Immigration: A Moral Issue; Amnesty for Illegal Aliens Is a Bad Idea

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian de Silva, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Among the ballot measures that passed resoundingly in the election is one that no conservative can afford to ignore - Arizona's Proposition 200. It is a measure that will require proof of U.S. citizenship for voting and proof of legal residency for many public services.

It passed with a 56 percent majority - a clear message from voters of their frustration with illegal immigration. What is most remarkable about this is that it is in a state where not only the governor, but also its famous senator, John McCain, opposed it, as did members of its congressional delegation.

Much is made of the gay marriage bans that passed in other states, but perhaps no ballot measure survived as much opposition from public officials as did this measure. Despite attempts to portray it as xenophobic, more than 40 percent of Arizona's Hispanic voters supported it. It is a textbook example of common-sense grassroots action by citizens fed up with illegal immigration.

In light of such a success and the revelation that, nationwide, morality was an overriding concern for most voters, no conservative can afford to view illegal immigration as purely a policy problem independent of morality. As a legal immigrant and naturalized American, I believe illegal immigration is very much an issue that needs harsh moral judgment. And as a conservative voter, I support those who can bring a no-nonsense moral judgment when addressing social problems. I believe illegal immigration degrades immigration in much the same way that gay marriage degrades marriage.

Anyone who knows the difference between right and wrong knows the difference between legal and illegal conduct. Entering the country without permission is an illegal act. And while the illegal alien may have no moral sense about such an act, it behooves citizens who do have a moral sense about illegal acts to protest such acts if morality is to have any meaning. Morality will exist only as long as people with morals take a stand.

To condone illegal immigration is to condone anarchy. If illegal aliens are condoned for breaking the law because they are only escaping poverty, then by such logic we should also condone burglars who are poor. And pretty soon there would be an excuse for violating every law. The inevitable result would be anarchy. …