Meet one of America’s biggest headaches. His name is Jesus Garcia. Jesus, his wife and their three children (including their infant daughter) live in Tucson, Ariz. Jesus says he is 48 years old, was born in Sonora, works in construction and pays taxes.Sowhat’sthe headache? Jesus is an undocumented alien.
Honestly, we don’t know whether Jesus is his real name, how old he is, whether he is Mexican. What we do know is that he and 10.3 million to 11 million people like him are on American soil without America’s permission.
Now, I happen to be one of those folks who don’t feel quite comfortable calling Jesus and the others illegal aliens. To call them illegal immigrants isn’t quite right either, since they are on the wrong side of immigration law. Notwithstanding that sentiment, the bottom line is that Jesus is here illegally and should be shipped back to Mexico ASAP.
Problem is — despite the fact that Jesus has conceded that he is breaking the law — Arizona and federal authorities will leave him be. In fact, Arizona’s senators — Jon Kyl and John McCain — don’t want authorities laying a tough hand on any illegal alien; they want to toy around with federal immigration law so that Jesus can back track and prove, from here on out, that he will voluntarily do all the lawful things it takes to become a true “immigrant.”
Jesus believes the two senators are on opposing ends of immigration reform. He says legislation proposed by Mr. Kyl and another Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, would punish families like his because it would force them to return home, stay there awhile, and then seek permission for re-entry to live or work here. Jesus is quite defiant, giving me the sense that he isn’t budging. “My life is here,” he tells the Arizona Republic. “I have a family here; I have kids. Within five years, I would have to go back (to Mexico)? It’s not fair. It’s not just.”
Hey, life ain’t fair. Life ain’t just.
The law is the law, and Jesus and millions like him flaunt their lawlessness in our faces every day.
Each day, thousands of Mexicans and people from other points south and east try to steal their way onto American soil. Hundreds of them succeed. Once here, they try to blend in and assimilate, much as terrorists are instructed to do when in the presence of their enemies. Through integration, the difficulty in distinguishing the good guys (immigrants and visitors) from the bad guys (illegal aliens and terrorists) is stark.
Look at Jesus. If he is to be believed, he has been here illegally for 10 long years. His wife is here illegally, too. Nobody asks them to prove who they are. Nobody even questions how they get ID. Nobody’s questioning their employers. Nobody’s criticizing the fact that Jesus and the millions of others are taking away jobs from Americans and immigrants who are here legally.
The Kyl-Cornyn bill is too soft because it allows illegals to continue working and voluntarily offer to return home. Another Senate bill — this one offered by Mr. McCain and Ted Kennedy, and given a thumbs up by Jesus — puts illegals on the path to citizenship at our expense and swings wide the door for more. In other words, both pieces of legislation are essentially guest-worker bills.
Neither bill is in the law-and-order mold that would have stopped Pancho Villa in his tracks or, short of that, given federal enforcers the teeth and tools they would have needed to push Villa back across the border.
With the exception of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Capitol Hill lawmakers’ spines seemingly lack the law enforcement backbone called political will. One of Jesus’ congressional delegates, Rep. Raul Giljalva, who says his parents emigrated from Mexico after World War II, is quiet, too.
Mr. Delay says he wants tighter and safer borders first: “We’ll probably have a law-enforcement-type bill, working with the Senate and the administration. Once we convince the American people we can secure the borders and enforce the law, we can discuss what is also important in this mix — and that is how to accommodate people from other parts of the [world] that want to come here, work temporarily and go back home. Some people call that a guest-worker program.”
Indeed, they do, congressman.
I just hope we don’t become so accommodating that Pancho Villa slips through a loophole wider than the Rio Grande.