Vital Signs

Poster Illegals . . . and the Rest of Them

I have seen this woman and her child more times than I can remember. She is the poster mother for illegal immigration. In article after article on illegal aliens in the mainstream press, sympathetic journalists describe her suffering and hardship in a land where people have too little compassion.

Another such poster illegal is the thin, sad-eyed man who tells the reporter that he is only here to provide for his family and do work no American is willing to perform.

I don't deny that sympathetic illegal aliens exist. At an official count of five million (and the real figure is probably higher), it would certainly be surprising if there weren't at least a few illegals with hearts of gold. But after nine years of research and study of immigration, legal and illegal, I can testify that many illegal aliens are not nearly so heartwarming as the poster people.

My education on this subject began in 1990, when people from Southern California began contacting me at the American Immigration Control Foundation. In voices of alarm and despair, they related how their state was being overrun by illegal immigrants. They spoke of growing areas of their communities where they were not welcome—indeed, where they feared to go. Often, they complained, authorities would side with illegals against Americans.

I particularly remember the statement of a woman who said that we were facing a new breed of illegal...

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