When citizens of a foreign country enter the United States, they do so in one of two ways: the right way or the wrong way.
The right way is the way that millions upon millions of Americans and their forefathers got here. They arrived legally, understanding that the American dream they sought could not be realized until they weaved themselves into the fabric of America. Working hard. Learning the language, the customs and the traditions. Integrating themselves into their neighborhoods and society at large. Embracing their new country. They want to be here, they want to be Americans, and they want to assimilate and contribute not just in the workforce, but to society as a whole.
The wrong way is to sneak into the country illegally.
When people run across the desert in the dark of night, swim across a river, or overstay a visa, their very first action here is one of utter hostility towards our nation. Contempt for the rule of law. This is not a nation of men, but a nation of laws. (President Obama may not agree, but I digress...)
The vast majority of people that come here, both legally and otherwise, do so because America has so much to offer. Even now with a slow economy and tough job market, America is still a land of opportunity for all. "Poor" in America would be considered rich beyond comprehension to a vast number of people outside of our borders. Make no mistake...America is far from perfect, but we didn't go from nothing in the 1700s to the sole world power 300 years later because we weren't doing things right.
The difference between those that come here legally and those who don't is fairly simple. Illegal aliens want to take advantage of all America has to offer, but have no desire to reciprocate. They have no use for things like learning the language. They don't give a damn about weaving themselves into the fabric of America. They don't care about the country or its society. A study cited by the New York Times found that only 40% of illegal aliens pursued citizenship after being granted amnesty in 1986. In short, most have no use for anything but a way to make money to send home to their families in the countries to which they remain loyal. They want amnesty so that it's easier to do so.
This doesn't necessarily mean getting a real job, either. Many illegals came here with heavy loads of narcotics on their backs from the drug cartels south of the border. Others joined Latino-oriented street gangs such as MS-13 and are part of the cartels' distribution network.
The only group of illegal aliens that I have any sympathy for are those that were young children when their parents brought them here illegally. They didn't have a choice in coming here, and as they get older they are being told they can't fully participate in the only country they have ever known. The parents of these children deserve special punishment for subjecting their kids to the challenges they are facing today.
Since what was to be the "last amnesty" passed into law in 1986, granting a mere 3 million people legal status in this country, we have been besieged by 10 million more illegal aliens. This is because the border was utterly ignored in 1986. However, today our politicians boast that the border is as "secure as it's ever been", but he presence of these additional 10 million illegal aliens prove that "secure as it's ever been" is wholly unacceptable. We're right back where we left off in 1986, but with four times the number of illegal aliens for taxpayers to support and our government to deal with.
Anyone with a lick of sense should be able to connect the dots and see what kind of impact 12 million newly legal workers would do to the job market not only for American citizens, but also those immigrants that respect the rule of law and endured the process to come here legally. You think it's tough finding a job today? It will be twice as hard if another amnesty bill is passed.
There is already a "pathway to citizenship" available to those here illegally. It's called applying for citizenship and waiting your turn just like millions of legal immigrants have already done. Meanwhile, as far as I'm concerned, illegals in this country today can "live in the shadows" (seriously?) and deal with the challenges that are inherent in choosing to be here illegally. Why should they get special consideration?
The pro-amnesty idiots love to talk about "fairness". I think it would be amusing to watch them peddle their amnesty nonsense to a family that waded through tons of red tape and waited years to get here about what's "fair" and what's not.
It is wrong to cross our border illegally. It is even more wrong to reward those who did with legal status. Two wrongs don't make a right. Any immigration reform bill absolutely MUST deal with border security first; anything short of that is 100% unacceptable. It's colossally stupid to bail the water before plugging the hole.