On Immigration and Education

Newsweek published an article awhile back.  It is a “perspective” article, more an essay, from the point of view of an illegal alien.

Oh, I’m sorry, did I not use the politically correct term “Undocumented,” as the article’s author did?  Please pardon me as I show no remorse over my lapse in progressive judgement.  Actually, don’t.  There’s nothing to pardon.

While well intentioned, I am certain, this article shows the complete disregard for the rule of law by illegal aliens and their children.”K. Gonzalez” writes that she is no longer able to attend the University of California at Berkeley due to a lack of funds, and laments in a roundabout way that her illegal status prevents her from accessing some forms of assistance.

Clearly, “K. Gonzalez” is a hard-working person.  She worked hard at her education and got grades good enough to get into Berkeley.  That’s wonderful.  What she hasn’t shown is any regard for the law.  She is an illegal alien.  Now, she was brought here by her parents when she was just an infant.  There are existing legal methods available to her where she could become a legal resident, even a citizen of the United States.

Yes, these methods are difficult and confusing, but Ms. Gonzalez has shown a propensity for learning and navigating the strange and unknown.  Surely she could have spent some time to make herself a legal resident, even a naturalized citizen, opening up for her many more options that are not available to her now, including student loans, both public and private, and many more scholarships, grants and more.  In a case like Ms. Gonzalez’s, who was brought here long before she could make the decision for herself, most immigration proceedings are more lenient.  The longer she stays without coming forward, the less lenient the immigration courts become.

Should our immigration system be the confusing mess that it has become? No, it clearly needs reform so that people who want to come to the United States to live a better life for themselves and their families can do so.  However, there is no reason why a person who ignores the rule of law should jump to the front of the line simply because they are already here and come from a favored political class and/or ethnicity.

I will give Ms. Gonzales the benefit of the doubt that she did not write her essay as part of an effort to promote the DREAM Act or any other sympathy for illegal aliens.  I will give her the benefit of the doubt that she simply wanted to write her story so we could all see the difficulty of attending a university and getting an advanced education in modern society.

I will give Newsweek no benefit of any such doubt.

Immigration is a good thing.  Accepting the strength, talent and intellect of other nations is part of what has allowed the United States to continue its record of innovation and economic expansion, but immigration laws exist for good reasons.  First, we want to be sure of who is entering the country and that they do not have ill intentions.  Second, we want to be certain that immigrants are not carrying infectious diseases.  And yes, there is a component of protecting American culture and allowing immigrants to assimilate into that culture without overwhelming it.

In the 300s AD, the Romans allowed a large group of immigrants to enter the Roman Empire in what now Bulgaria.  This group was seeking protection from an invading army, economic opportunity and a new homeland.  The Romans exploited this group for political, economic and military gain, leaving them as impoverished second-class citizens and fodder for the Roman Legions.  That group was named the Visigoths, and they would run rampant through the Empire and eventually do what Hannibal could not: Capture and sack Rome itself.

It is unlikely that Mezo-American illegal aliens will form an army that could challenge the First Infantry Division, but until we secure our southern border and begin to sort-out the mess that is our current immigration system, they will remain an underclass and a political football to be bandied about by liberals and conservatives alike.

Cross-posted at Seeking Liberty.

See also at RedState: Illegal Immigration has Consequences.