Border Crossings

What is the correct term for these individuals, anyway? Those who cross illegally, or are "undocumented," are certainly not immigrants. Immigrants wish to become American citizens, governed by our laws and customs. They abide by the rules and protocols established to allow foreign nationals access to our country and everything it has to offer.

"Illegal" doesn't seem to apply, since the common perception of the term is, apparently, a simple matter of lacking the proper paperwork, as opposed to criminally crossing an established border into another country.

Yet to call them criminals produces a ridiculous amount of uproar from, of all people, the law-breakers themselves, not to mention the relatives who harbor them and the lawyers who use the American court system to grant them asylum, employment, and health care.

Those who cross illegally are not true immigrants who wish to adopt this country as their own; to protect it, to secure its borders from those who would do us harm, and let's stop with the sad stories of the families who brought young children with them, live here for a decade or longer and claim to still be unable to speak or understand the language fluently, cannot find someone willing to sponsor them for naturalization, and provide egress and harbor to others who cross illegally.

I have been following all of the angry, sad, and possibly misinterpreted rhetoric regarding the foreign nationals who have entered our country illegally, and are now fighting to be allowed to remain; with no attempt at apologizing for their breaking the law to get here, no obvious attempt to become naturalized citizens, and behaving in an openly belligerent manner to justify using American laws to grant them clemency and a free pass - again. You do remember Ronald Reagan and his "one-time" pass to allow those already here the right to stay, don't you?

How many times is the United States expected to do this? And what is the criterion for allowing it to happen? Will it be based on the number of people who have managed to slip into this country undocumented? Will it be based on the age of the individual and the number of years they have avoided being caught? What is the tipping point at which the automatic "Okay, you can stay now" kicks in?

It is disheartening to hear of a group being victimized because they are afraid to approach law enforcement for help for fear of being discovered as undocumented. But let's be honest, they live in a fear of their own making. Unable or unwilling to fight for what they want in their own country, they choose to hide in another. Afraid to help enforce American laws for fear of being discovered, whose fault is that? You cannot create a community of criminal activity and then blame others for not protecting you.

Instead of twisting American laws to allow you to stay, you should abide by those laws, follow procedures for legal entry, or asylum, and swear allegiance to your new home. Only then will you have access to all of the opportunities you came here for - legally.

America is not perfect. We are still trying to provide equal opportunity for all of her citizens, we have people with no access to proper health care, or even clean water, and children who are malnourished. To expect us to care for an unknown number of "others," to stretch our resources before we have developed a reliable method of allocating those resources to needy Americans, is unrealistic.

Allow us to take care of American citizens, to provide a secure homeland, to feed families, to care for the sick and the elderly, first. This is not selfish, nor closed-minded; it is common sense. Only a country strong enough to provide for its citizens, to keep them fed, housed, and healthy, only a country with a strong infrastructure will be poised to truly help others in their time of need. I'm just sayin'.