I have a neighbor named George. He and his family have been great neighbors. We’ve exchanged gifts, attended parties together, helped each other out from time to time with one thing or another. Our kids have been friends. I like them all. They’re really great folks.

However, all but the father and one son out of a family of six are illegal immigrants by way of Mexico.

Last year, two of their sons got caught up by immigration and sent back to Mexico. George’s wife moved back to Mexico to be with her sons. George stays here with the eldest boy and their daughter. He works hard and misses his wife. Of course, she cannot come back because she was never a legal resident and has no papers.

It’s all a terribly rotten situation for George and his family and I know that I would be highly upset were I in his situation. But, his situation is not unlike that of millions of other families that have a mixture of legal and illegal members living in the U.S.

And therein lies a problem. Yes it is a problem for them, but it is also a problem for anyone interested in stricter border control and enforcing current immigration laws or creating new ones. And it is a problem that looms larger every single day. It is a problem that is born of our own democratic system: Voting.

You see, once a Mexican national (or other immigrant) becomes a legal, voting resident he comes to have his fair, democratic say in the process. Ordinarily, it is a fine thing that a new citizen exercises his newfound duty to become a voter as a new member of our society. But, in this case, if that new voter has illegal immigrant family members, he comes to the polls with a built in prejudice against U.S. sovereignty and border control.

In essence, when asking a newly legalized U.S. citizen to vote on tougher immigration laws, we would be asking him to vote to allow his mother, father, sister or brother to be deported. By asking for this new voter to vote on stricter border laws, we are making it tougher for his extended family, should they be illegals, to visit and work here.

A recent Pew Hispanic Center survey has some interesting results on these issues. The survey asked Hispanics living in the U.S. a battery of questions and their answers reveals a split between the foreign born and those born here in the U.S. But, on several areas the two segments agree.

  • On the question of drivers’ licenses for illegals, the foreign born are 55% in favor of allowing undocumented aliens to get licenses. The native born are 60% against that idea.
  • 89% of the foreign born say that immigrants “strengthen the United States,” whereas only 65% of the native born agree with that claim.
  • 76% of the foreign born claim that cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants is good for the U.S. while only 55% of the native born agree.

Notice that the native born are not as welcoming as the foreign born? But, here is the thing. The more foreign born we allow in and who later become citizens, the more apt we are to overpower the native born sentiment.

Here are some more alarming numbers.

  • 53% of registered voters of Latino descent agree with giving licenses to illegals.
  • 43% think there is no reason to decrease the level of immigrants coming into the U.S.A.
  • And a whopping 84% think legal status should be bestowed on all illegals here.

As the foreign born begin to become legal citizens, their permissive attitudes will naturally grow in number and influence. This favorable attitude toward illegals will find echo in more and more legislation and that legislation will have more and more possibility of passage as the number of voters who feel sympathy with illegals grows.

And the thing is, this is all only natural. After all, once the border is abandoned as it has been and people get used to coming and going as they please, it becomes harder and harder to curb that assumption of a “right” to that open border. Can we really blame the immigrants when our own government has allowed this situation to occur? And can we really blame legal citizens to vote against stringent immigration policies when they have family members here who are illegal or have some that want to come here?

Victor Davis Hanson wrote about this in 2003 in his book Mexifornia, but it seems that his warnings have fallen on deaf ears in the halls of our Federal government. In fact, we have a man running for president on the GOP side that is an open borders advocate and it looks like John McCain is a viable candidate, too. None of this bodes well for U.S. sovereignty.

But, things may be looking up on the state level. Drivers’ licenses for illegals is not a winning issue in general and specifically, the states of Oklahoma and Arizona have passed laws that puts more pressure on illegals, inducing many to leave those states.

But, the future beckons to open borders aficionados. The more foreign born Hispanics that they get to become citizens, the more likely that they will get their way. So, all this means that the window to fix this problem is closing bit-by-bit everyday and, in the near future, it will become impossible to reverse the damage to our nation.

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