Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Immigration not just a political battle ground

Posted by Stephen on May 2, 2007

It is important to realize that this commentary on immigration is like throwing a penny into the Grand Canyon. No one will probably hear it land and it will add little to the sum of the conversation. Yet, it is also important to point out now and then that this is not just an issue receiving face time on Capitol Hill. The immigration debate is as close to a true battle ground that exists this side of Iraq.

While the United States military engages in war time activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, a battle ground of lesser but similar actions may be developing right here at home.

Last week, in Birmingham, Alabama, federal agents conducted raids tied to the Alabama Free Militia. Authorities report the recovery of approximately 200 homemade hand grenades, a grenade launcher, a machine gun, a short-barreled shotgun and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. Five members of a self-styled militia were denied bail after a federal agent testified they planned a machine-gun attack on Mexicans.

Emotions are running high and it may become significantly more dangerous as citizens grow impatient with inaction and less than stellar leadership by lawmakers in and around Washington. What should not be lost, however, is the fundamental reason why the issue is so important to all Americans. The one uniting subject for people in all regions of the country is security.

In Los Angeles, California, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reported that a former Salvadoran army officer, convicted of participating in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, was deported. Gonzalo Guevara-Cerritos, 43, had entered the country illegally in January 2005.

Things are dramatically different today than they were when the Dillingham Commission created the first binding immigration policy executed by the United States. The policy was one based on quotas to be used as a management tool to control the numbers of people allowed into the country in a given year. While critics point to elements of the policy that were geared to target particular cultures and education levels, there were elements of the policy that were well founded and could be looked at as part of a solution to today’s immigration challenges.

Sadly, today action is static while rhetoric runs rampant. The result could be a movement opening the door for people to continue to feel empowered to take the law into their own hands, leading to tragic and fatal results.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Veiwpoints.

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