By Rick Oltman, Marin Independent Journal
March 20, 2007
The recent arrests of illegal immigrant "absconders" by federal immigration officers have sparked a backlash of protests around the nation against the so-called "raids."
Immigration anarchists have taken to the streets waving their fists to denounce these legitimate arrests. Their slogans include: "Climate of fear," "devastating to families" and "terrorized by the government."
Terrorized by the government? Yes, even that. These protestors support the status quo for the past 15 years – virtually zero interior enforcement of our immigration laws. They are immigration anarchists.
"Operation Return to Sender" is targeting those who have been ordered deported but failed to appear for deportation.
Consider this. For a government that can’t muster the will to the defend the borders effectively against even drug traffickers to judge that someone should be deported would suggest that these arrests are of the worst of the illegal immigrant population. More than 400,000 "absconders" live somewhere in our country – nobody knows where. Some are violent felons, some are sexual predators and some are from countries that are sympathetic to al-Qaida.
To those who say that these people are only working here, let’s at least be honest. They have broken several laws by the time they get a job in our country. They have sneaked into our country illegally and they are working here illegally as well; not felonies, but law breaking all the same. They have committed a felony when they forge documents to get a job. And, whether they are using a stolen Social Security number or simply made one up, that is also a felony. The employer who knowingly employs illegal immigrants also is breaking the law. And, their presence in large numbers creates safe havens for criminals in cities that politicians are loath to police. They are not only working here.
The most sympathetic and true victims of this enforcement are, of course, the children. Thus it is with all law enforcement. When parents have committed crimes and are punished, there always is an impact on the children, including children who are citizens. It happens all over the world. These parents are traumatizing their own children with their illegal behavior. But, that is no reason to ignore the law. It is a reason to vigorously enforce it, as a deterrent against future law breaking parents and the little victims they create.
Fifteen years ago, California immigration activists were calling on the government to enforce immigration laws.
The political elites told us, "It’s not that big a problem, we don’t need to do anything about it."
In 1994 ,Californians voted to cut off tax dollars to illegal immigrants. In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
The political elites responded, "It’s not that big a problem, we don’t need to do anything about it."
Now, more than a decade later, these same elites are saying, "It’s such a big problem. We can’t do anything about it!"
That is unacceptable. They have created the massive problem we have today by ignoring it, not those of us who were warning that the problem was escalating.
We still are calling on the government to enforce the law because we can predict what our communities will look like in another 15 years. Look to L.A.’s gang problem for a glimpse of the future.
All levels of government should work together to enforce the law and deter future illegal immigration because if we don’t, the future is bleak. If we don’t enforce our laws, we will see in our streets and on the news the terrible, self-inflicted wounds of today’s immigration anarchy.
Rick Oltman of Novato is a spokesman for Santa Barbara-based Californians for Population Stabilization.