Missing the Perfect Round-upIn what can be described as a golden opportunity for law enforcement to capture illegal aliens, over 75,000 native latinos-without-green-cards gathered in Chicago Friday for a protest of a bill (Interior Enforcement Bill H.R. 4437) now in the U.S. Senate which would serve to stiffen border enforcement. This comes at a time when it is estimated that the illegal immigrant population has grown from about 8 million in 2000 to nearly 12 million - an increase of 40-50% in just six years - and some estimates are much higher than that.
And unbelievably, there were elected U.S. officials there to cheer them on.
U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill, shouted "Raise those American flags! This is our country, and this is where we will stay."
Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich addressed the throng in Spanish, regailing them with his story as the son of immigrants - one who understands them. He cried from the platform, "Ustedes no son criminales! Ustedes son trabajadores! (You are not criminals! You are workers!)," elicited loud cheers.
The bill that was the inspiration for this gathering, H.R. 4437, has passed the House (239-182) and is now in the Senate. Although it falls short of what I might like to see, it does contain some healthy steps in the right direction.
It contains measures to prevent mass illegal immigration. Along the Mexican border, it authorizes construction of an additional 700 miles of security fencing - very similar to the highly effective fencing already in place in the San Diego area. It would also require implementation of an electronic verification system to be used by all employers to ensure that the workers they hire are legal residents. Failure to comply with the verification procedure could result in fines of up to $7,000 per violation for a first offense and as high as $40,000 the third time an employer gets caught hiring illegal aliens.
For me, the goal should be a state-of-the-art DMZ between our borders NORTH AND SOUTH, utilizing satellite imagery, unmanned surveillance drones, security cameras, seizmic detectors, staggered entry points and patrols on-call 24/7. This isn't just about poor Mexican farmers making a better life for themselves and their families. It is about indentured slavery, drug trafficking, gang-violence, government corruption (esp. Mexican) and terrorism. They want in, they can do it. Legally.
Illegal Mexican Immigrants might be a boon for some employers (who don't necessarily pass the savings on to the consumer), but they are a drain on our economy otherwise. Their education, healthcare and unemployment (among other costs) are picked up by the American Taxpayer. They contribute little or nothing to maintaining our infrastructure, public services and facilities - but are happy to use them.
What I don't quite understand here is why such an opportunity in Chicago was squandered - imagine rounding up 75,000 criminals and deporting them. A massive undertaking, to be sure, but it's not like it was a secret meeting. Isn't the Governor the Executive Officer of Law Enforcement for his state? Instead of committing an illegal act himself (aiding/harboring criminals, among others) he could have done the right thing - uphold the law of the United States. Seems to me that with a coordinated effort between federal forces, Illinois National Guard, neighboring State National Guards, immigration, border patrol and state, county and Chicago police forces - this could have been pulled off. And it would send a very powerful message to illegals and those who employ them.
"Change is coming. Here is your Wake-up Call."