- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2006

George W. Bush, John McCain and Ted Kennedy — indeed the majority of senators — keep getting it wrong, just like the foreign criminals who keep trying to get a free ride on the backs of American citizens and legal immigrants.

Give a nod to the president for calling immigration reform what it really and truly is — “It’s a difficult task,” he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday. The crux of the task is the insistence on pardoning an estimated 12 million criminals.

Mike Pence, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is seemingly perched on middle ground, proposing a four-step plan that puts border security right where Americans want it — at the top of the immigration-reform to-do list. His plan also “offers a no amnesty solution,” engages the private sector in the worker-visa process and, like the House bill passed in December, cracks down on employers who hire illegals.

The Pence plan is a good starting point for House-Senate conferees.

Why? Because of the bottom line: It is against the law to enter this country without our permission; it is against the law to work in this country without our permission; and it is against the law to stay in this country without our permission.

The people who break any or all of those laws are criminals.

They could be the best cotton pickers in the Bible Belt; but they still are criminals if they break any or all of those laws.

They could be the best orange harvesters in all of Florida; but they still are criminals if they break any or all of those laws.

They could be the best maids, shoe shiners, managers, window cleaners, cherry-picker operators, teachers, waitresses,laundresses, landscapers,fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, sons or daughters or inventory takers on the planet; but if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

They could be from Honduras or Israel, Nigeria or Mexico, Canada or Paraguay; Ireland or South Africa; but if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

They could pay rent, a mortgage and Social Security taxes; but if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

They could have worked hard and saved to bring their family here; but if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

They could have contributed money to McCain for President, made cowboy boots for George W. or tended to Teddy’s Rose garden; but if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

They are no different than Americans who rape, kill, maim, smoke in a no-smoking area, drive without a license, deal drugs, make moonshine, solicit prostitutes, abuse children, steal credit records, beat their wives, rob a bank, carjack, kidnap, commit home invasions, plant bombs and blow up a federal office building, commit perjury, obstruct justice, smuggle cigarettes, smuggle humans, carry a firearm without a license, force women into prostitution, fail to pay taxes, steal a child’s bicycle, commit identity theft or set off fireworks in a jurisdiction that prohibits fireworks. A criminal is a criminal is a criminal. The only difference is if they are in this country without our permission.

Some illegals obtain illegal documents to obtain more illegal documents, and some fly planes into buildings; their initial illegal entry into this country without our permission means they are criminals.

Whether they live in Texas, Arizona or Massachusetts, if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

Whether they are prolife or prochoice, support school choice, are fluent in English, baked brownies for the local PTA fund raiser, consider themselves a Democrat or Republican, have never broken any other local, state or federal law, if they are in this country without our permission they are criminals.

Mike Pence’s proposal isn’t perfect. In fact, there is no perfect solution.

The difficult task at hand is to first give Americans want they want and then reach a legislative compromise that punishes employers and foreigners who break the law.

We are in this fix today because the Republicans and the Democrats were in bed together 20 years ago. We can’t keep letting W. and John and Ted get it wrong — unless, that is, we want to stop calling ourselves Americans.


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