Burt Prelutsky

Sometimes, when I hear people objecting to illegal aliens on the grounds that they represent a security risk, I find myself shaking my head. To me, that sounds as if they wouldn’t have a problem with America’s porous southern border if only it weren’t for the tragic events of 9/11. The implication is that we wouldn’t object to all those millions of people sneaking into our country, except for those few bad apples who might be looking to level Los Angeles with a suitcase bomb.

These folks are entitled to their opinion, but they certainly don’t speak for me. My objection is based on the fact that I don’t like unwelcome guests. I don’t like them in my house and I don’t want them in my country.

Because we’re speaking, for the most part, about Mexicans, that opens me up to a charge of racism. So be it. In a society in which such repulsive characters as Barry Bonds, Cynthia McKinney, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte, and O.J. Simpson, deflect all manner of criticism by attributing it to white racists, the word has lost virtually all meaning.

I happen to like Mexicans. Living in the San Fernando Valley, I interact with them all the time. Several of them live on my block. I find them, by and large, to be a virtuous people. They tend to be hard-working, religious, family-oriented, and friendly. Although I’m not a big fan of refried beans and rice, I do like their music.

Unlike the anti-social, unaesthetic, dreck that usually passes for music these days, most Mexican songs seem to be love ballads. What’s more, thanks to church influence, their young people tend to get married and to raise their kids together. I do wish that, as a group, the youngsters were as enthusiastic about attending classes as they are about ditching class to take part in public demonstrations. 

All of that said, I am in favor of building a wall, digging a moat, doing whatever it takes to keep illegals out.

I understand that President Bush has a problem dealing with this problem. There are businesses, after all, that depend on a constant stream of unskilled workers. I say constant because we already have several million illegal aliens in America -- surely enough to pick our lettuce, bus our tables, wash our cars, and put the little mints on our hotel pillows. But this is the land of opportunity, and people don’t want to remain very long at the bottom of the food chain.