The Associated Press recently banned the phrase "Illegal Immigrant". I believe that this is an attempt to brainwash the public into accepting a "pathway to citizenship" for illegal aliens. A bipartisan group of senators is working on immigration reform that will legalize people who unlawfully invade our country. I understand that they are often very hard working people, just trying to raise their families as best they can, but in a country they have no right to be in. Unfortunately, some are also welfare recipients, bleeding the state and local government coffers and causing higher taxes for Americans and legal immigrants. A few are true miscreants, burglars, drug dealers and sometimes even murderers.

It is time to call the illegal immigrant population what they really are. They are criminals who violated our national sovereignty by entering our country without permission or proper documentation. While most say that they take jobs that no one else wants, that is not the whole story. They also form vicious gangs like MS-13 in Los Angeles that sell drugs to poison our children, run prostitution and extortion rings, and are responsible for a multitude of gang murders. While the criminal element is only a small component of illegal immigration, the cost of apprehending, trying and imprisoning the hard-core criminal element places an unacceptable burden on our legal system. Yes, most illegals work hard, support their families and obey many of our laws. But that does not justify their initial crime of bypassing our immigration procedures and forcing their way into our country and our society.

Many of our politicians want to offer illegals a "pathway to citizenship". For those of us who immigrated to this "Land of Milk and Honey" legally, often waiting for years before being granted a "Green Card", the "Pathway to Citizenship" is insulting. It is seen as a way to garner votes from newly minted citizens who did not earn the right to be in this country. By slithering across the border, the illegal aliens broke our laws, increased our welfare costs, used our hospitals, often without payment, and placed an unacceptable burden on law enforcement.

The only way to solve the illegal immigrant situation is to create a viable policy on immigration, then enforce it swiftly, with no exceptions. If you are illegal and you do not leave the United States within six months, you will be apprehended and deported. If you are deported, you will never be permitted to enter the United States again. If you leave of your own accord, you can apply for legal immigration to the United States from your own country just as all other legal immigrants have done for decades.

Our border patrol is armed, but often not permitted to use their weapons. I suggest that we update the rules of engagement to permit the Border Patrol to properly defend themselves and our nation's borders against armed "Coyotes" (professional human smugglers). The Coyotes are very well armed and extremely dangerous. Human trafficking across our borders must be stopped. We have the resources, we have the manpower. All we need is the conviction to protect our borders and our national sovereignty.

We should also crack down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. Employers who take advantage of illegals by offering substandard wages and poor working conditions should also be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The maximum 10-year sentence per violation should be meted out to employers knowingly hiring illegals. There are simple, easy to follow procedures in place to vet new employees, using the government's I-9 form. The procedures to use with the forms are well documented in the I-9 Employer Handbook.

The failure to enforce our immigration laws and policies has dire consequences. Drug and human smugglers and terrorists can freely cross both our northern and southern borders. Aggressive enforcement of our border security would stop criminals before they enter the country, and more importantly, before they can commit crimes against our citizens. Rather than offering a "Pathway to Citizenship" for illegals, let's offer to fast track them back to their country of origin. No welfare, no healthcare, just a speedy return trip to their native land.

© 2013 Gordon Smith - All Rights Reserved