We – the Center for Individual Freedom – disagree with you on illegal immigration.
We appreciate your straightforward address to the nation, making your position clear. We recognize that you did not cause the problem. It's been building for decades, ever since the last so-called major immigration reform was enacted. That failure alone should be a warning to all of us, enacted as it was with the same empty assurances that are again being voiced.
As you did not cause the problem, neither did we, but the burden of it is on those who have broken no laws. What we want is straightforward.
We want progressively effective border security, whatever the methodology.
We want our immigration, employment and tax laws enforced.
We want no one, neither illegal immigrants nor the employers who facilitate them, to be rewarded for breaking our laws.
We want to encourage the legal immigration that has made this country what it is, while preserving the standards, character, culture, language and identity of this country and its ability to move forward with economic and social stability.
We are open to alternatives to achieve those goals. We can accept some temporary measures (such as your call for National Guard border support) and even some false starts, because the problem is so pervasive. But we need for our government, for once, now, to address it without sham, scam or pretense.
We cannot accept amnesty, no matter by what euphemism called or what sleight-of-hand implemented. That is wrong. It sends the wrong message to immigrant and citizen alike, it discards principle as its first victim and it portends a self-defeating end to a nation of laws. We cannot accept the cynicism of politicians who seem to think we cannot see through their pandering and posturing.
A new poll of Mexican voters indicates that fully half of that country's citizens believe their country is approaching chaos and government inability to deal with it. But exporting that chaos to the U.S. is the answer for neither country.
We fully acknowledge that we have more questions than answers. We cannot understand why the strong security and enforcement bill already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives cannot be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by you. We cannot understand why what we ask, really little more than our current laws basically require, is treated with such disdain and disrespect.
We do know how to listen and watch. We also have the belief that if illegal immigration is being treated as one of those Washington games in which politicians on both sides throw up their hands and say we tried really hard but we failed, then a fair number of them will have picked the wrong issue at the wrong time.
With all due respect, Mr. President, our government created the problem, and we, along with millions of others, expect our government to fix it, not compromise it away.May 19, 2006
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