I read the article at the link below this morning in the Detroit Free Press, and was struck by the comment by Elena Herrada (a Detroit based activist for Latinos Unidos).

http://www.freep.com/article/20100430/NEWS05/4300342/1001/News/Immigration-reform-backers-to-rally

In her quoted comment, Herrada says “They don’t want to be considered criminals.  They want to be able to drive cars legally, have their parents safe….. They are right and they will win.”

This struck me as ironic, since if what illegal immigrants desire is legitimacy and legal rights, that is very easy to attain.  Just head on back to whatever country you’re a citizen of, where you have full rights and privileges of citizenship.

But, if you’re illegally here, you ARE a criminal, based on our laws, and you DON’T have the same rights as citizens of this country.

The article further describes seven students, of whom four are “undocumented” immigrants (i.e. “Illegal” immigrants), who are walking from Detroit to Ann Arbor to push for immigration reform.

Frankly, I have no issue whatever with the three students who ARE here legally protesting, making their views known, and participating in our democratic process.

I have a major problem with “undocumented” immigrants protesting anything, anywhere in this country.

I think immigration reform is definitely needed in this country, although I suspect my definition of “reform” may be different than that of the activists portrayed in this story.

If someone is here illegally, they should be deported, and the laws of our country upheld.  It’s pretty straightforward – as citizens, we don’t owe illegal trespassers anything.

And, again, for the record, I want to state categorically that I am strongly in favor of immigration, but it must be in accordance with our laws.

I have no ax to grind with Hispanics, Latinos, Mexicans, Asians, or any ethnic group represented by large numbers of illegal immigrants.

I have spent a lot of time in South America and Mexico, speak Spanish and Portuguese, have a tremendous amount of respect and affinity for the various Hispanic cultures and Hispanics, and my opposition to illegal immigration has absolutely nothing to do with where illegal immigrants come from.  It has everything to do with the fact that they are here illegally.

The bottom line is, if you want to drive legally here, you need to BE here legally.

If you are NOT here legally, you need to go home.

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