published Friday, May 13th, 2011

Never ‘satisfied’?

It was hard to take President Barack Obama seriously when he recently declared that no matter how much his administration does to combat illegal immigration, his political opponents will “never be satisfied.”

Opinions vary widely on whether the federal government has done enough to secure our border with Mexico. But whatever may or may not be taking place at the border, it is a fact that an estimated 11 million-plus illegal aliens are in the United States today, and the president wants Congress to give amnesty to potentially millions of them.

That does not — and should not — “satisfy” anyone who believes it is wrong to legalize those who stole across the border to take up unlawful residence in the United States, or those who may have come legally but then deliberately overstayed their visas.

The cost of that lawbreaking is painfully high. In Georgia, for instance, it is believed that there are about 425,000 illegal aliens. (For comparison, that far exceeds the entire population of Hamilton County.)

Think of the enormous cost to Georgia’s taxpayers of providing educational and other services to that vast number of people. Then multiply those costs nationwide. Think, too, of the jobs currently being filled by illegal aliens that might otherwise be filled by U.S. citizens or legal immigrants — in a time of 9 percent unemployment!

The way to “satisfy” the American people on this issue is to drop talk of amnesty for illegal aliens and to ensure adequate border protection. There should also be firm prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Potential illegal aliens would be discouraged from coming here if they knew they could not find jobs once they arrived.

The American people do not favor amnesty. The president and Congress should heed the people’s wishes.

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