Published on July 1st, 2008

By Randy Alcorn

Because the Los Angeles Times has a well-deserved reputation as one of this nation’s great newspapers, one might expect that its editorial opinions would compliment that journalistic eminence and be expressions of uncommon rationale, untainted by emotive illogicalities. But, when it comes to pet issues, like immigration, that expectation is often disappointed.

The lead editorial of the June 11, 2008 issue of the Los Angeles Times, entitled “Over the line”, attempts to portray federal enforcement of immigration law as irrational policy that will lead to the erosion of fundamental freedoms. To support these contentions, the Times points to America’s construction of a fence along its southern border, and to the new requirement that employers with federal contracts consult the Department of Homeland Security’s E-verify database to verify the legal status of their employees.

Building a 900-mile fence along the nation’s southern border may seem drastically extraordinary, but then an annual invasion of millions of illegal aliens is drastically extraordinary.

Building the fence is not irrational policy. What is irrational is allowing that annual invasion to continue unabated. The fence, while not the ultimate solution, will slow down the invasion until America comes to its senses about enforcing immigration laws, thereby forcing Mexico to come to grips with that nation’s social and economic problems rather than exporting them to the U.S.

While the Times editorial concedes that the new E-verify requirement is a reasonable measure to control illegal immigration, the Times fears that the recent succession of such immigration enforcement measures will somehow translate into a federalist totalitarianism whereby all private transactions are subject to pre-approval by the feds.

That alarmist stretch of political teleology is unfounded in the case of immigration enforcement measures. These measures are not a manifestation of further federal encroachments into the 9th and 10th Amendments, rather they are indications that the feds are finally beginning to honor what is one of their legitimate fundamental responsibilities—to protect the nation’s borders and to ensure the integrity of American citizenship.

The Times further criticizes the efficacy of the E-verify requirement by noting that the system has an error rate of as much as 8%. So, for that we should throw out the entire process? If zero tolerance of error were required of law enforcement, we would have to shut down our entire judicial system. Innocent people are sometimes convicted, but that is not sufficient reason to try no one.

Making no effort to conceal its contempt for those Americans who feel that immigration is a serious problem in need of immediate attention, the Times labels them as the “anti-immigration mob.” Most commonly the word “mob” is a pejorative describing a riotous crowd engaged in lawless violence. This hardly describes any of the folks I know or know of who are concerned about immigration. It does, however, come closer to describing those people who gather in large protest marches demanding the rights of citizenship to which they are not entitled, and for amnesty—yet again—for the crime of illegally entering the U.S. The word “mob” comes closer to describing the gangs of immigrants and the children of immigrants who have turned our city streets into bloody battlegrounds.

Closing America off to unbridled immigration is not a matter of racism, xenophobia, or national paranoia, though these things may motivate some door slammers. It is a matter of law and a matter of numbers. If America wants open borders than there must be an official, national referendum to decide that. Without policy determined by democratic due process, we have ad hoc policy determined by expedient exception—mob rule.

Beyond law, the broader issue is the issue of numbers. Because of unbridled foreign immigration, the populations of both California and America are mushrooming at third world rates and have increased beyond healthy carrying capacity bankrupting our hospitals and clinics, packing our prisons, stuffing our schools, diluting public education, and burdening our tax paid social support systems.

Human population growth is the cause of nearly all the problems plaguing California, the nation, and the world. Populations cannot grow ad infinitum. The laws of nature will impose unforgiving limits. What, then, is the rationale for a senseless rush to social and ecological ruin by encouraging more population?

This is not the 19th century, and the shear numbers of the world’s huddled masses are now beyond anything anticipated by the author of those inviting sentiments written at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Regarding the issue of immigration, the line we should not cross is the line of logic.

Randy Alcorn is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), www.capsweb.org, and can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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