Border Crossings:

How the Erosion of American Family Life Fuels Illegal Immigration For the vast majority of ordinary Americans, particularly those who fall between the center and the right of the political spectrum, illegal immigration is a simple issue: The Law is the Law, and the Law should be enforced. As commentator George Rodriguez, himself of Mexican descent, stakes out their position:  Conservatives view the law as a protection for the just. “Laws” are the rules of the game. These rules can only be changed after, or before, but not in the middle of the game. . . . We have to ask over and over again . . . what part of the word “illegal” do you not understand? If someone used someone else’s ATM card it would be called illegal. If they used someone else’s car without their permission it would be called illegal. So what do you call it if a foreigner enters or overstays in the U.S. without permission? . . . The law must be obeyed until it is changed through the proper process, but it cannot be ignored. Former President Bush invoked the same standard of lawfulness to justify his own initiatives for sealing the American border against illegal immigrants by constructing a “virtual fence” maintained by electronic motion detectors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles: “This nation is a nation of laws. And we’re going to enforce our laws. That’s what the American people expect.” Indeed, in decrying the way millions of immigrants have broken U.S. law for a generation, Americans are voicing a legitimate concern. A nation that turns a blind eye to widespread breaking of its laws is in deep trouble. Lawfulness is foundational to social order. For that reason, it is troubling that for powerful interests groups of both political parties, whether the liberal-leftists of the Democratic party or the libertarian right of the Republican party, illegal immigration is not an issue; it is an opportunity. Indeed, the former quietly cou
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