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HomeUS PoliticsDi Leo: Citizens, Immigrants, and Illegals: A Long-Blind Nation Sees Clearly Again

Di Leo: Citizens, Immigrants, and Illegals: A Long-Blind Nation Sees Clearly Again




By John F. Di Leo - 

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been movie theaters, there have been some kids who’ve snuck in without paying. Whether it’s for a single film or a double feature, they know as long as they’re in the theater that there’s a chance they may get caught.  At any point, they might be asked to show their ticket stub, and if they can’t… they know they’ll be tossed out.  If it happens, they won’t complain, they won’t threaten to sue, because they knew the risk all along, and they don’t want to make things worse.   Every minute they’re in the building, they’re nervous… and they don’t really breathe easy until they’re out of there.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been resumes and job applications, there have been some people who’ve lied on them.  They may claim a college degree they didn’t earn, a past title they didn’t really hold, a past accomplishment they never really accomplished.  And they may get the job as a result, but they know it’s unearned, and they’re rightly nervous every day… until they’re found out, and bounced out, as a result.   When that day comes, they pack up their things in a box, and Security walks them out, on a day they always knew was someday bound to arrive.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been shops, there have been robbers.  They break in at night, perhaps on the weekend, and rummage around with their flashlights and their satchels, looking for the most valuable loot to steal before they make their escape.  They know they don’t belong there; they know they’re violating the law by their very presence in a private store after the doors were locked.  They’re nervous every second they’re indoors; terrified they’ll be caught, and rightly prosecuted, for the crime of being where they don’t belong, of taking things owned by others, of violating the property rights on which our nation and our economy depend.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

In all these cases, if the liar, the criminal, the gate-crasher has a family with him, that wife and kids are bounced as well. 

If a father smuggled his whole family into the theater, they’re all kicked out upon discovery. If the executive, the professional, the professor who lied on his resume, had a family to support, it’s his fault when his kids no longer have someone to pay for their car and their college; the employer doesn’t bounce the resume-fraudster while continuing to pay the bills for his family! The father is responsible for the hot water in which he’s landed his children, not the company he defrauded by his lies or his trespassing or his burglary.

Whatever the crime may be, we must never forget who the responsible party is.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

And so it is, too, with our porous borders. 

For generations, but especially in recent decades, despite there being an organized, legal way for foreigners to come to the United States, millions and millions of foreigners have bypassed that system and simply crossed our northern – or much more likely, our southern – borders… or arrived legally on a work, student, or tourist visa, then illegally overstayed it… either way, dropping out of the world of legality and consciously choosing to live in the shadows.

Some come to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits of the New Deal and the Great Society – free food, free housing, free education, free healthcare, free utilities, if you have someone to show you which programs to sign up for, and how.  And someone to help you get the fake ID you’ll need, to get the benefits that were intended only for indigent citizens, because that someone knows that once you’re here, you’re sure to vote their way.

Some come to join the criminal underworld, as dealers or carriers, as coyotes or gang bosses, as pimps or hookers. They come to take advantage of our relative wealth, our easygoing legal system, our teeming crowds and dark alleys. They come to steal, to injure, to destroy.

Others come to work hard, in construction or in restaurants, in landscaping or in factories, hoping to earn an honest living, perhaps so they can send money home to family in the countries they fled… although even here, we must always remember that, however hard they may work, they have to steal someone else’s Social Security Number to do it… breaking the laws of city, state, and nation just to be here.  Since they don’t pay all the taxes a citizen pays, they can work for less, and so they do.

And there are some who don’t come here of their own choice at all: the infants and children of any of the above, even those born here after the illegal immigrants arrived.  Brought here or conceived here by gate-crashing parents, these children never had a say in their fate.  Still, it was their parents who put them in this position, not us, not our government.  These children have no more permission to be here than their parents… but we Americans try to be fair, and generous, and compassionate; we don’t want to be cruel, so we find these cases particularly challenging.

These are all very different cases, varying in what kind of crime was intended through their presence.  The active criminal and the passive welfare recipient, the gate-crasher with a work ethic and the child brought here by others.  They’re all so different.  Our hearts overwhelm our minds, and we feel sorry for them, and we resist meting out the punishment that gate-crashers deserve.

Why?  Why is it so difficult to be firm?

Because our eyes are on the gate-crashers, who are so easy to pity.  We have all heard of the conditions in Central and South America, in Africa and Asia, in Caribbean islands and Middle Eastern war zones.  We imagine they come from the worst possible origins, and we can’t bring ourselves to apply the rigors of law enforcement and the stigma of deportation to these sufferers.  There, we imagine, but for the grace of God, go we.

To address this problem properly, we simply must change our perspective.

We must stop looking at the illegal immigrants, and instead look at the Americans amongst whom these illegals have embedded themselves.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

 We must keep our eye on the American citizens and green card holders (the legal immigrants, as opposed to the illegal aliens) – these are the people to whom our government owes its allegiance… and only them.

Now, what is the effect of these illegal aliens on our citizens and green card holders?

  • The working illegals take jobs that would otherwise be filled by citizens and legal immigrants. They are the reason that many of those 95 million unemployed don’t have work.
  • The working illegals drive the competitive wage down, so that even many of the citizens and legal immigrants who do work are paid less than they would otherwise be paid. It’s like the student whose grade alters the class curve; the mere presence of illegals in the workforce affects the going rate for everyone else.
  • The nonworking illegals raise the cost of government, by sucking up local, state, and federal dollars on the welfare benefits they enjoy but never earned. This raises the taxes of the citizens and legal immigrants, and reduces the benefits that ought to be available for those deserving citizens and legal immigrants.
  • All the illegals – as people of lesser cultures – contribute to the continued weakening of the American culture. Perhaps intending to (as with the islamists who pack sharia law in their luggage) or utterly unintentionally (as with the uneducated South Americans who know nothing of our Framers or the philosophy that made America the goldenah medina that it is), as long as these illegals are unassimilated into the American culture, their presence renders our nation less the America it once was, less the America that it was meant to be, and more the third world slum that these ambassadors of poverty left behind.
  • The criminal illegals – yes, it’s a redundancy, but the only way to refer to the robbers, gangsters, drug dealers, et. al. among the illegal population – also raise the cost of government, by necessitating more police, more courts, more public defenders, more jails. They raise the cost of our auto insurance, home insurance and business insurance, by raising the risk in our cities and other high crime areas.  There’s enough crime without them; there’s so much more crime with them.  They ruin property values.  And of course, as criminals, they directly ruin the lives of their innocent victims.

As in all aspects of criminal law, it is only when we turn our eyes away from the criminal’s plaintive expression, and concentrate on their victims, that our eyes are opened, and we can clearly see what needs to be done.

Should we feel sorry for people suffering in other countries?  Certainly.

We can donate to private charities that operate abroad.  We can support trade agreements that help create jobs for them in their home countries.  We can pray for them. And yes, we can and do offer a legal, organized, official way for a manageable flow of desirable foreign applicants to come to America, with legitimate green cards, at a rate moderate enough for them to assimilate into our great way of life… rather than a rate so great that their foreign way of life overwhelms ours.

But first and foremost, our government must fulfill its obligation to both American citizens and legal immigrants (both the people who have done it the right way, and the people still in the application process, waiting patiently overseas for their chance).

  • Our government must keep us safe from foreign invasion…
  • Our government must stanch the inbound flow of drugs and disease and crime that has poured through our borders for so long…
  • Our government must do what it can to keep foreign terrorists and gangs and sharia out of our country…
  • Our government must keep illegal foreign invaders from wreaking economic destruction by lowering our wages and stealing our entry-level jobs by unfair competition…
  • Our government must reduce this crippling explosion of the welfare state, an unsustainable burden of tens of millions of illegal recipients of taxpayer-funded health care, taxpayer-funded schooling, taxpayer-funded room and board. Our safety net is for the needy minority of 300 million Americans, not the needy majority of seven billion citizens of the world.
  • Our government must make up for the errant policy of recent decades, and work to return America to an appreciation of the American philosophy of our Founding Fathers… through both old-fashioned education and the visible example of the limitless potential of limited government.

It can be done.  Not all at once, not all in a day.  But by deporting some, more will leave of their own accord.  As with every other crime, a little enforcement causes widespread compliance.

It will work, because it has to work.

Otherwise, our nation – this City on a Hill, this noble experiment in limited government and republican ideals – will surely perish… not from nuclear war or plague or disease, but from simply allowing ourselves to cease to be the United States of America.

 Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based international trade compliance trainer, writer, and actor.  A onetime campaign activist and minor party official, he has now been a recovering politician for nearly twenty years (but, like any addiction, you’re never really cured).

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.


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  1. These are all legitimate arguments, but as far as the GOP in Illinois goes, they are – as the old Chicago Cubs broadcaster, Jack Brickhouse used to say, “A Day Late and a Dollar Short.”
    As early as 1994, I raised all these very arguments – with support from FAIR – on “Chicago Tonight,” Ed Vrdolak’s WLS radio show, Clark Weber’s radio talk show and before scores of community groups and all we heard from the IL GOP were —– crickets.
    I was called a “racist” as was Rosanna Pulido who came after me – and IL Republicans ran away from us as if we had the plague.
    Mark Kirk actually ran away from me at a GOP picnic, because he was afraid to hear these very arguments.
    The country and culture are in dire danger today, and it is in no small way a function of the short-sightedness and cowardice of our brave Republicans.