By Joe Guzzardi
August 30, 2013
This Labor Day weekend, 11 “pilgrims” will arrive in Bakersfield, CA. Historically, pilgrims are associated with the 1620 Plymouth, Massachusetts British settlers who colonized America. These particular 11 pilgrims, however, have no relationship with early American history. They are illegal immigrants who have co-opted the word “pilgrims” to arouse sympathy for their decidedly unsympathetic agenda: a path to citizenship for 11 million aliens. Get it? Each pilgrim represents the United States’ 11 million illegal immigrants.
The aliens (I’m done calling them “pilgrims”) have a built-in fan base. The clergy, always eager to make some association between the Bible’s teachings and the moral imperative of welcoming illegal immigrants are high on the list of alien admirers. Congressional turncoats fall right into line, too.
One of the aliens’ final stops before Bakersfield was my old hometown of Lodi. The welcome wagon was out in force! U.S. Representative Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) and Lodi’s Mayor Alan Nakanishi were on hand to gush. McNerney called the side show “an important opportunity for us to change ourselves,” whatever that means. Predictably, McNerney pledged to “encourage my colleagues to support immigration reform.”
Congressional Democrats like McNerney and his California colleagues, as well as nominal Republicans routinely trip all over themselves to heap praise on individuals who knowingly broke United States immigration laws to live and work in America. Although you would never know it from their constant complaining, the aliens have a good deal. Most work, many displace Americans on the job site, their children attend our taxpayer-funded schools and their American-born children are granted automatic citizenship even though this right isn’t provided for in the Constitution.
One of the Lodi whiners inadvertently provided a wonderful example of how little gratitude the illegal immigrant community has for the generosity it’s received. Sarai Mora is a 19-year-old Franklin High School graduate (Stockton) and a San Joaquin Delta College student. According to weepy newspaper stories, Mora “dreams of obtaining an international business degree but told of being accepted at University of the Pacific only to fail to qualify for financial aid from the U.S. government because of her lack of citizenship.”
Got that? Mora received a free California K-12 education at an aggregate taxpayer cost of about $125,000 and attends a two-year college but wants the government to fund her transfer to a four-year university.
Apparently, Mora never considered (or doesn’t care if she did) that American high school kids should come before illegal aliens when it comes to a university education. Mora wants an international business degree. So what? Thousands of American students have the same aspiration. If Mora wants an international business degree, she can earn one in her native Mexico. The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is an acclaimed institution that would welcome a U.S-educated high school student.
When it comes to illegal immigration, nothing is ever enough. The vocal, well connected and well-funded Hispanic lobby always wants more. Today, for many the goal is citizenship. The U.S. has been down this road before. In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act that allowed 2.5 million aliens to apply for green cards and eventually citizenship. The promised border security and internal enforcement never happened. What we ended up getting instead is 11 million more aliens, nearly four times the number we had 25 years ago.
In honor of Labor Day, Congress should protect American workers by denying any legal authorization to illegal aliens at least until the border is locked down tight, internal enforcement is solidly in place and E-Verify is mandatory.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]