- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One of the first signs of anarchy is when law-enforcement officers arrest common sense while allowing political correctness to roam free. In Virginia Beach, near Norfolk, the reaction of city officials to the deaths of two beautiful teen-age girls is a case in point.

On the night of March 30, a Mexican illegal alien, driving drunk, plowed into the teen-agers’ car as they waited for a light to turn green. This tragedy has attracted a lot of attention since then, even leading to a much-ballyhooed verbal slugfest between Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera on Fox News Channel.

In reaction to the media reports, the police chief posted a long statement on the city’s Web site. It is worth considering his statement because his attitude is typical of the attitude of many police departments around the country on the issue of illegal aliens.

After a perfunctory expression of condolences to the two families of the teens, the chief launches his response to the critics: “I find it ironic that, had the intoxicated driver been born and raised in Virginia Beach, little notice would have been given to this senseless tragedy by either the media or the community at large.” A couple of paragraphs later, he says that “most who have been outspoken about this most recent, and all too common, tragedy have lost perspective and focus on what the teaching point actually is.”

And what could be the teaching point? The chief declares that the two teens died “because the other driver was driving after consuming alcohol, not because he is illegally in the country.”

It is obvious that the chief has failed to grasp a very simple concept. It is bad enough that we have homegrown criminals and drunk drivers — we do not need the additional burden of dealing with foreign-born criminals and drunk drivers, especially those who have no right to be here in the first place. After all, if the illegal alien had not been in the country that night, the accident would not have happened in the first place. And two beautiful American teens would be alive today.

An analogy is in order. Imagine a burglar breaking into your home and helping himself to the liquor in your basement bar. Thus drunk, he destroys your furniture and defaces the walls. Now, does it make any sense to say that your property was damaged not because he broke into your home but because he drank the liquor? Of course not. He should not have trespassed on your home in the first place.

Likewise, the illegal alien’s trespassing on the country is the problem here — it was his presence in the country that led to the death of the girls. To argue otherwise is to engage in shameless sophistry.

As an immigrant who went to a great deal of trouble to come here legally, I am a naturalized American who has very little patience for illegal aliens and their supporters. For too long, the liberal press has sugarcoated the invasion of illegals with politically correct reports — an attitude that has now metastasized to other organs of American life. For instance, even the Virginia Beach police chief refers to the illegal alien as an “undocumented alien.” I wonder if he refers to rapists in his town as unwelcome sexual partners or to drug dealers as unlicensed pharmacists.

To immigrants like me, who respected America’s laws enough to ask for permission to come aboard before coming aboard, illegal aliens are an abomination. They are the antithesis of everything that is good about immigration. They do not deserve respect.

The Virginia Beach illegal alien had been arrested and convicted several times before, but he was allowed to roam again, mainly due to the timidity of our justice system, whose officers routinely believe that asking a suspect for his immigration status is offending his rights. Had his status been investigated and him deported, two beautiful American teen-agers would be alive today.

So, here is a question for those in law enforcement who believe that checking a suspect’s immigration status is violating his rights: Was the right of the two girls to live into adulthood a lesser right than the purported right of an illegal alien to be left alone? Virginia Beach is not unique in its laissez-faire attitude toward illegal aliens. Our federal government has precisely the same attitude. And the illegals know this. That is why they have come in millions.

So, as Congress and President Bush get ready to discuss amnesty for illegal aliens again, we should ask them a simple question: What makes you think that people who came here trampling the law will suddenly respect the law just because you legalize them?

Ian de Silva is an engineer who has side interests in politics and history.

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