Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

So what's "illegal" about them?

My wife, who works for the IRS, was telling me the other day that many of her customers are "illegal" aliens, asking for taxpayer identification numbers (essentially as substitutes for social security numbers). It set me to thinking about the concept of illegality. Usually, when people do something illegal (and are caught) they suffer some sort of consequence for their actions. The logical consequence for being in this country illegally would, you would think, be deportation, or, as an alternative, the chance to apply to be here legally. Instead, we have illegal aliens so unconcerned about deportation that they are appearing, voluntarily, at government offices, to obtain a number to allow the government to better identify them! Does anyone else see anything odd in this picture? Personally, I would vastly increase the ease with which one could become a legal alien. We need migrant workers, doing jobs too few Americans want to do, and there is no reason they should be forced to come here illegally. And, as a matter of course, I would give illegals the chance to become legal before deporting them. But they couldn't simply stay here illegally. Once identified, they would have to become legal or leave. Of course, here in California, we don't debate whether to deport illegal aliens; we debate whether to give them drivers licenses. And, of course, as the otherwise useful link demonstrates, our politically correct educational system refers to them not as "illegal" but as "undocumented". Shades of Steve's ConLaw professor (see the comments on the previous article). No answer here, and maybe even no real question, but I hope you'll add your comments to the conversation anyway.