Country needs thoughtful action on issues of illegal immigration

It’s a heartwarming story, it comes from The New York Times and it tells of how lax enforcement of illegal immigration statutes in New York City may well have been crucial in the rescue of a child kidnapped by her father and tucked away in China.

If city officials hadn’t been willing to turn a blind eye toward the mother’s illegal status, she could not have secured the help she needed from a variety of sources, an attorney told the paper.

The father is now in a city jail and the daughter is home with the Mexican mother, who has obtained the green card that was important in achieving this happy ending and will allow her to stay and work here.

Now here’s another story about hands-off sanctuary policies practiced in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Va., and their consequence for someone else’s daughter. A 16-year-old girl out driving with a friend stopped at a red light and then was rear-ended by another car going 70 mph. She and the friend were killed.

As told by the girl’s father in Human Events magazine, the unharmed driver of the other car was an illegal immigrant drunk out of his mind. Twice before, he had been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

So yes, it can seem harsh to actually figure out whether people are here illegally or not and then make them pay the penalty of going back home, but it can be even harsher to others in the country not to do that. Look, for instance, at two issues the country is now very much focused on: health care and jobs.

I had not realized until recently told by a nurse that large numbers of illegal immigrants receive benefits from Medicaid. Checking the Internet, I found that a three-year study of 50,000 Emergency Medicaid patients in North Carolina showed that 99 percent of them were in fact undocumented workers. I also found a study saying Medicaid for the illegals amounts to some
$2.5 billion a year on top of many billions for other welfare help.

If you want to fix an important part of what ails our health care system, the nurse said to me, you really need to deal with illegal immigration.

Then we get to jobs and the myth that you can’t find Americans to take on the unpleasant, low-paying work done by illegals. Yes, you can. These jobs are mostly in fields dominated by American citizens more than happy to earn this pay, especially in these recessionary times.

Cities should cut out the sanctuary programs and the federal government should step up already-improved efforts to prevent entry into the country and the hiring of illegals.

Amnesty would be a disaster, terribly costly and an invitation for others to come here illegally. Democrats should give up this hunt for votes, just as Republicans ought to quit seeking out cheap labor for business constituents.

Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at Speaktojay@aol.com.
 

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