Get it Right: “Undocumented” sounds nice–“Illegal” is accurate

Opinion by Erica Morgan
April 28, 2010, 12:39 a.m.

Get it Right: “Undocumented” sounds nice--"Illegal” is accurateWall Street may enjoy a brief period of respite from the role of perfidious villain in the blame game propagated by the President in the coming weeks. The rules of this game are simple: assign culpability for the nation’s problems to some arch-nemesis. Previously, the position of Public Enemy No. 1 has been filled by President Bush (what can’t we blame on him), CIA interrogators (abusing helpless terrorists), health care insurance providers (greedy profit-seeking charlatans), Tea Partiers (raising Cain by quoting the Constitution…oh no!) and finally New York bankers (they single-handedly brought down the highly regulated “free” market…oxymoron?). However, the bankers may be able to continue their nefarious activities while their regulators watch porn at the taxpayers’ expense, at least for a short while, as a new blackguard threatens to wreak havoc on the greatness of our nation.

Arizona governor Jan Brewer had the audacity last Friday to sign into law a bill that reinforces federal illegal immigration laws. Having heard hysterical cries of “racism” and “apartheid” on the news waves, I decided to investigate the new law in an attempt to decipher how, in Obamaspeak, it threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”

The law prohibits Arizona officials from limiting “the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.” It requires officials to determine immigration status if there is suspicion of illegality. It makes illegal immigration a state crime (note: it is already a federal crime). It prevents illegal immigrants from working in Arizona. For the record, under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, any citizen of any country who “(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact” has committed a federal crime.

Given the existing federal statute, I wonder how exactly the “misguided” Arizona governor (along with the 70 percent of the “misguided” population that supported the bill) is violating American “notions of fairness?” Outraged predictions of racial profiling fly in from the left as commentators like Reverend Al Sharpton boldly declare, “we will bring freedom walkers to Arizona…we cannot sit by and allow people to be arbitrarily and unilaterally picked off as suspects because of the color of their skin.”

The race card has been played too many times. As Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce said, “illegal is not a race; it’s a crime.” Arizona shares a border with Mexico. Thus, it is not surprising that the majority of illegal border crossers are Mexican. Acknowledging this fact, and suggesting that the laws of our nation actually be enforced, is not a coordinated attack on people of Mexican heritage. It is an attempt to protect the rights of American citizens and legal immigrants.

According to, the money wired to Mexico since January of 2006 amounts to more than $28.9 billion. There are approximately 22.7 million illegal aliens in the country, who have incurred social service costs of $397 billion since 1996. How is that demonstrating “fairness” to the American taxpayers providing these social services?

Small wonder that Mexico is displeased with the new law. The government of Mexico, in a two-page statement, laments that “legislators that approved this bill and the Governor of Arizona did not take into account the valuable contributions of [illegal] immigrants to the economy, society and culture of Arizona and the United States.”

Nobody is discounting the contributions of immigrants to the nation. How is it unjust to require that those who benefit from life in America do so legally? How is it racist to suggest that protecting the rights of American citizens trumps protecting non-citizens? It is ridiculous to claim that anti-illegal immigration laws are unconstitutional when, by definition, illegal aliens are not protected by the constitution.

Erica is equally displeased with illegal Canadian immigrants. Commiserate? [email protected].

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