Illegal still means Illegal

Unsurprisingly, the Sun Editorial Board has a problem with the Anne Arundel County Police arresting people accused of committing crimes:

Mr. Leopold’s comments play well in this conservative county, but they do a disservice to residents who may be unfairly targeted because of their ethnicity. His rush to judgment rouses less kind emotions.

Mr. Leopold says his even-handed approach to immigration helps those who play by the rules and is tough with those who don’t. Providing $14,000 in county funds to an organization that helps legal immigrants navigate the citizenship bureaucracy will have benefits. But his decision to refuse grant money to a group that couldn’t identify the citizenship status of its clients will likely drive those immigrants further into the shadows.

The Annapolis raid was part of the Bush administration’s stepped-up enforcement at workplaces. But these raids aren’t the answer to the estimated 11 million people who live here illegally. The country can’t arrest its way out of this problem. And local efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants have more political impact than practical effect. This is a national problem that demands a comprehensive federal solution.

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Of course the Sun is completely glossing over the fact that illegal immigrants are still in this country illegally. While the editorial is correct that the country cannot arrest its way out of the problem, and that business owners who knowingly employ illegal aliens should face consequences for their actions, that does not mean that police officers should turn a blind eye to the enforcement of our immigration laws.

Illegal immigration is a severe problem in this country, and clearly not enough is being done across the board. Illegal immigrants should not be immune from prosecution and deportation due to their crimes merely because immigration policy across the nation is broken, as the Sun seems to suggest.

Additionally, the enforcement action has nothing to do with racial politics, as the editorial board sheepishly insinuates, nor is it because John Leopold is playing to the voters in our county. Obfuscation of the immigration issue behind such political excuses further cheapens the immigration issue, and unnecessarily adds a racial and political component to what is clearly an issue of national security first and foremost.

As a nation of laws, it is absurd that the Sun would suggest that these laws be ignored without a national solution. The law is in place, and jurisdictions at the local, state, and federal levels all need to step up to ensure its enforcement.


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