Monday, July 25, 2005

The Longview Daily News blows it: Blaming illegals is simplistic -- and misguided

I admit I don’t get it.

The politically correct crowd, for example, is attempting to re-label illegal aliens with such catchy little phrases as “undocumented immigrant” and “undocumented alien,” or, as the Daily News puts it this week, “illegal immigrant.”

Once you set about to change a criminal’s title to something LESS “criminal,” you are, in fact, attempting to excuse their criminal conduct.

Here, apparently, the Columbia County GOP Central Committee has fired out a resolution blaming illegal aliens for their conduct and, in many instances, our societal ills resulting from their massive and increasing presence.

In their rambling, dissembled condemnation of the CCRCC’s action, the Daily News then proceeds to verify many of the objections cited by the CCRCC in their resolution. For example, they write:

“Yes, we have serious problems with illegal immigration.

Yes, methamphetamine has reached the point of an epidemic, and much of the drug now comes from Mexico.

And yes, social service agencies and schools are overburdened.”
To any reasonable or prudent individual, these things are reason enough to act…. Reason enough to blame the illegal alien segment of our population that the Daily News advocates for.

And what is the crime for which the CCRCC bears guilt? They use these same reasons… reasons this newspaper has just acknowledged as factual, for advocating strict enforcement of the laws of this country… our laws against illegal aliens… and stem this flow of illegal aliens while reducing our taxes and the admitted burdens these people impose.

The Daily News offers no alternatives to the CCRCC’s resolution for enforcement… just reasons as they see it why the current laws are not enforced.

There is, in the end, only one real solution: enforce the current laws as written. Strengthen those laws by requiring proof of citizenship to attend schools, use state or federal services, get a driver’s license, a job or register to vote.

Enact forfeiture laws against employers who utilize illegal alien labor. Require state and local munincipalities to support federal law enforcement activities by turning over illegal aliens to the federal government... or cut off their federal funding. Set up a federal system to quickly verify Social Security Account Numbers. Retroactively apply new laws that would end the bizarre practice of granting citizenship to those born here illegally.

We CAN make a dent in the illegal alien problem if we take stronger steps to eliminate the incentives illegal aliens have to violate our laws… and the incentive those who employ illegals have to hire them.

Kudos to the Columbia County GOP Central Committee for saying what had to be said. Jeers for the Daily News for their leftist position and lack of alternatives on this growing problem.

Blaming illegals is simplistic -- and misguided

Sometimes, legitimate concerns can lead to wrong-headed responses.

Case in point, the Columbia County Republican central committee's resolution last month blaming illegal immigrants for many of society's ills.

Yes, we have serious problems with illegal immigration.

Yes, methamphetamine has reached the point of an epidemic, and much of the drug now comes from Mexico.

And yes, social service agencies and schools are overburdened.

But to lay all these problems at the feet of illegal immigrants is simplistic and counter-productive.

The call by Columbia County Republicans for elected officials to do something about illegal immigration is proper. The free flow of illegals across our borders is a problem that has not been dealt with effectively for decades.

Democrats and Republicans share in the blame. To ensure a reliable, inexpensive labor force for agricultural businesses, politicians have avoided confronting illegal immigration in a meaningful way. Guest worker programs have been largely ineffective in controlling the borders and threats of increased prices at the consumer level have thwarted meaningful action on illegals.

With threats of terrorism hanging over our heads we need adequate border control, and we aren't getting it.

Meth insinuated its way into our society without help from any other country. Efforts to crack down on domestic labs that produced the drug have been very successful, so suppliers from Mexico have filled that gap. But most illegal immigrants are in no way connected to drugs. They are here, for the most part, to work.

In both employment and drug use, if you were to take away the demand you would take away the problem.

Our social service agencies and schools do struggle at times to provide the level of service we demand and expect but illegal immigrants are only a small part of that problem.

In a story by Courtney Sherwood last week, Bob Tosh of Clatskanie, a delegate to the Oregon Republican convention, pointed to Mexican-sounding names in newspaper articles about crime in defending the resolution. In doing so he was misguided on several levels.

First, those names don't necessarily mean that person is in this country illegally, or even that the person is of Mexican descent. Perpetuating racial stereotypes or fomenting divisiveness is the wrong way to confront our problems with illegal immigration.

We are a country of immigrants, and unfortunately, many of those immigrants faced discrimination upon their arrival, be they from Ireland, Italy, Poland or Mexico.

We must show we have learned from those past mistakes.

No comments: