U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 61 suspected illegal aliens in Pennsylvania this month alone. Seventeen were rounded up in the Pittsburgh area, the rest in Berks and Montgomery counties.
A search of a home in Reading where two Mexican citizens were living turned up a cache of weapons, including a Chinese AK47 assault rifle, sawed-off shotguns, several other rifles, a large quantity of marijuana, ammunition, $71,000 in cash and numerous fraudulent documents, according to ICE agents.
Illegal immigration is not a problem in Texas and New Mexico and California. It's not just an issue in Hazleton, Pa., where the ACLU sued the city because it dared to crack down on illegal aliens living and working in the community.
Why is the American Civil Liberties Union so worked up about protecting the "rights" of lawbreakers? Since when are illegal aliens entitled to "civil liberties" from the country they entered illegally?
Illegal aliens are everywhere. They are living among us. They're working in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant. They probably cut your grass or worked on your landscaping. They may have built your house. They certainly are working on farms, picking your fruits and vegetables.
Some of the illegal aliens are waiting in the emergency room of your local hospital. Others are lining up for welfare and other government handouts.
They're also selling drugs, stealing cars, breaking into homes, killing and raping U.S. citizens. They are driving without a license and might end up crashing into you on a highway and killing you or your loved ones.
Up to 14 million illegal aliens and their families are in the United States today. That's bigger than population of many countries.
Politicians from George W. Bush to John McCain to Ted Kennedy want to grant the 14 million illegals permanent residency in the United States under various amnesty bills being considered by Congress.
One study projects government payments to provide services to illegal aliens, once they're granted amnesty, would cost American taxpayers between $850 billion to $1 trillion.
Some of the illegal immigrants arrested in the four-day roundup in Pennsylvania, which began April 2, had criminal records.
Two of those arrested in Pittsburgh were wanted on outstanding motor vehicle charges, a third was wanted for a sex crime and a fourth for being a deported alien who illegally re-entered the country, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Since the arrests, it was learned that three others were deported who illegally re-entered the country, the newspaper reported.
The 37 illegal immigrants arrested in Norristown included 44-year-old Victorino Anaya Reza, a fugitive with convictions for sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Times-Herald newspaper.
The 61 illegal aliens are natives of Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Lebanon, Mexico, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, the newspaper reported.
Eleven of those arrested have criminal records that include sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor, theft, motor vehicle violations, narcotics violations and driving under the influence, the newspaper reported.
The far left has mislead Americans about the immigration debate. Liberals assume that all illegal aliens are here to do the jobs that Americans don't want. They pretend the illegal aliens among us are all hard-working, decent people who just want to help their families back home. The truth is that many illegals are criminals who entered our borders to target on our society.
The liberal news media has failed to frame the illegal immigration debate fairly.
The millions of people who entered this country illegally over the past few decades broke our laws as their first act upon entering the U.S. Many of them continue to break our laws on a daily basis. Why should we reward them with citizenship?
The blanket amnesty that President Bush and Congressional Democrats are pushing should be off the table. The excuse that these people are already here won't wash. It's like somebody breaking into your home to steal your belongings or do your family harm and when you call the police, the authorities force you to provide food and shelter for the criminal.
No reform of U.S. immigration laws can begin while 14 million illegal aliens hold this nation and our political system hostage.
We must begin by deporting all the illegals back to their home countries. Then, we will consider guest worker visas or applications for legal citizenship.
Tens of millions of Americans came to this country from overseas. In many ways, immigrants built this nation. But they did it legally. They came to this country through proper channels, not by sneaking across the border.
All Americans need to voice their opinion on the immigration debate. This issue is too important to the nation's survival to leave it in the hands of spineless politicians.
Tony Phyrillas is a columnist for The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa. He received a first place award for Best Opinion Column in 2007 by Suburban Newspapers of America. He was also honored for column writing in 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists.
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