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The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Ron Cruger
rcruger@san.rr.com
The huddled masses
2007 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
          The current polemics evoke thoughts of the school yard bully that antagonizes his schoolmates for months and then, finally, in an act of desperation, some skinny, bespectacled kid tells the bully to “lay off” and when he doesn’t the skinny kid lays a roundhouse on the bully’s chin. The big bully goes down, never again to test the mettle of his school mates. 
           Americans, especially, find comfort in stories of the poor, little man overcoming great odds to achieve success. 
           In the case that follows we must substitute the millions of illegal immigrants who surreptitiously enter the United State for the big bully. In this case the skinny kid with the glasses is the United States of America. A strange and rare role for the most powerful nation on Earth. 
           But thanks to the ineptitude of our federal and state lawmakers our borders have become impotent barriers, permitting anyone with will and bravado entrance to our land. 
          Today, to illustrate the porosity of our borders (and laws) there is an estimate of the illegal population of the United States as somewhere between 7 million and 20 million! 
          It is guessed that Mexicans make up about 57 percent of the illegal immigrants with another 24 percent coming from Central American and South American countries. Approximately 9 percent from Asia, 6 percent from Europe and Canada, with the remaining 4 percent from the rest of the world. 
           The United States Government Accountability Office estimates that between 400,000 and 700,000 illegal immigrants have entered the United States every year since 1992. A substantial portion did so by crossing either through the US-Mexican border or the US-Canada border. 
           In the decade preceding the election of Abraham Lincoln 2,598,214 immigrants came to the U.S. mainly from Great Britain, Ireland and Germany. In the 1840’s wave after wave of immigrants were deposited on American shores from almost every country in Europe. 
           The last third of Emma Lazarus’ memorable poem, graven on a tablet on the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands greets those entering our shores from the great Atlantic Ocean: …Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 
           Emma Lazarus’ epic poem is relevant today. However, back in 1883, when she wrote those meaningful words, the majority of immigrants passed under the greeting arms of the Statue of Liberty and were processed officially through the offices at Ellis Island. Steam ships carried the majority of immigrants to the U.S. Names were taken, identities verified and physical condition confirmed. Criminals and those carrying contagious diseases were treated or returned to their countries of origin. All of this was easier to do as most immigrants came through one specific location. These immigrants entered the United States with our permission – a great difference than what is happening today. 
          People become illegal immigrants to the United States in one of three ways – by entering or crossing the border without authorization. By staying beyond the authorized period after legal entry or by violating the terms of their legal entry. It is estimated that as high as half of all illegal immigrants entered the U.S. with a visa that has expired. 
          The sheer number of illegal immigrants in the United States has made the passing of new legislation extremely difficult. American businesses have grown to rely on the low wages paid to these immigrants, both legal and illegal. Whole immigrant families covertly scramble across our borders daily. Some sneak back when their daily work is done here and have their pay check in hand. Others steal over our border and remain in the U.S. 
          American businesses, large and small, have grown comfortable hiring legals and “illegals” at lower wages than they could hire Americans, if they could find Americans to do the manual work, which, evidently they cannot do. Lobbyists for big business fight for the right of businesses in the U.S. to not be charged with the crime of hiring illegal workers. These are the same companies which lobby Congress not to raise the minimum wage. 
          So, now the United States labor pool is faced with two monumental problems. Evidently we are not producing enough scientific/computer/literate brains so we outsource many of our brainy jobs to places like India, where people are 1. Are smarter than our people and, 2. Where their smart people will work for less pay than our smart people. 
          I don’t know if any of this has anything to do with the fact that two thirds of all Americans are overweight, but I hate to think of what will happen if these trends continue. 
           How many years before there are no Americans who can do any manual labor. Or will our scientific/computer/literate brains move to India so they can get a job. Or will all Americans soon look like Tony Soprano and Roseanne Barr? 
           Now here’s where the part of the school yard bully and the skinny kid comes in. It’s time for the skinny kid with the horn rimmed glasses to stand up and be assertive. Those bullies who cross our borders and take advantage of our American generosity (even our good old American greed) should be told that the days of crossing our borders and taking advantage of us are over. “If you want to work in America, get in line, get our approval, pay your taxes, pay for your medical coverage and pay your respects to the good old U.S. of A.” If an alien wants to take all that America has to offer then read up on the Constitution, take the test, swear your allegiance to America and get in line with the rest of us. We’ll welcome you, as we have millions before you. 
           Along with this policy we have to tell those businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants to save a few bucks on their payroll that if the Feds catch you hiring these “illegals” you’ll be put in the same holding cells as the illegal immigrants. 
           All I’m asking for is to have everyone follow the rules. We have rules. Just obey them. 
           Isn’t that what all good Americans do – follow the rules? 
           Is that too much to ask!