Last evening I was listening to All Things Considered on National Public Radio, a show I always enjoy for its wide variety of interesting topics. This time, though, I found myself utterly infuriated by a story titled "Staying in School Despite an Uncertain Future," produced by a 15 year-old fellow named Christian who is in this country illegally. In telling his story, Christian lamented the direction his life will take once he graduates high school: because he is in the United States illegally, he will be unable to attend many colleges or trade schools, enlist in the military, or get a high-paying professional job. He listed his career options as day laboring, returning to Mexico, or joining a gang, and in a unashamedly tear-jerking segment, he asked his infant brother (who, because he was born here - even to an illegal immigrant - is a US citizen) to compare future life options with him.
What a load of shameless BS!
Christian is in his predicament because his mother chose to break the law and enter the United States illegally. He was four years old when his mother sneaked across the border with Christian and his brother, and entered the illegal underground economy. His unfortunate situation is in no way the fault of an uncaring United States government - it's the fault of his mother who was unwilling to obey the law, and now her children are suffering the consequences of her actions.
Long-time readers of this blog know that I have no sympathy whatever for illegal immigrants. They've chosen to willfully break the law, and have earned the consequences of that choice for themselves and their families. What particularly infuriates me is the hypocrisy and dishonesty of people on both sides of the illegal immigration argument: those favoring full rights and forgiveness for illegal immigrants never use the word "illegal" - they prefer the linguistic dodge of "undocumented," and try to turn the argument against those who oppose them by using the all-purpose accusation of racism and "anti-immigrant(ism)."
On the other hand, the shameless refusal of those in our government to make the hard decisions and update our immigration laws is equally infuriating. Both Republicans and Democrats pander shamelessly to Hispanic voters by refusing to take necessary action while all the time mouthing platitudes about the importance of immigrants (never using the adjective "legal" to put it in context) to the United States.
I don't recall the last time I saw any demonstrations arguing for the rights of illegal immigrants to, say, Myanmar. Or Saudi Arabia. Or Mexico. Or Bukina Faso. No one wants to go to those garden spots, of course...they want to come to the United States, where people of all races and religions live together peacefully and have worked together to build the nation everyone hates but in which everyone wants to live.
As my regular readers know, I have put my money where my mouth is by sending a detailed immigration reform plan to my elected representatives and to the President, all of whom have responded with form letters featuring variations on "this-is-a-serious-issue-thanks-for-your-interest. Don't-let-the-door-hit-your-fanny-as-you-leave." But not one of them has come up with a plan any better than mine. Or any plan, for that matter.
So, Christian, I'm sorry for your situation, but it's not my problem to fix it. Your mother was looking for a better life for you when she brought you here illegally eleven years ago, but by deliberately breaking the law, she condemned you and your brother to a shadow existence and the limited future options of the underground economy. Go back to Mexico and help fix the problems there...or if you don't want to live in your own country, visit the US Embassy and apply to come here legally, and enjoy all the benefits that status provides.
But quit making dishonest, tear-jerking radio broadcasts moaning about how the Big, Bad US is holding you down.
And as for my American citizen readers, remember that we have elections coming up in November, and again next year for President. Ask those incumbents running for reelection exactly what they've done to solve the illegal immigration crisis. I think you'll find the answer is "nothing." Ask those running for the first time where they stand on the issue, and listen for the level of detail in the answer.
And remember it when you cast your vote.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.