There is a widespread perception that illegal immigrants – primarily from Mexico – are decent, hardworking people and we should give them a break. Many illegals no doubt view themselves this way.

They are wrong. Every person who walks across the U.S. border in an attempt to gain the benefits of U.S. residency or citizenship without paying the price of legal entry is a thief. He has stolen the most valuable commodity that any of us possess – our birthright and identity as American citizens.

Not only has the illegal stolen the identity of native-born Americans, he has stolen the good name of the legal immigrants who daily help to build this nation in the tradition of all Americans – for we are all immigrants. The difference is that whether our families immigrated while standing on the deck of the Mayflower, or by trudging past immigration officers on Ellis Island – our families paid the price being asked of those who wanted to become Americans.

Illegals chose not to pay that price. Instead, they saw U.S. citizenship sitting on the shelf, tucked it underneath their coat, and walked out the door with it. Their thievery must be especially poignant to those who have invested their hopes, dreams, sweat and tears to pay for this great prize.

An illegal’s thievery does not end with the stolen identity of American citizenship. For many, that is just the beginning. Their bogus citizenship opens the doors to publicly funded assistance for those in need, publicly funded education for their children, up to and including state colleges and universities. It provides publicly funded health care for those unable to pay, and finally publicly funded retirement and Medicare for the aged. Not a bad haul for a thief who never paid a dime for his stolen identity.

Those who support this thievery – often under the guise of compassion – are no better than the thieves themselves. By aiding and abetting the thieves, these misguided citizens are stealing from their countrymen who “work hard and play by the rules.” If they are public officials, then they have violated their sacred oath to protect our nation (20 percent of all federal prisoners are illegals), and their promise to us to “see that the laws be faithfully executed” was a lie. If they are school administrators struggling with difficult budgets, they are stealing from taxpayers, families and the children of lawful citizens – and giving the proceeds to thieves. If they are employers, they are stealing from their workers – who would receive higher pay and benefits for their work – had their birthright as an American not been stolen from them.

As the well-organized citizenship demonstrations have shown, illegal immigrants already feel entitled to have lawful American citizens accommodate their thievery. Unlike those who worked for the prize, illegals have no interest in assimilation – only the goodies that their stolen American identity can provide.

Does assimilation matter? If you saw the TV previews of burning cars and Muslim “youths” rioting in France, you will have an idea of what to expect here if Congress permits the continued growth of illegal immigrant enclaves in America.

What to do? Several things come to mind:

  • Exact a serious price for illegal immigration. Any change in the law could allow a 30-day exit amnesty for illegals residing here – time enough to pack up, go home, and apply for legal residence status and legal entry into this country. Beyond that, make illegal entry or residing here illegally a felony that bars the individual from ever becoming an American citizen. Those who are truly interested in citizenship and assimilation will make the trip.

  • Cut off all public assistance to illegals and their children. Provide them with a Homeland Security charter bus ticket home. Prosecute public employees who provide such assistance for theft of taxpayer monies, fire them, and put them in jail.

  • Put the National Guard and the Army on the U.S.-Mexican border until we can technologically secure it. Give the tools and the mission to commanders. Treat it as the military mission that it is.

  • Apply tax and trade sanctions against companies shipping goods from Mexico if Mexican officials do not begin cooperating with our efforts to secure our borders.

  • Provide biometric identification to visitors and legal resident aliens, and make verification available to schools, public agencies, police and employers.

  • Make sure no illegal ever votes in a federal, state or local election. This will reduce pandering by elected officeholders.

No more amnesty. No more misguided compassion. Let’s roll out the red carpet for those who want to become Americans, and roll up the drawbridge on the rest of them, before they burn down the castle.

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