- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2003

I am thinking about attending graduate school in Mexico after crossing the Rio Grande by foot, presumably beyond the watchful eye of the Border Patrol.

I suspect my status as an illegal immigrant in Mexico will not be a problem. I suspect the authorities there will feel my academic pain and offer to aid the application process.

If there is a problem, I guess I could solicit the legal help of the attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They could relate to this situation.

They are waging this wonderfully obtuse campaign on behalf of the illegal immigrants seeking admission into Virginia’s public colleges. They have an issue with state Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, a mean old Republican.

It is Mr. Kilgore’s contention that Virginia’s public colleges should deny admission to those who are not here legally. Alas, attorneys general can be sticklers like that.

In a different time, of course, Mr. Kilgore’s memo would have prompted a yawn. It would have been about as gripping as stating the sun rises from the east.

But in these incredibly enlightened times, if you are here illegally, you deserve the same perks as Americans, starting with a seat in a taxpayer-funded classroom.

This belief reflects our growth as a nation, our compassion, our commitment to diversity and moral relativism.

To draw a line in the sand on this side of the Rio Grande is to miss a larger good.

We have what amounts to an open border with Mexico anyway. We have placed our big, fat welcome mat out, and not just for Mexicans, but for anyone with two legs, including the terrorists who hate us so. This is not really a big problem. We just need to understand. We just need to relax.

The attorneys championing the cause of the illegal Mexicans make a number of exceptional points. Lawyers are like that. They are so smart.

You, me and the guy down the street, well, we are all morons.

We have no capacity to grasp the technical points of the law.

As one of the sharp-thinking attorneys puts it, Mr. Kilgore’s “memorandum serves as a backbone for an unconstitutional immigration regulatory scheme,” which is just not right. That is the job of the federal government, not the job of a state attorney general.

As you can see, Mr. Kilgore has a personal issue with illegal immigrants. Perhaps he needs professional help, if not a court-mandated sensitivity-training session. I mean, what is wrong with this man, and why is he stuck on the illegality of it all? Lighten up already, please.

Just because someone sneaks into our country from Mexico, or even from Siberia, that person should not be prevented from attending the University of Virginia. There are 6.5 billion humans on this planet, and a good number of them probably would like to attend Virginia.

In a way, Mr. Kilgore is the crusher of dreams, and that is all there is to it.

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat, understands this idea perfectly. After all, he vetoed the legislation that addressed the dreams of illegal immigrants.

Perhaps there is a little kid in China right now who dreams of being a stowaway on a ship and applying to the fine university in Charlottesville after reaching these shores.

Mr. Warner is behind that prospect. He is a man of the people, of all the people, to be fair. He is hardly suggesting that all the illegal immigrants apply to Thomas Jefferson’s school. That might prove cumbersome. Fortunately, his is a large state that has 37 institutions of higher learning.

It is a state that can do this one thing for humanity, so as long as the taxpayers don’t object to contributing to the higher educational needs of the globe.

The educating of illegal immigrants can cut both ways, if the rest of the globe is interested in being fair.

And why shouldn’t it cut both ways? America is no better than any other place, which gets back to Mexico and my educational pursuits.

Do you think the citizens of Mexico will feel inclined to rally in support of a dumb gringo?

I don’t know either.

I will tell you this. I like Mexican food, I like margaritas, and I don’t have a problem with being an illegal immigrant if the Mexican authorities do not have a problem with it.

Bottom line: I promise to be their amigo if they promise to be my amigo.

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