Progress at the Border

Mike Gallagher
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Posted: Dec 28, 2007 12:00 AM
Progress at the Border

As I shuffled out to my driveway to get the morning papers in my bathroom and slippers, Tony Soprano-style, the headline jumped out at me: “Illegal Immigration From Mexico Slowing Down.”

It was to be a good start to a lazy vacation day between Christmas and New Year’s.

Of course, the mainstream media isn’t about to give much credit for the supposed decrease in criminal activity at the southern border to the passionate anti-illegal voices in America. The article immediately credited a “slowing U.S. economy” for the change.

Talk about your basic “chutzpah.” This report in the Los Angeles Times claims that since there’s a slump in construction jobs here, illegals from Mexico are finding it harder to get work and are passing the bleak word to their families and friends back home.

But you and I know what’s really happening here. Every time a meat-packing plant or construction site is raided, that’s big news in Latin America. Whenever a company is fined or shut down because of its propensity to hire cheap, illegal laborers, that makes headlines in Mexico. Thankfully, since newspapers in Mexico are in Spanish, the people there are able to read the news and figure out what’s going on in the USA.

And most importantly, the message that millions of Americans are fed up with illegals taking jobs and social services from legal, law-abiding U.S. citizens is finally making it’s way south of the border.

In other words, despite the mixed messages sent by the U.S. government, illegal immigrants are finally getting the picture: You are not wanted here.

Obey the law and we’ll throw our arms wide open to you. Immigrate here legally and play by the rules and we’ll open our country, with all of its opportunities and freedoms, to you and your family.

But continue to insist you have some sort of privileged existence here by refusing to pay income tax, marching around in our streets with Mexican flags, and failing to even bother to try and learn the English language, and you’ll continue to meet the resistance of millions and millions of frustrated American citizens.

Way down in the body of this morning’s article is a begrudging acknowledgement that the installation of hundreds of miles of border fencing and over 15,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents are contributing to the decline of illegals pouring into our country.

The story also claims that a more resilient Mexican economy is giving Mexicans added incentive to stay home. That, of course, is terrific news that I hope is fully exposed to our neighbors to the south. Listen, I have often wondered what is so horrible about this once proud country of Mexico that makes so many people desperate to abandon it.

Whatever the reasons, it should make all of us proud to know that our position has made a difference. Instead of just passively letting a bunch of open borders politicians dictate what’s been happening here during the past 5-10 years, the grassroots opposition to illegal immigration has been gratifying and, if this news report is to be believed, effective.

I hope the presidential candidates are reading today’s paper, too. A man (or woman) who is running for president who fails to hear the people’s cry on this important issue does so at his or her peril. Time and time again, the candidates who fail to talk tough on illegal immigration get taken out to the proverbial woodshed, only to come back with their tail between their legs and their anti-illegal rhetoric ramped up a bit.

I know it’s just talk, but it’s a step in the right direction and at least reminds those who aspire to be president that this issue, more than any other, truly matters to the American people.

The big statistic cited in this week’s announcement that illegal immigration from Mexico is slowing is that the jobless rate for Hispanics in November was 5.7 percent, up from 5 percent in November of 2006.

You know what you call a 5.7 percent Hispanic jobless rate?

A good start.

Happy New Year.