If you listen to George W. Bush and his small, fringe-like cadre of amnesty supporters, you would hear that it is virtually impossible to get more than 15 million illegal aliens out of the country.

They try to get you to imagine 50,000 747s filled with deportees taking off for Mexico and returning empty.

They try to get you to imagine concentration camps filled with families who only sought a better way of life for themselves.

They try to get you to imagine the cost of hiring millions of new immigration enforcement officials, building new holding facilities and transporting of illegals.

It’s really not that difficult. In fact, if it were, Bush and the amnesty supporters would probably embrace it. They seem to love expensive, big-government spending initiatives.

But it isn’t that difficult or expensive.

It’s a simple matter of using existing law enforcement resources wisely and efficiently and providing the proper incentives for illegal aliens to leave and the proper disincentives for them to stay.

What could be a major legislative breakthrough came Friday when Rep. Tom Tancredo, the leader in the Congress on immigration issues and a Republican presidential candidate, successfully offered an amendment to a Homeland Security appropriations bill to withhold federal emergency-services funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” that protect illegal aliens from identification and prosecution.

It was an amazing achievement to pass the bill 234-189, with 50 Democrats on board in the House.

This is the kind of action necessary to take our country back. Here are a few other necessary steps:

  • Deputize, authorize and train state and local law enforcement people to identify and prosecute illegal aliens. Ask any cop in this country how many illegal aliens they see in an average day. It’s probably dozens. There are hundreds of thousands of police officers working every day. Do the arithmetic. How long would it take to identify millions of people breaking the law by living and working here?

  • Penalize employers who hire illegal aliens. If employers have jobs Americans won’t do, then they will have to learn to pay higher wages and improve working conditions. That’s the way the free market works. Dry up the jobs for illegals, and they will start going home of their own free will.

  • End public services and benefits for those who cannot prove they are in the country legally. The welfare state is a magnet for severely impoverished people living within walking distance. No more free schools, no more food stamps, no more free medical care, no more Social Security checks, no more other giveaway programs for anyone who cannot prove they are in the country legally.

  • No driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. This seems like a no-brainer – something that should not even need to be stated. But since more than a dozen states currently provide them knowingly and willingly, obviously common sense is in short supply in some areas of the country.

  • No more anchor babies. Thanks to extra-constitutional court decisions, babies born in the U.S. to illegal alien parents immediately become U.S. citizens. This was never the intent of the authors of the Constitution. But now some legislative action is probably necessary to correct the problem created in the courts.

Maybe you ask: Can the federal government assert its authority over sovereign states in these matters? Should the federal government assert its authority over sovereign states in these matters?

The answer is an unequivocal and resounding “yes.”

As one who believes in an extremely limited role for Washington as strictly authorized under the Constitution, I can tell you that defending the country against invasion is very much a federal matter.

If we take these simple and inexpensive steps, we won’t need a Marshall Plan to get rid of 15 million to 20 million illegal aliens. We won’t need concentration camps. We won’t need to turn our country into a police state. Nature will take its course.

Couple these policy initiatives with real border security and we could be on our way to solving America’s most vexing and explosive crisis.

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