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I would rather have legal immigrants as neighbors than those who choose to break our laws

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - Great thoughts. I appreciate the time and effort Al Cooke put into his recent Chatham Chatlist post.

I will take issue on one statement, breaking laws. There is a big difference between grand crimes and misdemeanors and local or state administrative rules or laws. A nations's sorvereignty is built on its boundaries and citizenship. A speed limit is temporary, mutable, locally administered, and petty, except that it does ideally protect the citizens.

National sovereignty is the main boundary between peoples and does have major consequences when violated. Alterations in a consitution and laws come very slowly, if ever, and define the country from others. So, if someone enters without following process for approval, they challenge the precepts of that nation, a priori, making them at odds with the people.

Simply crossing the border to get temporary work is one level, akin to lower legal limits, if they return to their homeland. Staying and reaping the benefits of that country without following its laws and rules, or for the purpose of sabotage, is another level entirely. First, it demonstrates a lack of respect for the country. Second, it depletes the nation's assets. Third, the act makes the intruder a liar, a cheat, or a threat. Fourth, it weakens the fabric of a society built on a common dream and set of laws.

While I empathize with poor Central Americans and their plight, I would rather have legal immigrants as neighbors than those who choose to break our laws. "Give me your poor, your tired,...." does not cover that for me. I have two families in my geneology who were here before we became a nation, and others who came afterward, through Ellis Island. Regardless of whether I break a speeding law, I do not wish to discredit out country by breaking federal laws, though I am sure that some would take issue with expenses on my 1040's or 1120's.

The difference is between 1. breaking a commandment and 2. eating pork for some religions or not welcoming a stranger into your house. For the first, one is always accountable. For the second example, there is easy forgiveness. So, I can not equate speeding with illegal immigration. That statement is not a concession to alleviate guilt for speeding.

Thanks for your thorough thoughts on the subject of donating time and produce for the unfortunate. I agree that we all have something to give to the world.

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I would rather have legal immigrants as neighbors than those who choose to break our laws