Sunday, October 21, 2007

Compassion Fatigue

I was snooping around the ABC News website and there was a debate going on about the immigration problem. One of the posters used the phrase “compassion fatigue” to describe her problem with illegals.

I really liked that term. I think it describes most of us. We went along with the whole idea, started by the schools, that diversity and multiculturalism were good qualities to have. We were taught that all points-of-view are valid and that Americans need to stop thinking we are the center of the universe.

I think we all realized that putting up world flags in the gym at the elementary schools was a foolish way to spend “multicultural funds” and that making it one of the core standards for education was going a bit overboard, but we figured it wouldn’t hurt the kids to be more tolerant, especially since our country was getting browner.

No one begrudged poor, minority families who had large families and little money. It was right for us to let them slide when it came to school supplies and fees. A free school lunch was no big deal. After all, kids shouldn’t go without. And we went out and bought shoes and winter coats for the same reason.

Providing free emergency care was just good sense. What are you going to do, let them die out on the sidewalk?

For me, all that changed on May 1, 2006. It was then that I realized I was a chump. (See what I mean, “compassion fatigue” sounds much better than “a chump.”)

We are all chumps for giving our country away to third world immigrants, nearly half of whom came here illegally.

Of course, May 1, 2006 was the big May Day march around the country. 400,000 turned out in Chicago. I turned on the news that night to hear Congressmen cheering them on! Gutierrez and Obama were giving speeches encouraging them to keep fighting and promising comprehensive immigration reform.

Even Cardinal George got in the act, supporting their cause, along with other clergymen.

And the protesters were chanting “Yes we can!” and “We are America!” Some were even claiming they owned this country.

I know now that this was a political calculation. The November 2005 House Bill was tough on enforcement and they needed to make a statement that they wanted a path to citizenship.

Frankly, I wanted to know for myself where we stood on this issue of immigration, so I delved into it, read a few books, read lots of demographic charts and graphs, and decided that we have been duped by politicians, employers, and illegal aliens.

I learned that there were three commissions formed by the federal government in the past 25 years to study the immigration problem, and that they did a pretty good job of defining what needed to be done: Better border security, visa control, employer sanctions, identity verification, more deportations (and support structures like money and detention beds)…the same things we are talking about in 2007.

I learned that we didn’t do any of those things very well and now we have 500,000 illegal aliens living in Illinois.

I found out that the desire to enforce the law was gone from our government. I finally figured out that a Republican President, whom I voted for, was actually in favor of amnesty.

I was appalled to find out the extent to which the institutions in our country were willing to look the other way, and how few institutions were willing to challenge their presence.

I came to find out that those who wanted to stop this nonsense were quickly labeled racists, bigots, and xenophobes. While all the while advocacy groups were stepping up to protect the illegal alien in his unlawful acts.

I found it hard to understand that local officials were perfectly OK with the presence of illegal aliens, unaware (or perhaps aware, but unconcerned) that our schools, hospitals, and infrastructure were being heavily taxed by these intruders.

I could go on about the impact of illegal aliens in our lives, but the point is, someone has to keep standing up and telling the world what is really going on here. It isn’t that we are mean-spirited. Rather, it is that we have been fooled long enough, and their presence is a key evidence of a society being degraded and a language diluted while we sit idly by believing they are a necessary part of our economy.

I take off the mask and make other efforts to convince elected officials there is a problem, but there are only a few voices out there telling them to act. Even those who agree with me aren’t willing to write a letter or call their rep. To write to the newspaper or stand up at a council meeting is out of the question.

We’d all like to continue thinking there isn’t a problem here, but we’ve gone beyond that. I’ve been astonished to learn the things I have about the issue. What’s more, I am frightened by the militant nature of the protesters. They have no qualms about demanding legalization, as though it is our fault they came here.

And I’m convinced that Congress could care less. Far too many of them (from BOTH parties) are all too willing to make them legal and release the pressure. I’m also convinced that they would have done just that if not for the outcry from the public.

What I still don’t get is the large number of state and local officials who are OK with the situation. Like Elgin’s Mayor who turns out to be an apologist for them. The problem hits the local budget the hardest and they continue to welcome, even embrace them. Puzzling.

So, I’m compelled to continue to point out the problems and hope people will take note. So far, I’m not encouraged by the silence.

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