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Save a room at the White House, Mr. President

By Linda Razzano
web posted April 3, 2006

There are a lot of single-issue voters in America.

The groups are easy to pick out: gun owners who rightfully disdain anyone who attempts to limit their God-given right to self-defense; Pro-Life advocates who rightfully disdain anyone who does not work to protect the God-given right to live for the most helpless among us; smaller-government advocates who rightfully believe the government has repeatedly overstepped its Constitutional boundaries. One vote in the wrong direction on these issues, and those voters will sit it out and let their Party suffer.

In the past, I would shake my head at them. Look at the bigger picture, I would urge. This mighty Ship of State was sailing off-course for decades; it takes a long time to turn it around. Slow measured steps were better than sweeping gestures that yielded no results. Once we get control, once we get control, we can steer things back on course.

Problem is, we have control. Problem is, we are still off course. Problem is, I have finally landed on an issue that has turned me into a single-issue voter, too, and I am quite convinced I am not alone.

Illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration isn’t just one small area of American politics. The effects are felt across a broad spectrum. This isn’t a person by person decision on whether to have an abortion or to purchase arms. Illegal immigration is impacting our schools, our hospitals, our communities, and our wallets. It is being thrust upon us, in our faces, and we are footing the bill for it.

Well I, for one, am finally angry enough that I am unwilling to tolerate it any further. It violates several basic principles, including fairness, justice, and equality, that helped found our marvelous country. When you break the law the moment you set your first little toe on our soil, and operate outside of the system and rules that all Americans must abide by, you are a criminal. Not an illegal immigrant, not an undocumented worker, but a criminal. No amount of wordsmithing will change that.

I completely support legal immigration. I believe in the American dream. I believe that hard work and fair play will reap rewards, and hold in high esteem people that have come here from across the globe and done well for themselves. God bless them.

I am completely against illegals sneaking across the border and skulking around our country. I am against using my tax dollars, which are supposed to help fellow Americans in a time of need, to prop up criminals that came here to feed off the system. I am against allowing criminals access to the same privileges our system of government affords Americans, while assuming none of the responsibilities that Americans must shoulder.

I am stunned that here in Texas, ranchers are having their homesteads stripped from them because they dared to fire at illegals trespassing on their property. Towns are declaring themselves "safe havens" for illegals and one, El Cenizo, made Spanish its official language. I am angry that my husband and I gratefully paid every penny of the thousands of dollars in medical bills for my daughter’s wonderful NICU care, but an illegal can go to the emergency room, have their baby, and walk away from the bill with no sense of obligation – leaving us – the American taxpayer – to choke on it through higher insurance premiums, higher taxes, and higher medical costs. I am angry that my dear friends and neighbors, Bonnie and Dago, took years going through all the right channels, learning English, working hard, and becoming American citizens, while Congress and the White House are pushing to award citizenship to people who violated the process from beginning to end!

Where is the justice, fairness, and equality in that?

Most of my family is still back on Long Island. My sister and her husband purchased a handy-man special in Patchogue and spent three years and over $100,000 fixing it up. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into making that home beautiful and livable, almost costing them their marriage. Times changed and a baby came, and my sister is now working 3 jobs (one full time, one part-time, and starting a side business) to hang onto her house. She and her husband pay almost $8,000 a year in property taxes.

They just received notice that the District is planning to increase their school taxes by 28%. The large influx of non-English speaking children has forced districts across Long Island to hire English-As-A-Second Language teachers. One of the homes near her is being gutted to make it a two-family, with extended family moving in, as well. The legislators in Suffolk County attempted to build "hiring sites" for illegal aliens, because there are so many flooding into that part of the country, they are hanging around on street corners waiting for off-the-books work. Ah, yes, and MS-13, labeled the most dangerous gang in America, is now firmly entrenched there, bringing drugs and shocking violence into what used to be an expensive, but wonderful, place to raise a family. I guess drug running, rape, kidnapping, and assault fall under the "jobs Americans don’t want" moniker.

Ironically, it is a Democrat, Suffolk County Commissioner Steve Levy, who is doing something about it. Unable to force the federal government into enforcing their own laws, he has strengthened the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office and put them into action. They are shutting down private homes packed with illegals, aggressively going after businesses hiring illegals, and doing whatever they can to make life difficult for illegals. In one set of sweeps alone, over 100 illegals were turned out of the houses.

Thank God someone has the guts to step up to the plate. Regular Americans are growing weary of this invasion. On Long Island, things have taken a violent turn, with houses being fire-bombed and illegals being beaten. Violence in this case is not the answer, but a symptom of a strong undercurrent of growing animosity towards those who infringe on our country at our own expense.

"You know I have always been a strong supporter of the President," I angrily told my sister during our phone call. "But I swear, I’m getting so pissed at this…what is this nonsense with him coddling Vicente Fox? He doesn’t work for Vicente Fox, he works for Americans!" I told her to make sure she called the White House to express her concerns.

"If my taxes go up any higher to pay for all these freebees for illegals, I’m not going to be able to live here," Sharon replied. "Yeah, I’ll call them. I’ll call them and tell them to save me a room, because after I lose my house, I’m moving in!"

She said it in a half-joking manner, but we knew the conversation had serious implications for us both.

It was alarming that a conservative such as herself admitted to openly supporting a Democrat, Steve Levy. It was alarming that an uber-conservative such as myself admitted to disgust with the White House and President Bush on the issue. And we both realized we had become what we often mocked – single issue voters – willing to move away from our Grand Old Party if they failed us on this, and openly support another party’s candidates if they will secure our borders, clean house, and make sure those who enter our shores were invited first.

Linda Prussen-Razzano is frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and a number of other online magazines.


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