Smith: Why legal immigration must be the priority

Smith: Why legal immigration must be the priority

July 15th, 2014 Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

A few years back, I encountered a group of folks in blue golf shirts with the logo of a security company walking in a Chattanooga neighborhood. I learned that the area had been victimized over a two-week period by "a rash of break-ins" by "bold" individuals in the daytime, even with homeowners present.

It was a profitable day for these sales folks in a part of Chattanooga that had been hit by individuals who had no respect for the property rights of others, who had no respect for the law, and who were comfortable in their acts against hard-working, law-abiding folks.

It could be argued by some that the criminals might feel justified in their thefts because they had an unmet need in their lives. But, the natural response of this neighborhood was to express anger, request a greater presence of law enforcement and implement personal security measures on their own.

We have locks on our doors at home, some have security alarm systems, others have motion-detection systems at home or business. Some may live in gated communities.

Sounds acceptable, right?

Now, apply this thinking to the border of the United States of America. It's not racist to have a legal immigration process. It's not hateful to enforce the laws of the nation. It's not showing a lack of compassion to expect any individual who wants to live in this nation to enter legally first, then abide within the law.

The finger-pointing in the political world among the gutless wonders who are fearful to state the fact are not showing compassion. The citizens who own property, pay taxes and raise their families along the southern border of America are having their rights trampled upon and their lives disrupted by lawbreakers.

Tennessee has laws in place that prevent sanctuary cities that might harbor those here illegally. Our state has an e-verify system that employers must use to enforce the employment of legal citizens. Tennessee has already put in place legislation that prohibits taxpayer-funded services being available to illegal immigrants.

Why?

Because illegal immigration is ... illegal.

When you lock your door at night, set the alarm system before lights out, drive through your gated community after work, are you racist? Are you hateful to want to protect your hard-earned possessions? Are you showing any less compassion that you honor your own property rights and good standing as a law-abiding citizen?

Frederick Bastiat, a 19th-century French theorist and political economist who wrote "The Law," summarizes:

"The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder."

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

"The mission of law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect property."

It's time for Americans to have the law protect them. Period.

Robin Smith is the immediate past Tennessee Republican Party, owner of Rivers Edge Alliance, certified by Stanford-Project Management and serves on state Economic Council on Women.