Last Wednesday’s paper carried a letter by Mr. Ron Chandonia that touched on a topic that deserves, and is poised to receive, considerably more involvement nationally and in Georgia: illegal aliens.
First, lets understand basic terms. Aliens (not the ET kind) are people who are not citizens or nationals of the United States. They can be here legally (comply with entry and visitation term requirements, as many students, tourists, and workers do) or illegally (they do not comply with U.S. entry laws). We have a large number of both in the U.S. and in Georgia.
Aliens may be further classified as resident or non-resident, immigrant and non-immigrant, and documented or not (illegal).
Despite Mr Chandonia’s compassion for others, his assertion that there are “law-abiding immigrants without papers” is nonsensical; if they haven’t complied with U.S. immigration laws they are not law abiding. You can’t be “mostly a virgin.”
In 2011, we are all going to have to sort through the tough business of defining how we respond to legal and illegal aliens, work visas, benefits, and their attendant costs.
This will be a far-reaching debate that requires compassion as well as thoughtful consideration of the realities of open doors.
With some of our choices, as in all other areas of law, we will need the courage to “step up” and enforce the rules, just as we do when enforcing difficult rules with our own children.
Emotion and compassion will certainly enter the debate, but must not dominate it. They must be tempered with the far-reaching consequences of feelings gone unchecked.
Nationally, for example, how many aliens can our culture assimilate each year and still retain its essential character?
I don’t mean everyone has to look, dress, eat, and celebrate the way I do. Not at all; but to retain the character that made us the pinnacle of individual freedom and the destination of others throughout the world, I believe immigrants to our culture must continue to embrace the Constitution, respect the rule of law, individual liberty, and strive for equal opportunity for all citizens (both male and female).
To begin this tough process, Representative Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) has been selected to co-chair a joint House/Senate panel looking for solutions to immigration issues. Rather than denigrate Ramsey and the panel, I challenge Mr. Chandonia to understand the complete breadth of the panel’s charter and contribute workable suggestions.
For every well-intentioned recommended benefit, there are costs that taxpayers must fund instead of using their earnings for their own rents, mortgages, food, health costs, education, and the like.
Mr. Chandonia hasn’t addressed this vexing side of the equation, while denigrating those who must.
Peachtree City, Ga.