A nation, that is any nation, is defined by three things at its core. It borders are the most obvious. We define a space of geography bordered by legal meridian lines that are generally accepted by other nations. The second is by its language. Although many nations use several languages as a purpose of commerce, each nation has a primary language that the bulk of it citizens use. The last thing that defines a nation is its laws. Everyone within a nation agrees to live by a certain set of rules or precepts that best represent the needs of its people.
All three of these things are threatened by illegal immigration.
By the government's own estimates as of 2006, there may be as many as 11-12 million illegal immigrants living within the US at any given time. Of all the nations in the world, as a percentage of its population, the US may have the highest amount by percentage of its population here illegally, as well as by the raw number. Some estimates suggest that as many as 2-3000 illegals a DAY cross the Arizona border - possibly more.
The big question is why?
Well, conditions in many countries outside the US are very poor. Mexico has become over the last 10 years extremely violent, and the opportunity to improve left there almost nonexistent. It's no wonder they are climbing over fences, crossing deadly deserts and facing huge adversity to get to the US. And for years, once here, by and large, authorities looked the other way. Employers took advantage of the cheap labor, as well as average citizens just looking for labor for the day.
You can't blame illegals, particularly Mexican immigrants, for WANTING to come to the US. Things are very bad not only in Mexico, but in many other third world countries. Violence and poverty are rampant. Compared to the US, most of the rest of the world lives in darkness.
But the problem is, if you start off on the wrong foot, you cannot hope to take advantage of the true value of the United States- namely, to better oneself to the point that you can live something more than a simple subsistence lifestyle.
For one thing, an illegal immigrant cannot achieve much more than a simple labor existence in this country (there are exceptions of course). This means a lifetime of lower wages, lower living conditions and, most importantly, lowered expectations of personal wealth and standard of living.
Thus, by allowing large amounts of illegal immigration into the country, you allow the growth of economic and social cancer in the country. With illegality comes poverty, and with poverty come sickness, slums and crime. While many illegal immigrants work hard, and contribute to the growth of a society, it is growth and a society built on sand rather than bedrock. You have mass amounts of people that never fully integrate into our society. They don't assimilate into the language or culture of the nation, they aren't able to fully enjoy the fruits of the labor they put in when coming here. Although they may live in bad conditions here, it is a far better existence than they were living in other countries, in most cases.
And this is the real tragedy- that people who seek nothing but to better their own existence, become in effect, the very problem they are seeking to run from.
There is another factor as well. It is very difficult to have respect for our laws and customs, if you break the very first law of the land, namely, you must be here legally. It's hard to explain the importance of having a legal driver's license, to someone who climbed over 10 foot fence with 3 children in tow. Without legal documents, it's unlikely they will own businesses, join organizations, or become a larger part of the most important part of being an American citizen- that is, doing more than simply earning a living here. It's hard to make the country a better place to live, when you are constantly avoiding the legal authorities and systems we have in place.
It is immoral for our country to continue to accept inexpensive labor and massive illegal immigration just so our heads of lettuce at the supermarket will cost less.
This is the central argument of those that support illegal immigration. You have heard the protesters- 'we will boycott', 'if you do this you will cost your businesses money'. The argument isn't about fleeing crime or murder is it? It's about 'we will hit you in your pocketbook'. This to me is a fairly weak argument. Bank robbers buy goods with stolen money and feed their kids with the cash they have- should we let them rob banks too? What about crooks like Madoff, that spent loads of money on endless luxury goods with the money he scammed from his victims. Should we let him off too, so some yachts builder won't have to raise his prices?
This is the premise of the DREAM act, and executive action of issuing visas to those who illegally arrived here.
Another factor to be considered are all the sob stories we are hearing about kids being separated from their parents and teenagers who are American citizens possibly being deported back to Mexico or Guatemala. The moral crime here is not the deportation however; it’s the implicit allowance of illegal immigration to continue. The state didn't put those kids in that position, the parents did. Yes, it’s tragic, but the state cannot be responsible for the illegal acts of those that choose to cross into the United States without proper procedure.
Our country simply cannot absorb everyone that wants to come here.
This is why there are limits to legal immigration; this is why we need to enforce our borders. We cannot say that we will not enforce our laws simply because they may be people who will benefit. For every story we hear about an innocent caught in the dilemma of improper immigration and the net of the law, there are a dozen stories we do not hear about of people being injured by those by illegal immigration. These are the stories of kidnappings, stories of murders, cops being shot in the line of duty, and the myriad of people who live their entire lives hiding in poverty and in desperate fear of being caught.
This is why we must enforce the law of legal immigration.