should be required to prove citizenship. Furthermore, citizens are required to cooperate with federal law enforcement so why shouldn’t cities be required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities?
It really does not make sense that Americans who are so concerned about foreign terrorists should be content to leave the country’s borders wide open for individuals to cross at will. And it would seem that cutting off the supply of illegal drugs being smuggled into the country would be one of the most important items on the law enforcement agenda.
But, of course, we know that some politician and lobbyists are dedicated to business owners. And some business owners feel that they should be allowed to hire immigrant workers to whom they can pay low wages. And apparently some of these employers go to great lengths to engage in this practice such as designating these employees “contractors” when they are performing public works, so that they do not have to pay withholding taxes or provide benefits, among other advantages.
Some people refuse to believe that the infrastructure of many communities cannot withstand the burden of a ballooning population of non-citizens. The extra load on hospitals and clinics, social services and law enforcement can create a nightmare for little towns that don’t have large budget. Where you have city leaders who don’t have the foresight to get ahead of the problem, the situation can very easily spell trouble.
If immigration laws had been effect at the time my grandfather was brought out of Mexico across the Rio Grande into Texas, I’m sure my great-grandfather would have been arrested and deported, and rightly so. We are a country of generous people but we are also a nation governed by laws.
We don’t get to choose the ones we will obey and the ones we can ignore. When we overlook the fact that we know people who are living and working illegally in our communities, we are setting a bad example. We are saying that it’s OK to break the law.
The road ends where?
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.