Yesterday, Barack Obama quietly met with 34 lawmakers and others within his administration at the White House. Topic of discussion? Immigration reform. He is feeling the squeeze from several different directions, not just from the usual liberal/conservative angles, reports the Houston Chronicle. Business, agriculture, organized labor, Latino groups, the ACLU, and the southwestern states of California, Arizona and Texas all seem to view this common nightmare from different perspectives. This is not your typical liberal versus conservative issue…or is it?

From the Houston Chronicle this evening (June 27):

“An overhaul of the broken immigration system is unacceptable if it trades fundamental civil liberties for quick fixes,” said Joanne Lin, the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative counsel.

On the flip side, any plan that offers a path to citizenship for people illegally living in the U.S. today will lose the votes of a wide swath of Democratic and Republican conservatives.

“It just doesn’t make any sense at a time of record deficits and high unemployment … to give amnesty,” said Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston.

Liberals still want to give civil liberties to those having NO RIGHT OR CLAIM to such liberties within our borders. Gray Davis got ousted from the governor’s mansion in Sacramento over just such an issue. The straw that broke the camel’s back was his plan to offer California driver licenses to illegals. Several months and two radio talkshow hosts later, Ahnold moved in with his Hummers. I was there. I voted for Ahnold…and then moved away.

Conservatives are dead set against amnesty, as they should be. First, because the additional cost to the taxpayer would be astronomical if all these illegal residents suddenly felt free to “log onto the system.” Second, all those ACORN nuts would be out in droves registering them to vote democratic. Important districts in several states could be seriously impacted.

Yes, there are several different groups, all wanting Obama to scratch some particular itch with regards to immigration reform. But in the end, there is the liberal immigration agenda and there is the conservative immigration agenda. And the FENCE is not an issue at all, even though it has been the centerpiece of immigration reform rhetoric for the past few years.

Here is the best analogy I can come up with to strip the immigration issue of all the emotional hype and name-calling and colorful metaphors associated with it. This is, in a nutshell, how you solve the immigration issue.

Some time ago I opened my email box to find the usual plethora of action alerts and warnings, giving me the day’s roster of fatal missteps to be taken by the various leaders, legislative bodies and courts. Among the items, the border fence stood out as the issue of the day. I was urged to “flood the capitol” with emails and “shut down the phone lines” with faxes. “Save our fence!”

Now, I have a fence around my back yard (an actual wooden fence), in the small, northwest Oklahoma town where I live. And inside that fence, you’ll find a system of concrete block walls covered with siding and fastened to a concrete foundation. The whole thing is covered with a decking of wood, supported by trusses and sealed over with asphalt shingles. This structure, of course, comprises my home. It’s water tight, and when pounded by those notorious Oklahoma winds sweeping o’er the plain, or when thunderstorms batter it with torrential rains and wind and hailstones, the damage rarely consists of more than a few missing shingles, if anything.

Now, for all the planning, engineering and structural integrity of my house, I still have a problem with ants. These little creatures invade the kitchen, march around in single file and devour everything in sight. They gain control of the counter tops, they occupy the cupboards and even make life miserable for my two cats, whose food bowls are a favorite target of these plunderers.

The fence around my back yard, the water-tight concrete walls and slab…and even the little signs I posted around the house saying, “Ants: Keep OUT!” are ineffective. We spray, we kill, we wash down the drain, we caulk and we curse, and the next morning, there they are again. And who’s to blame them? It’s hot outside! And dry and dirty. My house is clean and air conditioned. Food and water exist in abundance. Were I an ant, I’d find a way into my house, too.

So how does one get rid of the pesky little nuisances? Here’s how. Eliminate what they come in after. Keep the counter clear of food. Keep the crumbs and spills off the table and floor. Keep the syrup and molasses bottles tightly closed. Wash the dishes and put left-overs in the refrigerator. Make sure the faucets aren’t dripping. When we do this, the ants stop coming.

Now, we’re dealing with human beings, infinitely smarter, with infinitely higher motives than your basic, run-of-the-mill ant. So no matter what we build along our border, virtual or actual, they will still get here, just like the ants get in my house. And why not? We feed them better than they are fed at home. We house them better. We supply police and fire protection. We educate and care for their young. We offer them free medical care and free social services.

And here’s the kicker. The worst thing that will probably ever happen to them is they’ll be picked up, hauled back to Tijuana or Nuevo Laredo and turned loose. How do you suppose this tactic would work on my ant problem? What if I just rounded up these little usurpers and put them back outside in the grass? Do you really think that would alleviate the problem? Of course not. Nor will it for illegal immigrants. It’s your basic capitalistic principal, risk versus reward. In this case, great BIG reward and very LITTLE risk. I’d do it.

If we want to achieve a significant decrease in illegal immigration, the federal and state governments must CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN. We must eliminate the benefits of coming to this country illegally. Our liberal friends will never do this. It is one of the ways they perpetuate liberalism, by maintaining and growing a population who depends upon government programs and handouts. Illegal immigration is a cornerstone of the ‘growing’ part of their strategy.

I have no problem with the fence. It’s probably not a bad idea. But without a concurrent thorough house-cleaning, the fence is nothing more or less than a two-run homer for the liberals. They get to waste a ton of our money on a conservative-backed project that won’t work, AND their voter base still grows. On the other hand, if we clean up the kitchen, the fence probably won’t be necessary. A ton of money saved and ACORN stays home. Joanne’s “overhaul” won’t be needed and amnesty during a deep recession won’t be relevant, as they will all leave when the free goodies are no longer available. It’s time to clean the kitchen.

T. Lee Mac: Immigration Reform – The Ants Come Marching

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