Debra J. Saunders

But they've fostered an unhealthy disrespect for the rule of law. Consider Victor Zavala Jr., one of the Wal-Mart detainees. He told The New York Times his family is "not happy" at the prospect of being deported after he paid a "coyote" $2,000 to smuggle them into the United States.

In essence, Zavala bet $2,000 that the federal government wouldn't enforce federal law. His bad luck: He lost.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said of the raids: "We were very surprised. We had no idea they were coming." Wal-Mart is investigating.

While the spokesman said he was personally "unaware" of this, The New York Times reported that immigration officials raided Wal-Mart in 1998 and 2001.

This latest foray suggests that somebody -- a Wal-Mart executive or contractor -- looked at the fines of up to $10,000 per illegal worker, considered the possibility of being prosecuted for conspiracy to break the law, and figured it was a safe bet to break the law anyway.

Debra J. Saunders

TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Debra Saunders' column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.

Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm of our readers it has become necessary to transfer our commenting system to a more scalable system in order handle the content.