By Alan Nathan © 2007

With the possible exception of HMO’s, the media seems to be the only industry we can’t hold legally accountable for negligent service after purchase.

On March 4th, The Washington Post’s Editorial Board had a piece entitled “Immigration Reform, Take 2,” in which the oldest parlor game was played – subjecting readers to a skewed standard that allows the illegitimate to appear credible.

The article rightfully argues for countering illegal immigration through guest worker programsand pathways to citizenship, but does so by endorsing legislation that sweepingly ignores existing constitutional law requiring the government first to protect us from invasion, hence the false gauge.

It’s like a judge awarding alimony to the bigamist – without legal standing, there’s no equal standing. If as a citizen, you’re held responsible for paying taxes and Social Security along with registering for Selective Service, why should your constitutional rights to border security be contingent upon legislation not yet enacted. Constitutional law always trumps legislative law. Why then on the issue of immigration reform are the press, the president and most of the Senate behaving as if the opposite were true?

Clearly we’re short on Americans savvy enough to recognize when the collective power structure is just taking a shot while counting on our naiveté to excuse their actions from ever having to pass judicial muster. Instead of sealing up the borders and protecting us from invasion as the government is twice ordered to do in Article I and again in Article IV of the Constitution, they hold that responsibility hostage to our first accepting their idea of comprehensive immigration reform.

This is an empirical, verifiably hostile act against the American people. Neither of the elected branches nor the Supreme Court may unilaterally amend the constitution and all three are answerable to the interdependency of checks and balances as enumerated in that same great document. (And they’re wrongfully amending it when they either challenge it outside the amendment process that requires two thirds of congress and three quarters of the state legislators, OR when they deliberately ignore any of its standing orders.)

When these branches fail to hold one another accountable as they have on this issue, they collectively break faith with us and become the rebels we need to stop.

While agreeing with fellow Americans who insist on tightly securing the borders, I’m actually quite open to accelerated citizenship or guest worker programs. However, it’s intellectually dishonest to suspend that which is constitutionally guaranteed to us just because we’re still hashing out legislation which might later prove useful.

Working its way up the controversy ladder is the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act” recently submitted in both the House and the Senate. The bill grants states the authority to permit illegal immigrants graduating high school the right to enjoy in-state college tuition rates. This effectively allows unlawful residents to pay less for college than American citizens if those citizens are from out of state – even though the illegals are actually from out of country.

Their stories are genuinely inspiring and heart wrenching. Often while listening to them one feels drawn to say, “Ok, it’s on us. Welcome!” But truthfully, we were never given the opportunity to welcome them because they were imposed upon us.

Admittedly, these teens arrived courtesy of their parents’ wrongdoing and not theirs; but it is that very dynamic used by those parents to leverage what they decided not to obtain legally: citizenship access. And while they deserve our sympathy, do they deserve more compassion than the American citizen who loses out on a place in that same school because his legal status is shunned in favor of the illegal immigrant’s in-state residency?

The almost humorous paradox is that both sides have an opportunity for each to give the other what it wants most, but they continue missing the chance. If we seal up the borders, this automatically cauterizes the hemorrhaging from the south thus making our existing non-documented population more manageable because of its would-be stunted growth.

New opportunities for legal assimilation could be enacted because the government would have then secured the necessary counterweighing disincentives of fences and barriers. Yes, there would still be those who could tunnel, scale and otherwise break through those three-layered chain-linked fences, stone barriers and virtual walls. However, the days of multi-passenger vehicles enjoying unencumbered access would be severely challenged and that would be a significant change for the better. The unreachable ideal shouldn’t cancel the attainable good.

Just beware of two troublesome groups: 1) racist Americans who indulge their bigotry under the guise of protecting our country; and 2) racist foreigners who falsely accuse Americans of xenophobia simply because we demand the same respect for our laws that all other countries do for theirs – including those from whence these illegal immigrants originated.