Message to politicians: Protect the borders

Matthew White

Border-security advocates have picked up another victory and corrected yet another politician who thought he’d put the rights of illegal immigrants over the rights of honest, law-abiding American citizens.

On Wednesday, Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York gave up on his proposal to make driver’s licenses available to illegal immigrants, largely due to overwhelming public opposition.

Spitzer’s plan would have rewarded lawbreakers with a privilege (driving) and provided an opportunity for terrorists or criminals to gain new or additional legal documentation to aid in their crimes.

What’s scary about that is it’s things such as driver’s licenses that will allow criminals and terrorists — who cross the border just as easily as anyone else — to attack us from within.

Criminals seeking to commit fraud would have flocked to New York to obtain new identities to perpetrate their scams. And, terrorists — who are able to enter our country too easily already — could have used the new documentation to establish themselves as legitimate citizens while waiting for the signal to attack.

But, Spitzer’s plan has yet another flaw: It would have created a more hospitable environment for illegal aliens who have snuck into this country — exactly the opposite of what our public policy should do.

The fact is, Americans deserve to have their laws enforced from border to border, not to have them weakened or ignored by politicians who feel compassion is more important than patriotism. And, Americans certainly don’t deserve an irresponsible government that paves the way for foreigners to hurt them.

Legal documentation should be available to citizens only. Many items in our nation function upon being able to accurately identify someone, and that must not be compromised. Legal citizens deserve to know that when someone hands them a driver’s license, or any other piece of identification, the person they’re dealing with is who he or she says she is.

While defeating Spitzer’s plan was a great victory, it isn’t the only recent victory for border security advocates.

Consider the DREAM Act, which would have provided amnesty for illegal aliens currently residing in the United States. This terrible piece of legislation was defeated last October in the Senate; it failed to even get enough votes to even get out of committee.

The sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, was attempting to revive a small portion of the terrible legislation proposed by President Bush last June. Bush pushed for this legislation despite it being extremely unpopular. It was ultimately defeated when an enormous number of Americans woke up and assailed Congress with letters, faxes and phone calls.

According to an ABC News opinion poll conducted in September, 67 percent of the American public feels the government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration. And, according to a McLaughlin & Associates poll done in April, nine out of 10 voters say illegal immigration is a problem with almost two in every three voters citing illegal immigration as a major problem.

In an era when the common people are too often ignored, average people are stepping up and making sure they’re heard.

All of these politicians — Spitzer, Durbin and Bush — and anyone else who supports rewarding illegal aliens with legal status have been rudely awakened to the feelings of Americans who want their border protected. It’s up to them, now, to do something about it.

Matthew White is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].