Friday, December 22, 2006

Denver Daily News:Greeley: Fallout from Failed Immigration Policy The reality of illegal immigration, and our tolerance of it, encourages disrespect for the rule of law and puts local law enforcement in an impossible situation. Local police and sheriff’s deputies reside in a community in which they cannot enforce U.S. immigration policy, which results in a loss of trust. They often get criticized from both sides of the illegal immigration debate. Illegal immigration, and our tolerance of it, creates a market for forged, false and stolen documents. The demand for social security numbers, birth certificates and state identification leads to identity theft. Working with stolen documents is not a victimless crime; it shatters lives. Thousands of legal residents spend years trying to clean up credit reports and sometimes criminal records with little hope of retribution. Illegal immigration, and our tolerance of it, creates an underground culture — a group of people living in the shadows because they chose not to reside legally. They often don’t assimilate. They live in a constant state of risk — risk of deportation, risk of jail, risk of losing everything for which they have worked — and they raise children in this environment. The community educates these children with mixed messages of respecting the rule of law while tolerating the lack of enforcement. This environment is the antithesis of the American Dream that so many immigrants want to pursue.