Much of the anger is caused by the federal government's refusal to adequately enforce existing immigration laws. Most citizens know that if they break laws, they will pay a penalty. They know their driver's license is a privilege and that the state that issues them can take them away when certain laws are broken. They see New York Governor Eliot Spitzer ordering special classes of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and regard it as a double standard. Countries to which Americans travel prohibit us from working in those countries, but we are told we must accept law-breaking foreign workers.
Illegal immigration is one of several contributing factors to the growing anger of many citizens who are told by courts, editorial writers, some columnists, activists and other rabble that whatever they believe in, fight for, pay for and worship must always take second place to what others believe, especially if it opposes their beliefs. The law-abiding, "traditional value" crowd is never asked for their opinion on anything. Those with traditional values are having what they regard as illegalities and immoralities imposed upon them with all of the gusto they are so often accused of wishing to impose on others. They see the country being transformed without their permission and they are rightly disturbed about it.
As Thanksgiving, and what used to be called Christmas, approaches, they anticipate new assaults on their rights to observe their beliefs, rituals and traditions, all in the name of a pluralism that doesn't include them. Just once they would like to see government uphold their rights, their beliefs and the laws they must obey.
The war over immigration is essentially a battle for the Hispanic vote. Politicians will do anything to get it, including disregarding the laws they are sworn to uphold. The politician who gets on the wrong side of this issue - like Hillary Clinton did in the most recent Democratic presidential debate - is likely to pay a heavy price from the majority who obey laws. For the moment, we still outnumber the illegals.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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