Illegal used to mean something

Some of us in my state of Virginia know this and are fighting back. In this morning’s WaPo, I read that “Legislators in Virginia are intensifying their effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.” The story’s basic details are that some Republicans (no Democrats here, wonder why…)

…have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would, among other things, prevent illegal immigrants from attending state colleges and universities, punish businesses that employ them and require proof of citizenship or legal residency to obtain a marriage license.

Now, to be certain, the Post doesn’t state that it’s only Republicans who favor controlling illegal immigrants. Yet it is only Old Dominion “R”s who are pushing for what is a common-sense reading of what it means to be a citizen.

Virginia, along with many other states, both benefits and suffers from illegals. The benefits are economic, as illegals will work for less than their legal brethren. More importantly, less than the job-killing yet mandated minimum wage.

On the other hand, we in Virginia suffer from having criminals amongst us. Some quite violent and members of latino gangs (see, for example, this story). Many others likely not paying their state or Federal taxes, yet demanding public services and certainly engaging a goodly share of law enforcement resources.

Regardless of whether they’re violent or pay their taxes, all illegals are criminals. Some are violent, some not. But, yes, Virginia, they’re all criminals. That’s what “illegal” means: someone who is in violation of the law.

It’s been famously said that we are all immigrants or their children. True enough. But my folks became citizens (my dad after joining the U.S. Navy). And it is just as true that we are a nation of laws, not of men. Our laws should either be enforced, or changed. The continued willful disregard of immigration law makes a mockery of all laws. Anything that can assist is welcome.

Illegals should not be welcomed in my state, except by the weak-minded or venal businessmen who don’t care so long as it helps the bottom line. The former tend to be Democrats, the latter Republicans. But the issue transcends partisan politics. It is a national disgrace.

As for the immigrants themselves, many, if not most of whom just want to take care of their families, go in peace, get yourselves right with the system if you can. If you can’t, don’t expect to be treated as if you were a citizen.

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