Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If I were to ever develop a "man-crush", it would be on the brilliant Thomas Sowell. At (I believe) 75 years young, he is - in my opinion - the preeminent columnist of our times. Considering his background, education and experiences, I have concluded that anyone who really wants an honest portrait of history and it's impact on current events need only to read his columns regularly.

I was only going to link his latest article here, but I guess I have more to say than that.

My opinions regarding illegal immigration seem obvious to me. I believe we should allow legal immigration and do everything we can to stop the illegal ones. I support building a security fence between the U.S. and Mexico and I support strong measures to punish those who are here without permission. I believe that until we are able to slow the flood of illegal aliens in our country, we will always be at grave risk.

The fact that the majority of illegals are of Hispanic dissent is meaningless to me. I don't care where they are from as long as they do not flaunt our laws. Each time an illegal immigrant is allowed to stay in our country without permission, we demean the millions of immigrants who have followed the rules.

I have been asked why I care about this issue. After all, I'm not living in Texas anymore, or Arizona for that matter. Even when I lived in California, it never really affected me much. To this, I have two answers:
1. Assimilation
2. Costs

We all remember the stories our parents told us about how they, or their parents, came to America. The story was always the same - they came through Ellis Island (or some other harbor) and once they were processed, they did two things - they got a job and they learned English. Many people will tell you that America is a great melting pot of different cultures, and of course it's true. But by melting all of these cultures together, we created a new one - an American one. What ties all of these cultures into this giant American culture is language, and that language is English.

Somehow, maybe while we weren't paying attention (I'm guessing it was in the 70's, a time it seemed no one was watching), we began to fall into a trap of globalism. Perhaps started out of the liberal conclaves of San Francisco, a new generation (a post-hippy generation) emerged with new ideas on education and culture. As it spread, it brought with it new catch-phrases and lingo. "multi-culturalism" and "I'm Okay, You're Okay," just to name a couple. Soon, it became chic to be a revolutionary. "G-d" was out, "therapy" was in. As Americans began eating from the "Tree of Knowledge" our eyes opened and we rejoiced in what we saw.

Unfortunately, as we continued to unravel the ties that held our culture together, we opened ourselves up to a very slippery-slope that has now taken a firm hold of our senses. We no longer require our children to know our language. We no longer demand educational excellence. We worry more about what's "politically correct" than what's culturally necessary. We no longer teach kids the lesson of winning and losing and we hide the child from shame. We send our young ones to march in "Gay Pride" parades instead of teaching them about world history. We tell our students that there is no evil greater than George Bush, while admiring the courage of Hugo Chavez. We deam it unnecessary to teach about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Alexander Hamilton - we even punish a teacher for quoting from George Washington's diary. Yet, we allow Holocaust deniers the "right" to continue spewing their dangerous lies to our most vulnerable charges.

To be honest, I never cared that when I make a phone call to a public utility, I have to press 1 for English. But by the same token, why should I have to? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explained that over 50% of all immigrants (illegal and legal) fail to learn English within the first 5 years of living in the US. That number becomes over 90% if you take out the law-abiding immigrants.

As for the costs, I can understand the allure of cheap labor. I know many people, myself included, who have hired illegals to do anything from mow my lawn to be a nanny to my kids (it should be noted that this was back in the day when I voted for Al Gore). But seriously, while I may get a cheap mow, who really pays the bill?

In California alone, 75 hospitals have had to close their doors because they could no longer afford to stay open. They reason given was because of the high cost of treating illegals who had neither insurance, nor money to pay for services. Hundreds of schools are stretched beyond their limit to educate the children of immigrants.

Free health care and free education. Well, free for them. Everyone else pays. And this is no longer strictly a partisan issue. I believed that the Democrats dearly wanted to pass an amnesty bill because it was likely that an overwhelming majority of illegals would vote Democrat. But now, as everything has turned on it's head, even President Bush has tried to ram through his own shamnesty bill - hoping that he wouldn't be rebuked by his supporters.

He was wrong.

As we learned in the Bible, without a cohesive language, a culture can not and will not survive. English should never be taught as a "second language." As far as I'm concerned, if you want to come here, you can be whatever religion you want, be whatever sexual orientation you want. be whoever you want. But to live here, you must accept what it is to be an American. Abiding our laws and learning our language must be mandatory. Jumping the border must be punished.

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