Burt Prelutsky

Recently, I attended a conference headed up by the great Ward Connerly. Over the two days, a great many issues were discussed by the group. The participants weren't exactly a cross section of the general public, consisting, as the gathering did, of lawyers, academics, successful businessmen, and me.

Although there were divided opinions on all the issues, the one that created the most heat and, I suspect, the least light was the matter of illegal immigrants. You couldn't even get everybody to agree it was a problem. For those who favored open borders, "undocumented workers" was the term of choice. In the end, it all came down to the same old liberal/conservative argument.

Those whose attitude can best be summed up as "the more the merrier" accuse the opposition of being racist. Those on the other side argue that a nation without borders is no nation at all, but merely a state of mind.

Just last week, I was arguing the issue with a friend. I pointed out that every other country in the world guards its borders, and that definitely includes Mexico, which protects its own southern border while violating our own on a daily basis. He said he didn't care what other countries did. He believed that America, being America, should have a welcome mat out for anyone who wants to enter. He didn't want to slam the door in the face of poor people.

I told him he was a hypocrite. After all, I knew for a fact that he had locks on the windows and doors of his home. Why shouldn't poor people be allowed to enter his dwelling and set up housekeeping in his living room? By what right should he have greater authority over his property than the nation has over its own?

I live in Los Angeles, haven to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. It is also the place that Cardinal Mahony, defender of pedophile priests, calls home. Any time a local politician suggests that illegals are coarsening the quality of life in our community while crowding our schools and overwhelming our health care resources, Mahony can be counted on to label the man a racist. Like an actor responding to his cue, Mahony will insist that these are all hard-working Mexicans who are only looking to share in the American dream. But does anyone really believe that Mahony or any of his colleagues in the Catholic hierarchy, all of them looking to fill church pews, would give a damn how hard-working those border sneaks were if they happened to be Lutherans?

Those who condemn us, the anti-illegal crowd, as racists are always contending we wouldn't be so anxious to defend our borders if those were Swedes coming across.