Illegal. Not legal. Punishable by law. Determined to be undesirable by us. Enacted to protect our freedoms by those that we elect.
It is illegal to do drugs. It is illegal to murder. It is illegal to drive faster than 15 miles per hour in a school zone, and it is definitely illegal to enter a country who didn’t sign your permission slip first.
In case you have been living under a rock, but are for some reason reading only my articles under there, illegal immigration is a thing again.
I’m ready to talk about immigration candidly, if you are.
Now before you pull the pitchforks out of storage from the 2012 election cycle, let me clarify something. I am not suggesting people who are here illegally are necessarily bad people. They or their families just did a bad thing when they entered or remained in this country illegally.
I’m sure a lot of people are getting angry now, preparing their speeches about how this poor kid has been here their whole life or how a mother of 12 children had no opportunities in her native country. Just for a minute let me draw for you a distinction.
There are some crimes that are illegal because they are inherently wrong. An example of this is rape. Hopefully, we can all agree that forcing sex on someone is wrong.
Then there are those things that are illegal simply because, for some reason or another, we found it necessary, like a “status offense.” For instance, it is not illegal to drive. It is, however, illegal to drive before you are 16 years old, “under the influence” or if you have a suspended license.
It is not inherently wrong to move to the U.S.
Almost everyone who lives here now is an immigrant from some place or another, but it is illegal to enter or remain in this country in violation of the laws.
So yes, that heart-wrenching story you have prepared is sad. And yes, I promise you I have a heart.
But unless the law is changed, it is still a law and must be followed. Sure, we could open our borders and let everyone in or simply provide amnesty for all those who were “good citizens” and were daring enough to break our laws in the first place.
But I think the real sad story here are those who want to come here legally, and are denied the chance.
I know everyone laughed at Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” proposal, but what if we actually sanctioned those who were here illegally? What if we allowed more legal migrants to enter our borders to fill the labor void this would cause?
What if these migrants paid taxes and paid into Social Security and had little American babies and lived the American Dream? Because that’s what we are about — giving everyone a fair chance.
And how is rewarding those who break our laws a “fair chance”?
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., disappointed me on so many levels this week when he suggested those who want to work and are already here can be accommodated.
No, senator, those who are not here and want to be are the ones with whom we should be concerned.
I can’t believe the Supreme Court even has to consider if we should have to show identification in order to vote. I can’t believe those who are here legally and can vote would vote for anyone who would promote the breaking of their own laws.
We are a free country because there are laws to protect us as citizens. If we break those laws, where is our legitimacy?
Reach the columnist at email@example.com or follow her at @haleykmills