Star Parker

Yet in the current contest for the Mexican presidency, the leading candidate is a leftist former mayor of Mexico City who is polling in the high 30s.

Maybe you can figure out why almost half of Mexican adults say they would rather live in the United States, presumably because of the opportunities our free society affords, yet vote for a leftist candidate who will continue policies in Mexico that choke off any prospect for growth, prosperity and opportunity.

So forgive me for being a little suspicious of the wholesome picture being painted of these folks who are pouring across our border allegedly just to be free, work and maintain traditional families.

Anyone who lives in Southern California, as I do, knows that the Latino-immigrant community is far from the paragon of virtue that the forces who want to encourage open borders would have us believe. I see much of the same troubling behavior that blacks get tarred with. Much of the gang behavior in Los Angeles, unfortunately, is Latino-related. The L.A. Unified School District is over three-quarters Latino, who drop out at the same alarming 50 percent rate as inner-city blacks. Out-of-wedlock births among Hispanic women approach 50 percent.

Those who want to hoist the banner of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the American tradition of immigration should remember that when immigrants were passing through Ellis Island at the early part of the last century, the federal government accounted for about 3 percent of the American economy. Today it is 25 percent.

Part of the package deal that comes with showing up in the United States today is our welfare state as well as our free economy. Illegal status is really a temporary situation, anyway. Illegal immigrants' children who are born here are U.S. citizens. Significant demands are being made on our tax dollars in the way of schools, health care and government services, including law enforcement.

Yes, let's encourage freedom. But freedom is a privilege and a responsibility.

We have enough people already here who think it's all about entitlement.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.