Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Guests

"The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept." ~ William Shakespeare

A couple I am acquainted with have owned a spacious home for many years. It has much more living space than they need, and more of the amenities than they need, or even use. In fact, they don't even use several of the rooms. They rarely make use of the indoor heated pool, the game room, the gymnasium, and they have yet to play a single game of tennis on their tennis court. They are simply too busy working and jetting around the world to exotic locales.

Often, the house sits unoccupied for months at a time, with only their hired caretaker to patrol the grounds, mow the lawn, and do other routine maintenance.

However, it belongs to them. No one else owns any part of this home. It is all theirs, and they have the right to reside, or not reside there. It is their choice.

Recently, my friends came home from a trip to Italy, and found a young couple had taken up residence in their home uninvited. The strangers refused to leave after my friends politely asked them to, and, after repeated demands to leave which met with stubborn refusals, they called the police.

Amazingly, the police refused to put the unwanted guests out of their home, noting that the couple had been hard at work since they arrived, maintaining the house and grounds, and indeed, they strangers had done such a fine job of keeping the house well maintained, the caretaker had resigned and moved on.

Since the strangers had not stolen anything and had treated my friends property with respect, and after the guests explained to them that they were only trying to make life better for themselves, and since my friends were rarely home, they reluctantly agreed to let them stay, at least until they could get back on their feet, as long as they promised to continue to maintain the residence and cause no trouble.

After it had become clear that this arrangement appeared to be working, my friends decided it was safe for them to leave the home for a couple of weeks. The guests, although originally unwanted and uninvited, had proven themselves trustworthy.

Upon returning home, to their surprise, they found their guests had invited several members of their extended family to move in with them, and now, in addition to the original young couple, their elderly parents, their siblings, and their siblings children were occupying the home.

Again, the local police refused to do anything because, once again, the only crime they had committed was trespassing, and they compensated for that by being good stewards of my friends property.

My friends were not completely pleased with this arrangement, but, as the police explained, as long as no serious crimes other than trespassing was committed, they might as well get used to having unwanted guests. So, my friends decided to try to make the best of their situation.

This cycle repeated itself every time my friends had to leave for any amount of time, until eventually, their once spacious mansion became so crowded, there was little room for the actual owners.

Once, one of the children fell and cut his finger on a rusty nail. My friends took the child to the emergency room, and, because the child's parents didn't have insurance or jobs, my friends paid the medical bill.

In addition to footing the medical bills for the uninvited guests, they were also paying for most of the food and clothing, and other expenses incurred as most of the guests had no jobs, and the ones that did, didn't make enough money to pay their own way. Then their guests began insisting my friends give them furniture and decorative items and electronic gadgets.

Eventually, my friends had to declare bankruptcy and move out of their home. Their guests have yet to repay their kindness.

I'm sure you are probably thinking, "That's crazy! How could anyone let people just walk all over them that way? Why did they not do anything to stop it?"

Why? Because it is crazy. The story isn't true. It is a parable.

But it illustrates the problem with allowing illegal aliens into our country unchecked and unsupervised.

The Conservative blogs and talk show hosts are forever pointing out insidious crimes committed by illegal aliens in this country, but I am going to say, for the record, that for every crime committed by illegal aliens, one can find probably at least ten illegal aliens who are just living and working, and making a life for themselves and their families, and not causing any trouble, whatsoever.

It makes no difference. Just because they are not murdering, stealing, raping, or committing other crimes, it does not mean they are no longer illegal.

The whole illegal alien problem basically comes down to one incontrovertible fact: They are illegal by virtue of the fact that they entered this country illegally, without going through proper immigration procedure.

Illegal is illegal. It does not change to legal simply because we let them get away with violating our laws.

If we allow this problem to continue unabated, we will someday become strangers in our own land.


Marshall Art said...

Your story is the perfect metaphor for what is happening with regards to illegal immigration. It'll be interesting to see the response you'll get.

Recently, one of our liberal blogger friends posted on this issue using a tract or two from each of the Testaments regarding how we should be treating aliens among us. (I guess since the issue isn't of a sexual nature, the use of Scripture is now justified.) The problem is, most people don't have a problem with legal immigrants, particularly since most Americans are only a generation or two descended from immigrants. Any problems one might have are usually if the immigrant doesn't speak the language.

The real problem people have is the distinction between immigrants and invaders. I really don't think using the word "immigrant" with "illegal" preceding it is accurate. "Immigrant" denotes one who comes legally, or is welcomed as such. Those who sneak in in the dead of night, crawling under or over fences, being stuff into trucks with two or three dozen others, those are invaders, no matter what their true intentions once they arrive. They are welcomed only by those who would exploit them.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I've never quite been tuned into using the "illegals are committing crimes" kind of reasoning, myself.

but I am going to say, for the record, that for every crime committed by illegal aliens, one can find probably at least ten illegal aliens who are just living and working, and making a life for themselves and their families,

And probably 100 legal citizens as well, committing crimes for every illegal that does so.

Trader Rick said...

Mark, you are a genius. Outstanding blog. I wish our leaders had even a tenth of your wisdom.--Rick

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Well said Mark and very good parable. What part of the word illegal do they not understand ?

Whether they are good stewards of the fredoms they have stolen or breaking the law continualy in a much more violent way the fact that they are in the country in the first place makes the fugitives of the law and illegal aliens eligible for immediate deportation.

I am glad to see Bush finally pushing to enforce existing laws and hope thatthis is just the tip of the iceberg in enforcement and border security.

This is an illegal invasion and if the direction of that invasion were reveresed and it is we who were going south rather than Mexicans going north, ther is no doubt that not only would we be stopped at the border but violent actions would be taken against for even attempting.

Timothy said...

You had me going! Great parable and great point. Keep up the good work.

Francis Lynn said...

I have no problem pointing out the violent crimes of illegal aliens. Ya, we're stuck with the crimes committed by Americans. But crimes by illegals are a needless & preventable addition to the country's crime rate & to the victimization of Americans. Lotta dead Americans who would still be alive were it not for the illegals being here.

And those hard working illegals that just want a better life commit more beneign crimes - like using fake SSN's & dl's & other phony documents, or they steal & use an American's SSN. Committing the crime of being here illegally in the first place leads naturally to additional crimes.

The one thing that galls me is this birthright citizenship. An illegal crosses the border & 5 minutes later drops a kid - & that kid is automatically an American citizen eligible for government benifits just like any other citizen. What a sad joke. That needs to be changed by Congress. It will help slow down the infestation.

Deport every last one of the illegals.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I'm impressed, Mark. And I already knew you're a genius!

Mark said...

Wow! I am either thankful for all the kind compliments, or I am humbled by the sarcasm!

Actually I thought the whole story was overly simplistic and seriously considered deleting it entirely.

But it really is simple. Illegal, as I said, is illegal. It is a black/white issue, and there are no shades of gray here.

Abouna said...

Mark, your posting was right on. It is unfortunate that our politicians and those in the mainstream media refuse to differentiate between legal immigration and illegal immigration.

Another aspect to this problem is more and more every day, I hear those in the corporate world and our so-called government leaders claiming how America is losing its skilled workers, such as plumbers, carpenters, auto mechanics, electricians. etc. This is being used as an excuse to keep allowing more and more legal and illegal immigrants into the country.

Yet they fail to either see or admit why we are losing skilled labor. The whole reason is because for years, the education system has been pushing everybody into college, even if many are not really college material. So many schools today have even dropped the traditional shop programs. The various trades can no longer get young people interested in apprenticeship programs, and the employers don't want to pay the good wages they had paid in the past. They feel 'why should they hire American workers and pay them a decent wage and benefits when they have an endless supply of cheap illegal workers'.

If you go back to my blog and want to play a song, after you pick one,if it doesn't start right away, try clicking your page refresh button and then re-click the song you want. Also, every time you play a song and then want to hear a different one, you have to refresh the page. I know it is a pain in the butt, but that is the way it works, even for me when I am on my own site.

Scottish Soldier is one of my favorites since I was a kid, and I'm not even Scot.

Dan Trabue said...

Very nice analogy, Mark. Seriously. You had me going for a few paragraphs, anyway.

And your point is not entirely without merit.

However, what if we told the first part of the story? That the squatters had a home and jobs and everything, but then, the mansion-owners worked in conjunction with the squatter's old landlord to help contribute to teh squatters losing their job and home so that the mansion-owners could more easily afford their luxurious home?

You'd certainly still be correct in the legal sense, that the squatters were illegally trespassing. But in the moral sense, the mansion-owners would bear some culpability and it would be a bit of ironic justice that, in oppressing others to better themselves, the consequences were that they had to then deal with the squatters.

What comes around, goes around.

Mark said...

Morality aside, illegal is still illegal. I have lost many jobs, and never once did I blame my bosses for making what amounts to a business decision. Nor did I find it necessary to break the law and put the blame for my crime on them.

Here we are again, aren't we Dan? I believe in personal responsibility, and you believe in giving lawbreakers a pass because they made poor choices or because they got bad breaks, and instead of picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, and trying again, they choose to whine and complain that someone didn't give them everything they demand without having to work for it.

Gayle said...

It is a wonderful parable, Mark, even though I promise I was wise to it early on. That's probably because this is a subject which is my biggest pet peave! I like the parable, and I think you should send it to a few politicians, in particular, George W. Bush. :)

I believe in personal responsibility too. It wouldn't matter if these people never lived in their house. They were paying the upkeep on it (just as we Americans pay for the upkeep on America - bridges wouldn't fall if people would use the our tax money the way it was intended), and nobody has the right to move into someone elses property without permission. No one! Neither would it matter if the house was in ill repair... it's still their house and it's still our country.

The Mexican government is much to blame for this sorry state of affairs. I've seen the poverty in Mexico and it isn't pretty. Mexico should be helping their people, not pocketing money and telling them to go north. It's so frustrating!

See... you got me started! My comments are usually much shorter. Good going! :)

Pamela Reece said...

All semantics i.e. "illegals" "migrants" "immigrants" "temporary citizen" blah, blah, blah....! In the end, anyone who is in the U.S., without the consent of our government or overstays their "visitor or student" visa, they're here illegally.

In my view this means they are criminals. I don't care where they came from, they are within our borders illegally. No ifs, ands or buts about it! They are felony criminals and should be deported without any further welcome mat. If they sneak in the U.S. and are caught 20 years later, that doesn't supersede their criminality. Nobody can convince me that if a killer murders somebody and are not caught 20 years later that they are somehow forgiven for that murder. It's just plain ludicrous.

Dan Trabue said...

"Here we are again, aren't we Dan? I believe in personal responsibility, and you believe in giving lawbreakers a pass because they made poor choices or because they got bad breaks"

Here we are again, indeed, Mark. My raising a point and you misrepresenting it (I'm sure unintentionally).

I said nothing about "giving lawbreakers a pass." I said that if WE make poor decisions, we will have to deal with those consequences.

As a matter of personal responsibility, I am opposed to NAFTA. It gives corporations greater legal standing than local sovereign states.

We are obliged to live in a responsible manner with our neighbors. NAFTA hasn't done that. Poverty has increased in Mexico as a result of NAFTA (as will no doubt happen in other Central American nations because of CAFTA).

Is it personally responsible to live in such a way that you take away your neighbor's job and home to make you wealthier, Mark? This is exactly about personal - as well as societal - responsibility.

Francis Lynn said...

Duh - in my previous comment I left out the analogy to birthright citizenship & your guests, Mark.

So one of these "guests" plops out a kid in the owners' house. The newborn is given full rights to use the owners' last name & has full rights to all the benefits & privileges that the owners have, not withstanding that the guests broke into the house 5 mins before the kid was plopped. The guests have no alligence to the owners, haven't contributed a dime or a sweat to the owners.

But just because some female decides to swing her legs over the fence - ta-da - a new owner, or citizen as the case may be.

This is crazy & needs to be changed.

Marshall Art said...

Personally, I don't have a problem with birthright citizenship. But I don't think that means that the illegal parents get to stick around as a result. If they come over illegally, they go back and of course, as responsible, loving parents, take the little guy with them. He's welcome back when he's able to come over of his own accord because he was born here. The same would go for those who are on any temporary visas should they drop a heifer. That's the part of the law(?) I would change. The kid's a citizen, but it doesn't give the illegal parents the right to stay.