I attended the Illinois Minutemen meeting in Rock Island last evening and all I can say is that those people sure have a lot of irrational fears. They like to portray themselves as people who are taking action but they seemed more like frightened children to me.
They worry that Al Qaeda terrorists are coming into this country across a poorly defended Mexican border. All the Al Qaeda terrorists that have been discovered to have been in this country either crossed the Canadian border or flew into the country on commercial airliners with legal visas.
They worry that immigrants are not assimilating and becoming Americans. That one baffles me. All the immigrants I have ever met really want to become Americans. That is why they came.
They worry that immigration (legal and illegal) is being encouraged and promoted by political forces which will use the immigrant vote to take control of something. That’s a laugh to anyone who has tried to get Hispanics to register and vote. Of the ones that do register and vote about half vote Republican and half for the Democrats.
They worry that illegal immigrants have more rights and benefits than citizens. Loans available only to illegal immigrants at lower interest rates than those available to citizens were mentioned. My wife, who both professionally and as a volunteer tries to help connect poor people, many of who are recent immigrants, with available services, was shaking her head about that one. She wanted to ask the speaker what she was talking about just in case there were some benefits available for immigrants of which she was unaware but the speaker did not seem to be allowing questions from the audience and we could not stay to the end of the 3 hour meeting.
They worry that illegal immigration is undermining everything that our brave soldiers fought and died for. (At this point in her talk she should have had patriotic music in the background and a backdrop of marching soldiers carrying American flags, but it seemed to be a low budget affair and there were no multi-media special effects.) All I could say was "Huh?" Many of our soldiers, both past and present, are recent immigrants. Many enter the military before becoming citizens.
There are real problems caused by massive illegal immigration but these people seem to spend most of their time fretting about imaginary ones. Our immigration policy needs to change but to do it correctly we first must have a clear understanding of the problem. These people do not seem to me to be part of the solution.
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