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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

It's time to take up our welcome mat

Sunday, May 18, 2003

I doubt seriously there is anything we can do about it but does it amaze you that there are 388,000 illegal immigrants in this nation who have been ordered deported but remain at large? As I said, other than voice frustration and demand some unnamed illusive action, there is probably nothing whatsoever that we can do to address this problem.

But let me amaze you even more. Of that 388,000 figure, about 80,000 have been ordered deported because they committed crimes and have served prison time. They may have entered the country legally and become permanent residents, but they committed crimes that were deportable offenses and yet they remain free and roaming this nation.

Now don't be overly alarmed. These 388,000 immigrants are not all terrorists who threaten the health and safety of this nation. I'm certain that's not the case. But it remains puzzling how and why and when and where this huge number of immigrants can somehow function in society, even hold jobs and carry on their lives in a fairly normal fashion. And not trying to sound too liberal, most pose no threat to our society, most are simply fleeing economic poverty in their homelands and they see America as their salvation. But then again...

These immigrants are just a small portion of the overall number of legal and illegal immigrants in America. But these particular 388,000 have for a variety of reasons completed the legal process and have been ordered deported back to their homelands. That differentiates them from the millions of hard-working legal immigrants who provide the work force needed to run the machinery of society.

How can this happen you might ask? Well it beats the heck out of me. I recognize that the problem is so enormous and so far-reaching that we cannot under any circumstances monitor each and every immigrant who crosses our borders - legally or illegally. But I do know we can do a better job than we are doing currently.

This week - in an unrelated incident - a truck loaded with as many as a 100 illegal immigrants was abandoned in Texas. You've read the headlines - about 17 were found dead in an abandoned trailer while others were hospitalized in horrible conditions. Let's boil it down to this one example. How could these illegal immigrants make it across the Mexican border hidden in a truck trailer with the enormous emphasis we currently have on terrorism? That is most definitely not reassuring to a public scared and alarmed.

Now couple this one minor example with the fact that there remain 388,000 illegal immigrants already ordered deported because their reasons for being here or their current or past criminal activities rendered them unacceptable. That equates to a sincere and real problem.

I'm not at all certain that more money is the solution. But I do know there are people who specialize in controlling and maintaining the security of our borders. They must be given a mandate like none other before. And that mandate must put a halt to the illegal arrivals and the illegal immigrants who continue to live here when our laws say they should not.

Until the American public rises up in massive numbers, we'll wink at the problem and throw a few more INS agents along the borders. But the problem will not go away until the American public says "enough is enough". And thus far, we've clearly not reached that point.

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