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Focus on Victims of Illegal Immigration

Deseret Morning News, Monday, February 12, 2007

Focus on victims of illegal immigration

By Ronald W. Mortensen


Having responded to some of the world's most tragic humanitarian crises including the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and the earthquake in Pakistan, I have seen innocent people who have lost everything homes, children and parents.

In Darfur, people pass their lives in desolate camps where their homes consist of a few sticks with a sheet of plastic draped over them, a jerry can for their water supply, a couple of pots and pans, an open fire to cook on and a hole in the ground for a bathroom. Children fall sick one day and die the next. These people truly merit our compassion.

Now compare that to the compassion advocated by the supporters of in-state tuition for the "foreign-born" children of illegal immigrants. Compassion, we are told, supersedes the law, and anyone who opposes in-state tuition is labeled as being self-righteous, a zealot and a racist by the Deseret Morning News' editorial writers.

Of course, this is misplaced compassion because it encourages children to break our immigration laws while failing to acknowledge that they cannot work legally for reputable employers either before or after graduation without committing document fraud and identity theft. But, perhaps most troubling is the fact that it fails to show compassion for the true victims of illegal immigration such as the thousands and thousands of Utah children, who according to Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, have had their identities stolen by illegal aliens.

Where is the compassion for the young parents in Draper who are trying to recover their 2-year-old daughter's identity after an illegal alien used it to get two jobs, take out loans and obtain credit cards?

Where is the compassion for the family of the nurse who was recently killed when an illegal immigrant left his wrecked vehicle in the road in southern Utah?

Where is the compassion for Utahns who must pay more for their health care in order to offset the free medical care provided to illegal immigrants?

Where is the compassion for the Utah family who has a premature baby and now faces bankruptcy while an illegal immigrant runs up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and pays nothing?

Where is the compassion for the Utah child who is forced into an overcrowded classroom in order to accommodate tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children?

Where is the compassion for our children who are addicted to and dying from heroin and other drugs provided by illegal immigrant drug cartels?

And why did the arrest of dozens of illegal immigrants, who committed identity theft in order to get jobs, result in an outpouring of compassion for their families rather than for their victims who have had their lives turned upside down?

If the media, the Alliance for Unity and other illegal immigrant advocates are truly concerned about Utah, let them begin by focusing on the true victims of illegal immigration their fellow citizens whose identities have been stolen, whose health-care system is being destroyed, whose children's education is suffering and whose family members have been killed by illegal immigrants.

Then, if these advocates of misplaced compassion still wish to support those illegally in the United States, let them use their personal funds to create and support scholarships, free clinics and welfare programs for illegal aliens and let them treat those who honestly disagree with them with civility rather than childishly calling them names.

Ronald W. Mortensen is a retired Foreign Service officer who served three tours in Africa and continues to respond to international humanitarian crises.


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