Guest Column: Debate heats up on illegal immigration

Friday, March 11, there was a huge march that tied up traffic in downtown Chicago. Depending on who’s reporting, there were 50 to 500,000 people protesting a bill in Congress that proposes to tighten up our borders, build some fence, and make it a criminal act for Americans to aid, abet or counsel illegal immigrants in their attempts to subvert our laws and gain footholds in U.S. communities. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was there speaking Spanish to them, Mayor Richard Daley and Sen. Dick Durbin were there telling them they are workers, not criminals. Congressman Luis Gutierrez said he’s never been more for a cause (to make it easier for illegals to enjoy the benefits of life in America).

A town hall meeting will be held in Rockford to discuss this issue. Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m. at Stash O’Neil’s, 4846 E. State St., the Illinois Minuteman Project will give a presentation including discussion. Memorial Hall was to be the location, but it was nixed by county officials 11 days after accepting the payment for use of the auditorium and security personnel. It will be interesting, perhaps revealing, to see what our local politicians, unions and other groups have to say. Everyone is invited to participate.

Here in Illinois, the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, with the help of some Republicans, including Bill Brady and Steve Rauschenberger, authorized all kinds of tax-funded freebies for illegals: the matricular consular card, in-state tuitions, drivers’ licenses, mortgages, plus all the usual welfare—housing, link cards and medical. WE ARE PAYING FOR IT! If the millions of illegals here are ever granted the right to vote, they will certainly vote to continue receiving everything. While Republicans and Democrats scramble to get all those future votes, the Mexican consulates actively campaign in our elections.

In a recent interview, Congressman J. D. Hayworth of Arizona stated that he’s never heard of any fines being assessed to employers convicted of hiring illegals. The fine can be up to $10,000 per day per illegal employee, but there were only three such prosecutions last year. When Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson was questioned why the INS won’t enforce the laws, he responded that “the American people have more compassion than that.” If that is indeed the case, then the people can get their politicians to pass different laws. Until then, enforce the law—and if the illegals couldn’t get the freebies, they might not even bother to sneak into the country. We wouldn’t need to build a fence!

How many are here? Estimates run from 12 to 80 million. Some Americans say, “Things are so bad in Mexico, that we should just let ’em all stay here…. they work hard, they pay taxes.” Not necessarily. It’s debatable… and debate we shall have. For more info, visit:

E.J. Pagel is media secretary for the Rockford Area Libertarians.

From the March 22-28, 2006, issue

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