When we examine the question of illegal immigration and the provision of city services, there are two important angles to consider: principle and practice. From both perspectives, it is clear that illegal aliens should not be provided services by local governments and that the federal government should punish sanctuary cities for consciously seeking to subvert the sovereignty of the United States.
As a matter of principle, we must never forget that illegal aliens are just that: illegal. Unlike other nations that define themselves by ethnic affiliation or religion or revolutionary ideology, America is defined as a country under the rule of law. Illegally entering our country, these immigrants demonstrate a fundamental disrespect of our right as a nation to define our boundaries, and it is an insult to the hospitality that we show to those who make the effort to enter through legal channels.
Some might argue for revisions to the existing immigration law. This is irrelevant, however, to the question of what we do with those already here. Massive deportation is likely either unfeasible or inhumane. This does not mean, however, that it is incumbent upon us to make life more convenient for those who came here in violation of our laws. Being able to drive a car, or have a bank account, or take out a loan, are not universal human rights to which everyone is entitled, regardless of his/her behavior. These people are criminals, and they do not deserve to be treated as citizens or lawful guests.
Furthermore, when we examine the issue practically, it is obvious that the best way to prevent future illegal entry into this country is by eliminating the incentives. As long as the life of an illegal alien in America is attractive, our border security will always be circumvented.
The problem must be tackled at its source. We must make life for illegal immigrants as inhospitable as possible. Not only will this likely encourage those already here to leave of their own accord, it will also discourage others from coming in illegally. If we are so stupid as to make life easier for them through the provision of public services, not only will those already here never leave, but also we will never be able to stop illegal immigration.
Matthew Klein ’09 is a member of the Conservative Party