Sunday, August 26, 2007

Don't sell legal immigrants short on illegal immigration

Kimberley Strassel does a great job of covering pork politics for the Wall Street Journal (see: SCHIP: "Call it HillaryCare on the installment plan." , "It's hard to shame people who have no shame." and Earmark Reform? We don't need no stinking Earmark Reform!). But when it comes to illegal immigration she is simpatico with the rest of the editorial board's "There shall be open borders" advocacy.

In 'Native Sons: The political perils of targeting immigrants' Ms. Strassel asserts that some Republican presidential hopefuls are misguided in their strong anti-illegal immigration stances(emphasis added):
...Unfortunately for their [Romney's and Giuliani's] party, what neither man can do is keep the rest of America from listening [to the their tough primary policy positions on illegal immigration]. And for every base Republican who is gratified by talk of ID cards and border patrols, there's an entire family of Hispanic immigrants who are absorbing the mean language of "sanctuary cities," "lawbreakers" and "deportation." Many of these folks are religious, entrepreneurial, and true believers in the American dream; as such, they're the biggest new voting potential the Republican Party has seen in ages...
At the expense of political calculus, Ms. Strassel is selling short the legal immigrants that are "true believers in the American dream". Legal immigrants of all former nationalities come to the United States seeking opportunity within a system that assures law and order. Many find that their new citizenship is dilluted by illegal immigrants.

As Cinnamon Stillwell noted in 'Listening To Legal Immigrants' (emphasis added):
For several months, Americans have been embroiled in a national debate over illegal immigration. On one side you have those pushing for guest-worker programs, amnesty and open borders. On the other are those trying to keep U.S. citizenship and sovereignty intact.

All too often the voices that get lost in the cacophony are those of legal immigrants and their descendants. Whether Hispanic, Asian, Caribbean, European, Middle Eastern or African, they make up the "nation of immigrants" often referred to by open borders proponents. Except that these immigrants valued U.S. citizenship enough to pursue it lawfully.

If the hundreds of e-mails I received after my column on the May Day boycott are any indication, such voices are alive and well. Far from disagreeing with my contention that the boycott did more harm than good to its stated goals and that illegal immigration must be stopped, not encouraged, most of those I heard from were in full agreement...
Ms. Stillwell goes on to share the emails of several of her readers echoing a respect for legal immigration.

Aspiring presidential hopefuls of all stripes should apply out-of-the-beltway-thinking and appeal to the votes of legal immigrants with a policy that extols the following theme:

"As your president, I will do everything in my power to make sure this is a country worth emigrating to. I will promise all citizens, both native born and legal immigrants, that I will not allow your citizenship, our citizenship, to be diluted by illegal immigrants that want the benefits of these United States by efforts that subvert the principles that make us such a great country to begin with: the principles of law and order.

If you come here legally, you're more than welcome. Any by coming here legally you honor us and make us stronger. But if you trample on our laws and sovereignty, if you dishonor our legal system, you will have me being the first to demand that you respect my country's laws and return to your home. The welcome sign to America is for legal immigrants."


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