On Tuesday, February 19, John McCain held an immigration town hall, and he got an earful!
Arizona residents would have none of the Republican Senator's arguments that we "are a compassionate nation" or that "we're not going to find busses to deport 11 million illegals". They're fed up with the constant influx of illegal immigrants, and the government's soft response. They're tired of drug smugglers and human traffickers turning the border area into a war zone. They oppose a "path to citizenship" for those who entered the country illegally.
They have a point.
The pro-amnesty contingient will often cite the same arguments McCain touted. Compassion. Logistics. "Opportunity". "Nation of Immigrants".
Still, the fact remains that a sovereign nation without secure borders is neither sovereign nor a nation at all. There is no "homeland security" without "border security". Our borders are a bulwark against invaders; be they military, paramilitary, terroristic, opportunity seeking or drug smuggling.
Legal immigration has become so bogged down in red tape that those who come legitimately and go through channels seeking citizenship often spend a decade and tens of thousands of dollars before achieving that aspiration. These are usually people who are a benefit to our nation. Self-sufficient, contributing members of our society with a motivation and capability to excel and to be productive.
Illegals, on the other hand, being afforded a "path to citizenship" is an affront to those who played by the rules and abided by the law.
While there are many hard-working illegal immigrants coming for opportunity to work and earn, many more come without skills or motivation and seek instead to take advantage of the many handout benefits we so freely offer.
We can concede that logistics prohibit the mass deportation, however that is hardly a justification for mass amnesty. We have laws against employing illegal immigrants. We don't enforce them. If we did, much of the incentive to come (or stay) would dry up. Likewise, the benefits of our entitlement society should be limited if not to citizens only, at least to those legally present! If you have no legal right to be here in the first place, why would you have a right to collect any benefit at the expense of our citizens?
Guest worker program? Path to legal permanent residency (green card, never citizenship) in exchange for public service? Let's have that discussion. But blanket amnesty without consequence is unacceptable, and any path to citizenship for anyone who has crossed our borders illegally should be a non-starter. No person who has had such disregard for our national sovereignty, our borders and our laws should ever be granted as precious a commodity as US citizenship, regardless of whether we grant them a legal status. They have forfeited that right, and should never have a voting say in our internal affairs.
Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. Most of us can trace heritage back through Ellis Island or other legal processing points of entry. Immigration is not the controversy. Legal immigration versus illegal immigration is a distinction few in media choose to make, but it makes all the difference.
True immigration reform should accomplish the following:
1) Streamline the process to permit more efficient legal immigration/naturalization
2) Enforce the current employment law barring illegals.
3) Secure the border
4) Deny public largesse to those not here legally.
5) Compassionately construct a path to legality but not citizenship for those who can be productive members of society.
6) Deport those who are unable to provide for themselves and would be a burden to the citizens of the US. Why should other nations export their dependents to us?
7) Define citizenship at birth to be only available to those born to mothers legally present in the USA at the time of birth.
Anything else is not reform. It's an illegal manipulation of the demographic for political power.