- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2007


First of two excerpts from the book “Power to the People.”

The vast majority of Americans desperately want our borders protected — and we want it done now. We are weary of the excuses and empty promises put forward by the Republican National Committee, the White House, and the Democratic leadership on this vital issue of national, economic, and cultural security.

We do not understand why, even after the devastating attacks on September 11, our government still allows hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to cross our borders every year. We do not want our public schools burdened with a massive influx of non-English speaking children of parents who broke our laws. We are livid that our health care costs skyrocket year after year as illegal immigrants take advantage of free health care at emergency rooms across the country. We are astounded to see the resurgence of diseases we thought we had long since conquered, such as tuberculosis, carried by illegal aliens who enter the country without any medical screening. We are horrified to learn how the illegal alien invasion feeds crime and gang activity in our country. We are fed up with a government that has ignored our wishes on an issue that will transform every major aspect of our lives — imperiling America’s future.

Why is there such a split between elite and popular opinion on immigration and border enforcement? One big reason is that regular people pride themselves on being Americans, while the elites pride themselves on being cosmopolitan (from Greek words basically meaning citizen of the world). Additionally, the specific costs of open borders do not hit the elites as hard as they hit the working class. Case in point: illegal immigrant crime. To listen to the open border advocates and the dinosaur media, one would think that every illegal immigrant living here is like celebrity dog-trainer Cesar Millan (a.k.a. “The Dog Whisperer”). Illegally in this country — yes, but also entrepreneurial, ambitious, and law-abiding. The “local illegal does good” sob stories have gotten old fast. You’d think establishment politicians and the New York Times would be embarrassed to keep pouring it on, but they aren’t.

The simple fact is that illegal immigration has ravaged entire communities with increases in violent and drug-related crime, and in these areas the system is on the verge of being totally overwhelmed. Yet you would never know this by watching the evening news or reading most of the newspapers. When is the last time CBS or the New York Times, reported on violent crime committed by illegal immigrants? Perhaps they are too busy doing stories on how difficult life is for the illegal immigrant — or the rare case when deportation separates a parent from a child born in the U.S. Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera loves these stories.

In 2005, the GAO studied a sample of illegal alien criminals… and found an average of eight arrests and thirteen offenses per criminal alien. The audit examined one hundred criminal cases involving illegal immigrants, and found that seventy-three illegals accounted for 429 arrests, 878 charges, and 241 convictions.

Gangs comprised of illegals, such as the deadly Salvadoran MS-13, have been terrorizing communities from Northern Virginia to Long Island since the 1980s. Their crimes range from human and drug trafficking, murder (often by machete), rape, extortion, and armed robbery. MS-13 is now the most powerful gang in America and operates in more than thirty states.

The more we learn about illegal immigration’s devastating consequences for our country — our schools, our health care system, our prison population — the more many of us feel abandoned and cheated by the people who were supposed to represent us in Washington. Why did President Bush lobby so passionately for “comprehensive immigration reform” when an overwhelming majority in his own party and even a majority of Democrats didn’t want it? And why didn’t he work so hard on issues conservatives cared about — cutting government spending and defeating McCain-Feingold, to name a few?

We must continue to press our elected officials to carry out their duty to protect and defend the United States of America. Our recent victory against elites pushing amnesty is only temporary. The opposition will regroup and we must be ready. Without our borders we become just one North American union of people without a core language or tradition. Eliminating the incentives we have dangled in front of illegals for decades is a key element of the battle to securing our own future. Each one of us must use every lawful means at our disposal to defend this country from becoming just a figure on the global balance sheet.

We need to remind our children — and ourselves — that America is a unique and wonderful country that we are blessed to call home. Civic duty demands we question and challenge our government, charity demands we treat foreigners with care and respect, and tolerance demands we be respectful to other nations. But patriotism, too, is a virtue.

Laura Ingraham is the author of the book “Power to the People” and is the host of the radio program “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

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