Amnesty Is Bad Policy

It’s An Indignity And An Injustice

Posted: October 8, 2013

On Saturday, immigration activists took to the streets again to demand amnesty for illegal aliens. Oct. 5 was designated a “National Day of Dignity And Respect,” and so supporters of illegal aliens demanded that the United States ignore its immigration laws and drop any pretense of having a border. The demand is for “immigration reform,” which, as this page has noted, is nothing but amnesty.

Said Rick Castaneda, a volunteer who helped organize the day, “It’s about dignity and respect for immigrants, and for all of us as brothers and sisterd …  and humans.” A marcher offered this opinion, “There is a lot of injustice.
There needs to be a way for [illegal aliens} to become regular citizens.”

And two Sundays ago, city residents heard the same demands after a special Mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Marchers carried a banner that said, “Justice for Immigrants.” A spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, “[w]e don’t care how he gets there, but we want a final product that includes a path to citizenship.”

Well, many do care, and another “we” out there — the American people —don’t’ advocate a free pass for people that enter this country illegally. Furthermore, this issue is not “about dignity and respect for immigrants;” it’s about respect for the law.

The simple truth is this: These activists are asking the Americans to ignore the law. Crossing the border illegally is to have no consequences whatsoever. In the name of dignity and respect, in the name of justice, we are, simply, to ignore illegal immigration.

And that truth is just one problem. Another is this: mendacity. None of these activists ever explain what indignities, what lack of respect and what injustices afflict illegal immigrants. Is it the free health care they receive at charitable clinics and emergency rooms? Perhaps it is the free education their children receive. Or access to myriad other welfare programs and private assistance. All this, apparently, is an injustice.

In other words, using such word as “dignity” and “respect” and “justice” invites observers to conclude that illegal immigrants are suffering the opposite, in the main by “unjust” deportations. And that, of course, is a falsehood. Last year, the president stopped deportations in contravention of U.S. law. He is not enforcing our immigration laws.

These marches are propaganda meant to evoke a lachrymose response to imagined injustices visited upon hapless immigrants, who are here, we are told, through no fault of their own. And so the only possible solution is amnesty. Just ignore the law and do nothing.

Problem is, ignoring the law and doing nothing — pretending the borders and immigration laws don’t exist — is itself something that exacerbates the problems the immigration activists claim they want to resolve. Ignoring the law is itself an indignity. It disrespects the rule of law. And it is an injustice to the American people, not least all those immigrants who made it here the right way: by waiting their turn, and obeying the law.

Here is an unalloyed if unwelcome truth: This country can’t accept everyone on the planet who wants to come here, and it certainly is not obliged to ignore its own laws and accept everyone who crosses the border illegally. But this is precisely what “immigration reform” proposes to do: open the borders, and make a mockery of this country’s laws.

That must not be allowed. So those of us who do care, apropos of remarks from the rally two weeks ago, would send Mr. Goodlatte and his colleagues a message. “Immigration reform” in its current incarnation is simply amnesty, and that is bad policy.

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