- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 29, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

What do we want? What do they want? What do the countless people who have entered this country illegally or overstayed their welcome really want? They and their supporters say all they want is a better life for themselves and their families. Well, what the dickens do they think Americans want?

This is, after all, the land of plenty, a bounty of liberty and justice for all - if you follow the rules. And that’s the quintessential problem with illegal immigration.

Illegals break the first immigration rule.

Now comes a test for U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who soon will have to show Lady Justice whether he can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Exhibit No. 1: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals nabbed 87 illegals on Wednesday in Washington and Northern Virginia. Most of the 87 are criminal aliens, murderers, rapists and kidnappers and the like.

Exhibit No 2: A federal judge on Wednesday leveled a restraining order on Arizona, which was poised to implement its precedent-setting immigration law on Thursday.

Mr. Holder is the very U.S. official responsible for prosecution decisions in both instances. On whose side will he land?

Americans love their liberties. So do people from other lands.

Only here can you utter practically anything you want, and only here do taxpayers afford you practically anything you want.

Public schooling. Public housing. Public transportation. Loans for entrepreneurs. Paved roads everywhere you travel. Free food and health care. Open access to free amenities, such as parks, concerts, festivals and recreation facilities. Free access to observe our government at work.

We even give children free vaccinations and immunizations so neither you nor your families will be exposed to life-threatening illnesses such as measles, chicken pox and polio - diseases that wreck lesser nations.

You can get free abortions, free condoms and free needles to shoot drugs, too.

Heck, in many instances, we even pay our prisoners while they’re locked up.

That American culture is so incredibly unique has people in other nations green with envy.

But when people from elsewhere come here, they all too often forget that ours is a nation of laws and rules, too.

You can’t sell lamb shish kebabs, vegetarian tortillas, baklava or even a cup of coffee without a local permit. And you can’t charge for a shave, haircut or shoe shine without a license.

States have legal burdens as well.

It falls to the various states, for example, to decide who gets licensed to operate a motor vehicle. States also decide, within the parameters of federal oversight, if a person who, say, murders another human being will be punished with an execution.

That’s where Exhibits No. 1 and 2 come in.

The federal government is primarily responsible for deciding who can and cannot enter America’s clearly defined borders and what happens to immigrants who break our laws.

Arizonans, however, became overwhelmed because the federal government was lax on enforcement. So, they decided to play backup.

The Arizona law that was supposed to be implemented on Thursday would have forced everyone to prove his or her identity.

Mr. Holder said the law undermines federal authority. A federal judge agreed. Now illegal immigrants are joining in a hallelujah chorus.

How un-American.

Mr. Holder is the son of an immigrant. His boss, President Obama, is the son of an immigrant.

Both epitomize the vision of the Founding Fathers, the forthright advocacy of Frederick Douglass and the blindfolded symbol of American justice.

Do both men need to be reminded?

It’s disheartening to see and hear people crying about their families being torn asunder because of illegal immigration.

And who among us doesn’t shed a tear when an immigrant is kicked out of school or loses employment because his or her documents are either expired or nonexistent?

However, we also feel sorry for people who have lost their lives, homes or livelihood because of lawbreakers.

Momentarily, consider someone breaking into and entering your home. Do you care whether the varmint is a coldblooded foreigner or red-blooded American?

Americans have much to ponder.

  • Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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