Losing the Battle on Illegal Immigration?

By Ronald W. Mortensen on August 9, 2010

Opponents of illegal immigration are often frustrated that the public remains ambivalent about illegal immigration and that the political, business, religious, civic and media elites continue to unconditionally support illegal aliens.

Those of us who oppose illegal immigration spend an inordinate amount of time fighting defensive battles.

We fight to prevent the passage of illegal-alien-friendly legislation at the state, local and federal levels.

We fight to overturn laws and policies that grant illegal aliens special benefits.

We fight to secure the border.

We fight to get federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to change policies that offer protection to illegal aliens and to enforce existing immigration law.

We fight to obtain the same level of access to policy makers and senior government officials that the advocates for illegal aliens have and we fight to replace officials who openly support illegal aliens with individuals who will uphold the law.

And yet, in spite of all of our efforts, we still find ourselves all too often on the defensive and unable to bring about the policy changes that are required to effectively address illegal immigration and the crimes that are associated with it.

Our efforts to get officials to enforce current immigration laws and to target illegal-alien-driven, employment-related identity are ignored by those responsible for administering and enforcing the law.

Elected officials, senior law enforcement officers, and civil servants at the state, federal, and local levels continue to violate their oaths of office and federal law by openly and actively encouraging and enticing illegal immigration through sanctuary city policies, in-state tuition programs for illegal aliens, and by providing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

In spite of this, no action is taken against these officials for violating the law, but when an official does try to uphold his oath of office and comply with the law, he suffers the wrath of illegal aliens, their advocates, and even other government authorities.

On the other hand, federal officials actively work to prevent states from enforcing immigration law, as evidenced by the Obama administration’s challenge to Arizona’s recently passed law.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actively searches for ways to allow literally millions of illegal aliens who are committing employment-related felonies (document fraud, perjury on I-9 forms, and identity theft) to remain in the United States through deferred action and by giving them the equivalent of diplomatic immunity.

Bipartisan support exists in Congress for the DREAM Act, which cynically equates showing up for two years of college to an honorable discharge from the United States armed forces. (Go to college for two years, get Cs, protest Arizona’s SB1070, join the separatist Brown Berets who advocate violence, oppose military recruiters on campus, and you get on the path to citizenship).

At all levels of government, public officials grant advocates for illegal aliens special status through advisory groups, taxpayer-funded offices of ethnic affairs, and unlimited access to senior elected officials while slamming the doors in the face of American citizens who oppose illegal immigration.

Government officials assure illegal aliens that their illegal status will not be disclosed, that their use of fraudulent documents and the identifying information of American citizens will be ignored, and that laws that could affect their ability to obtain jobs will not be enforced.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and other facilitators of illegal alien employment knowingly and willingly sacrifice millions of American children to illegal-alien-driven, job-related identity theft.

These same organizations oppose all legislation that would make it more difficult for employers to hire illegal aliens or to hold businesses accountable for employing illegal workers who are committing multiple job-related felonies.

When legislation does pass that hampers their ability to employ illegal aliens, these business interests use their huge financial resources to file lawsuits to prevent the laws from taking effect and they often succeed in their efforts.

Religious organizations, civic and education leaders, and the mainstream media elites continue to promote the myth of the noble illegal alien who is just trying to make a better life for his children while ignoring the damage wreaked on American children by illegal aliens who use their identifying information to get jobs and on the billions of people who would like to be able to legally immigrate to the United States but who are willing to play by the rules.

Even though large majorities of the public tell pollsters that they oppose illegal immigration and support the Arizona law, even larger percentages (depending on how the question is phrased) continue to support a pathway to citizenship for the 12-20 million illegal aliens already in the United States and the hundreds of millions of family members who will follow.

After years of efforts to control and reverse illegal immigration, the flow of new illegal immigrants crossing the border continues even during a time of serious economic downturn.

Employers continue to hire and retain illegal aliens in construction and other desirable jobs at a time when they are laying off Americans and when large numbers of American citizens and legal residents are unemployed in these areas.

While we applaud a decline in the total number of illegal aliens in the United States, we also recognize that the weak economy is largely responsible for this.

Strong laws passed in one or two states have only very marginally contributed to the overall decrease in illegal aliens in the United States because the vast majority of illegal immigrants simply relocate to other, more illegal-alien-friendly states.

In summary, despite years of efforts to address the problems of illegal immigration, success is still largely defined in terms of defeating initiatives that would reward illegal aliens for criminal behavior or in making it marginally harder for illegal aliens to get jobs and taxpayer-funded benefits.

We defeated "comprehensive immigration reform" and prevented passage of the DREAM Act but we did not end illegal immigration or stop the efforts to pass these bills.

We stopped additional states from granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens but we did not end these programs in the states that already have them nor did we end the efforts to implement them in still other states.

We passed state and local laws designed to help control illegal immigration but in all too many cases these laws were either totally nullified or significantly weakened by the courts and/or by law enforcement officials who refuse to enforce them.

At best, we can say that we have held the proponents of illegal immigration in check and fought them to a standstill over amnesty.

At worst, we can say we have lost because we have not ended illegal immigration, have not prevented the Obama administration’s de facto amnesty and have not solved the problem of millions of illegal immigrants who routinely commit serious felonies in order to live and work in the United States.

Why is this the case and why, after years of effort, haven’t we been more successful?

Future blogs will look at how the battle has been fought to date and what we need to do differently if we are to quit losing and start winning.