Wednesday, August 10, 2005

You just want a cup of coffee and a doughnut from the 7-Eleven in Herndon, and the Hispanic gentlemen hanging out in the parking lot there ask whether you want a gardener, painter or a handyman of varying quality as well.

This is the daily drill that challenges the incredibly enlightened who believe in the worthiness of virtually unfettered immigration, legal or otherwise. They believe in it until one of the new arrivals is hooting at a babe or addressing a bladder issue on the side of the building. They believe in it until one of them separates you from your wallet.

We all can agree that these faux way stations are a problem, unfair to the communities and the small-business owners who did not sign up to be a loitering ground. Back in the day, it would have been so simple to address. Someone would have posted a no loitering sign, the police would have enforced it, and that would have been the end of it.

But it is not so simple today, because we have been ordered to try to understand another people’s culture, and respect it as well, and maybe relieving yourself in public is part of the culture, and we need to understand that, we need to respect that and maybe we even need to have a Public Urination Pride Day.

Of course, Fairfax County officials are looking to resolve the issue with your money. They have stumbled on the notion of having formal centers for day laborers, because it has been done in other communities, and it allows everyone to have it both ways. You cannot be accused of being a heartless bigot if you erect a Day Laborer Center and stock it with Spanish-language reading materials, if not a pool table, a flat-screen television and, most important, a bathroom.

If a percentage of the day laborers are illegal aliens, what does it matter? That is a federal issue, not a state one, and our borders come with a big, fat welcome mat.

We are not serious people along our borders. We round up a few illegal aliens and send them back, only to have them cross again and again until they have reached the famous 7-Eleven in Herndon.

For all we know, Osama bin Laden is not hiding in the no man’s land along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He is hanging out at the 7-Eleven in Herndon sipping on a Big Gulp, while sending cryptic messages to his lieutenants on his BlackBerry.

No, the feds are not serious, and Fairfax County officials are not serious either.

We do not want to offend anyone, excluding the blue-haired grandmother from Minnesota. The blue-haired grandmother is forever being stopped in airports, and now the subways, and forever being told to remove this or that item until she becomes an R-rated blue-haired grandmother.

We stop her each time. If we go down, it won’t be because of the blue-haired grandmother from Minnesota. If we go down, it will be because of the next Richard Reid, who looked as nutty as a $3 bill — but the BBC-inspired mushheads of Great Britain did not want to offend the wannabe shoe bomber.

The same thinking persists with the day laborers. We do not intend to offend. Besides, the laborers do the jobs that Americans do not want to do, and even if it is our country, we would not be so primitive as to require them to follow our rules.

Instead, we can grant them a center and never, ever ask if they are here legally.

That is just not nice, and we must be nice to all types, even to those who like to chop off our heads as sport.

“We are burdened with managing a very complex and very difficult problem,” a Fairfax County official said.

No, it is not complex. It is not difficult.

It is called having a spine, which increasingly is not part of the American political body.

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