By Joe Guzzardi
December 13th, 2013
No nation puts up with as much abuse and disrespect from illegal immigrants as the United States. While aliens claim to be “in the shadows,” this week, demanding comprehensive immigration reform, they ratcheted up their childish, boorish behavior. About 1,500 illegal immigrants and their advocates stormed House Speaker John Boehner and 200 other U.S. Representatives’ offices falsely protesting that current immigration deportation policies “break up families” and are racist.
Advocates crammed into a small room in the Rayburn House Office Building where young children put on skits mocking Boehner as a Grinch and confronted lawmakers with boxes of supportive letters. Earlier this fall, activists obnoxiously ambushed Boehner as he ate breakfast and heckled House Leader Eric Cantor at his home.
Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi led 40 Democrats to the Capitol’s front step to press for a vote on the House immigration bill, H.R. 15, which would legalize between 12-20 million illegal immigrants.
Proponents’ major talking point—that deportations break up families—doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. First, Department of Homeland Security statistics show that total deportations in 2011, the latest year for which complete numbers are available, numbered 715,495, the lowest level since 1973. The highest was in 2000, under the Clinton administration, when 1,864,343 aliens were deported.
Second, families are separated only if they chose to be. Nothing prevents children from returning home with their parents. When illegal immigrants either cross or overstay their visas, they know that being detained and deported is one possible although improbable consequence.
To watch Congress not only condone but also encourage brazen, disrespectful conduct from people who have knowingly, flagrantly, broken American immigration law is profoundly troubling. Other countries don’t tolerate it. In Mexico, the country of origin for most aliens, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years; visa violators, for six. Mexicans who aid and abet illegal immigrants are considered criminals.
Mexico can and does deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.
In the U.S., it’s a whole different ballgame—illegal immigrants enter without trepidation, work off the books while they wait for reprieves like the DREAM Act, deferred action for childhood arrivals, “parole in place” for military families or—the biggest prize of all—the amnesty Congress seems determined to pass. Amnesty would include legal work authorization so aliens could get better jobs, social security cards and sign up for welfare and medical care entitlements.
If I were advising the illegal immigrant lobby, I’d tell it to keep pressing. Go for it all. Dictate your terms to Congress. You’re not citizens or legal residents but so what? Few in power will block you. The president, his Cabinet, Congress, big business, religious organizations and the media will lend a helping hand in the unlikely event that you need one.
Obama’s latest immigration action was to unilaterally announce that, when they expire after two years, he’ll renew the legal status and work permits he unconstitutionally issued in 2012 to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants age 16-31. No one in the White House cares that 20 million Americans can’t find a full-time job and that adding 500,000 aliens to the labor pool will make their search harder.
An interesting side note on Capitol Hill’s immigration folly: America’s unwillingness to enforce its reasonable immigration laws sends a crystal-clear message to worldwide would-be aliens that they can enter fearlessly. And the leaders of those global nations know that America is weak and frivolous, ready to be taken advantage of at their will.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]