The New York Times claims that “waves of anti-immigrant hostility have made many in this country forget who and what we are,” in an editorial modestly comparing Alabama’s recently-enacted penalties against illegal immigrants and their employers to the Fugitive Slave Act.
I have never met a legal immigrant from a country other than Mexico who does not strenuously oppose illegal immigration (and indeed I know at least one naturalized Mexican resident of California who is just as vociferously against the illegal flow across the southern border). Are such legal immigrants “anti-immigrant”? Or are they against illegal immigration — a distinction which the illegal-alien lobby works incessantly to erase. If anyone would know what this country stands for, it should be legal immigrants, who have gone through the demanding process of gaining legal residency here. And they understand that what sets the U.S. apart is the rule of law — as well as how fragile that rule of law is. Legal Iranians, Egyptians, Columbians, and Nigerians oppose illegal entry not because they are xenophobic; they oppose illegal aliens because of their behavior — deliberately breaking the law as their first act upon entering the country.
The Times, joined by an ever-growing army of politicians, wants to obliterate any distinction between legal and illegal immigration by erasing the penalties for illegal entry. This de facto amnesty has in fact been in place for the vast majority of illegal aliens, which is why a growing number of states are now trying to give effect to federal immigration laws which Washington has failed to enforce.
Until the Times can persuade the American people to discard the country’s immigration laws — the most liberal in the world — it is on weak ground in accusing those who want to apply those laws of racism and civil-rights violations.