Sep 30 2006
As many know I am for the comprehensive bills on immigration reform. The naive idea held by much of the conservative chattering class that a fence will suffice only affirms the idea conservatives are not perfect. I am also for less strident punishments for those aliens who have come here, set up roots and been law abiding members of their communities. We do not send people to jail or confiscate their property or boot them into the street for not providing the government all the proper permission forms, so not have a work permit to live a good life here in our midst is not a felony. The fact someone might earn citizenship in ten years (after everyone else in line has a shot, plus background checks, training in English and paying all taxes due) is doesn unnerve me.
But all that aside, those conervatives who are agitated about illegal immigration have one reasonable point – violent illegal aliens. The ones not here to make a good living. The predators and hardened criminals. Here I join chorus with the broader anconservative population. And I go one further. Whether an alien is here legally or illegally, violent criminal behavior is sufficient to get the boot and to never come back. While the immigrant who wants to be a valued part of our community is welcomed, the criminal is not. And I have long advocated a one-strike-your-out approach to this problem. Now we see the Feds taking a stand using current laws to and process them out of here. That is good news and much more important than a fence. Fences keep people in as well as out. BTW, I hail from Herndon, VA which is on the front line of trying to balance support for new arrivals with a crackdown on bad behavior. People need to keep the two issues distinct. Being an alien actually implies a higher probability of being a good, law abiding, productive neighbor. And we all know violent behavior is not limited to aliens.