Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This nation of immigrants is also a nation of laws

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The Gazette simply does not understand the illegal immigration crisis. In the June 25 editorial, ‘‘Simmering issues in the melting pot,” immigrants in the ‘‘International Corridor” are portrayed as hapless victims of crime, fostered by anti-immigrant sentiment and the failure of Congress to provide ‘‘an expedited pathway to citizenship,” alluding to the defeated comprehensive reform legislation.

Americans flatly rejected this closet amnesty because they believe it rewards illegal behavior and see it as unfair to the millions of people each year who truly desire to assimilate and become citizens the legal way.

The county’s insane sanctuary policies and refusal to permit local police enforcement of immigration laws are directly responsible for the anarchy tearing apart parts of the county. This approach has in turn compromised the public safety of all county residents.

It is troubling that The Gazette ignores the growing spate of violence perpetrated against citizens by illegal immigrants in their constant advocacy of diversity and inclusion at all costs.

Where was the outcry for trust and confidence in public safety after Longyuan Wang was murdered while walking home from work in Montgomery Village on June 5 by a knife-wielding illegal immigrant who is also a MS-13 gang member (‘‘Murder suspect has gang ties, is illegal immigrant,” June 18 article)?

Crimes committed by illegal immigrants are preventable if we remove the criminal element from our communities and take away the incentives that bring them here. One way to accomplish this is to train state and local police in immigration enforcement under the federal 287(g) program. This partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement enables police to identify criminal aliens and process them for deportation, thus preventing their release back into the community to commit more crime.

Contrary to the fear-mongering spread by Casa of Maryland, this is not a dragnet approach targeting all immigrants.

Casa is expert at portraying its illegal immigrant clientele as victims of racism and xenophobia. What Casa and The Gazette don’t seem to understand is that the premise behind the great American melting pot is viable only if we adhere to the law and our past traditions of legal immigration coupled with assimilation. And neither is happening here in any meaningful way within the Latino community.

Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but we are foremost a nation of laws, and our immigration laws are specifically designed to prevent the massive uncontrolled flow of foreign nationals into the U.S. that is spreading into Montgomery County.

Ensuring our quality of life under the rule of law is a responsibility of all levels of government.

Matt Seubert, Germantown

The writer is a member of Help Save Maryland.