It wasn't that long ago that we celebrated the Fourth of July, our Independence Day in the United States.
I did so legally. But there were a lot of folks who decided to mess around with firecrackers and all sorts of other illegal fireworks. Regardless of what the law says, they chose to break the law and act illegally and, if they were caught and successfully prosecuted, they willingly undertook the risk.
There are these signs posted all over our streets and highways. They're called "speed limit" signs. Drive over the speed limit and you're doing so illegally.
Same with that loud muffler. It's an illegal muffler.
It would sure sound funny to say that the yahoos who risk blowing their fingers off or worse with those firecrackers were using "undocumented" fireworks.
Ditto for Mr. or Ms. Leadfood driving at an "undocumented" speed or with an "undocumented" muffler.
So why is it when we have people in this country illegally that there are those who want to avoid that fact by calling them "undocumented" immigrants?
It's because these namby-pamby sawdust brained idiots don't want to admit the fact that you're either in this country legally or illegally. It's one or the other.
To them, the law of the land means nothing. Or, for that matter, the rule of law, period, means nothing.
After all, every nation I know of has immigration laws. And, when I visit a foreign country, I am expected to obey them.
But when folks demand enforcement of our laws in this country, there are those lame brains who want to dodge the issue for reasons ranging from ostensibly altruistic to sinisterly corrupt.
There are many good reasons to be concerned about illegal immigration.
Terrorism, of course, is one of them, although I don't think Jose or Maria picking lettuce, handing you your McDonald's order or cleaning up a mall are necessarily among them.
A more compelling concern -- one that truly bothered former President Ronald Reagan -- was the exploitation of illegal aliens who, because of their illegal status, can't complain about being paid subminimum wages, working unpaid overtime or being subjected to inhuman working conditions.
Of course, there are those who benefit from taking advantage of illegal immigrants. Some of them have powerful friends in Washington, D.C. Heaven forbid they'd have to pay or treat immigrant workers the same as American citizens.
And then there's the rule of law. Whether you're one of the corrupt exploiters of illegal immigrants or a misguided bleeding heart, the law remains the law and should be obeyed and enforced. Those who entered this country illegally knowingly did so and thus also did so with knowledge that if they're caught there would be consequences.
So let's cut out the "undocumented" crap -- they're either legal or illegal, period.
My message to illegal immigrants is simple: get legal or get out. (I note that when amnesty was offered to illegal aliens that many willingly chose not to take advantage of it.)
Having said that, there's something just as disgusting and that's the tendency on those who use the call for strict immigration enforcement as a cover for their own prejudices.
Not every illegal alien is a terrorist, cop killer, drug dealer or child molester. Most are folks just trying to make a living to support themselves and their children. Yes, it's not inappropriate to be upset that they are flaunting the immigration laws, but for most that's the extent of their illegal behavior. For the most part, we must remember to hate the sin but love the sinner.
There is also a need for immigration law reform. There's something sick about a system where thousands of people secretly cross our orders and are tacitly allowed to be here and yet we turn away a decorated Canadian schoolteacher who was going to a weekend conference to teach American schoolteachers. (The Canadian teacher actually had a visa but the U.S. immigration officers at each port of entry are apparently free to make up their own interpretations of the law on the fly.) Immigration law should be based on common sense and should, as a component, demand reciprocity (try to be an American who wants to own property in Mexico). Because of all the special interests, though, I doubt any meaningful reform will be on the way.
In the meantime, I wonder if the namby-pambies think Pablo Escobar and his cartel buddies deal in "undocumented" drugs?