No free pass to citizenship Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Mike Sullivan Metrowest Daily News
Humming the familiar Pete Seeger tune "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" as I drove through Framingham yesterday, I couldn't help but adapt that memorable protest song.

"Where have all the illegals gone,
"Not working today
"Where have all the illegals gone,
"Let's round them up, what do you say...

Not having really been down Concord Street for about a year, I thought I would pop into the Downtown Restaurant for a hot dog, fries and a Coke.

Oops, despite the American flag dominating the store front the doors were locked.

Darn, no dog for me on "A Day Without Immigrants."

Actually downtown didn't look all that different from a year ago.  There were a few fewer folks on the street, I'm pretty sure there were more empty shops, and of course traffic was backed up for a train.

Much of the immigration debate -- including yesterday's protests -- of course, is fraudulent.

It's really a debate on law and order and money.

While I must give the illegal workers and their supporters credit for an impressive turnout it also points directly at the incompetence, indeed malfeasance, of our elected officials at every level -- local, state and federal.

Local police say immigration isn't their problem, it's a federal issue.

So I ask local police chiefs: how much time do you devote to arresting illegal, unlicensed drivers? How many unregistered, uninsured, uninspected vehicles driven by illegals have you pulled over?

How many times have you cleaned up after illegal drivers who got into accidents?

The schools, of course, have to educate anyone who shows up whether they can speak English or not, whether legal or not.

So I ask superintendents how are your budgets doing at $8,000 a pop educating illegal students?

Hospitals, too, must treat anyone who shows up irrespective of ability to pay or insurance.  Same question here:  what impact has illegal immigration had on your workload, budgets, staff?

It's not a local issue?  Tell that to taxpayers whose ever-rising property taxes foot the bill for all this.

Supporters of yesterday's protests called it a "Day Without Immigrants," which right from the start was a fraud.

The issue is illegal immigration, border security and its social and financial repercussions.

The illegal community and its supporters must have been stunned when President George W. Bush on Friday said immigrants not only should learn the national anthem, but learn it in English.

The so-called national anthem in Spanish is nothing more than a direct affront to the United States and its citizens.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" as written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 is a song generations of immigrants have taken great pride in learning, and learning to sing in English.

But not the current crop of so-called immigrants.  I use the term so-called because they reject the steps millions before them took to become Americans.  For many, this is a place to work, make money and send it home.

I don't think they really want to be American -- they want America to accommodate them.

The anthem in Spanish -- note it is not the Spanish national anthem which is "Marcha Real" -- sends a very clear message;  we do not want to integrate into U.S. society.

What they really want is amnesty.

Not until the U.S. controls its borders, particularly that with Mexico, sanctions employers of illegal workers and aggressively tackles illegal immigrants can a real debate on immigration reform take place.

But many politicians want to reward massive illegal activity with essentially a free pass for citizenship because they, the politicians, are too lazy to enforce the laws.

Memo to all local, state and federal politicians -- your constituency is made up of U.S. citizens and legal residents -- not illegals.

Here's a thought: Enforce the laws of the nation.

By the way, still hungry after my stroll on Concord Street I did what any sane person would do: hopped into my car, drove to downtown Natick and had two all-arounds at Casey's.

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