CNN's reporting here disgusts me on several levels. Quotes from the article in italics:
For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country.
Note "lived his version of the American dream". What is that "version"? Well:
Zapeta, who speaks no English...
Zapeta admits he never paid taxes.
Zapeta said his goal in coming to the United States was to make enough money to buy land in his mountain village and build a home for his mother and sisters.
Let's get this straight: the American Dream is NOT:
- Entering the country in violation of United States Law.
- Isolating one's self by not learning English and assimilating into American society and culture.
- Violating the laws of this country by working illegally and not paying taxes on wages earned.
- Sucking what you think you can out of the United States and running back to the third world.
- Mr. Zapeta should have applied for an immigrant visa and entered the country legally
- Mr. Zapeta should have enrolled in ESL classes
- Mr. Zapeta should have been working legally and paying his taxes
- Mr. Zapeta should have been using his savings in order to bring his family to the United States so they can share in the American Dream and build a better life here
"They are treating me like a criminal when all I am is a working man," he said.
No, Mr. Zapeta, you are being treated like a criminal because you are one! You entered the country illegally. You worked illegally. You ignored U.S. laws with regards to taxation (yes, even illegally obtained wages are subject to taxation). You ignored or were ignorant of U.S. laws with regards to transporting cash. Since you were getting on an airplane, you obviously have also illegally obtained some form of photo ID.
On a side note, I'd love to know if the restaurant proprietors who employed Mr. Zapeta have been charged yet. They are just as culpable; more so, even.
I am frankly sick and tired of bleeding hearts for criminals who have both entered this country illegally and refused to truly be "immigrants" - e.g. individuals determined to become Americans.
- Close the borders with fences, walls, and even land mines if necessary.
- Deport all illegal immigrants; deported illegals may never return to the United States, even with a tourist visa. Violations of U.S. Law must NEVER be rewarded.
- Promote legal immigration; increase the amount of available immigrant visas.
- Any immigrant visa holder who has not completed basic ESL by the end of their first 18 months in the United States should have their visa cancelled and be deported.
- Prosecute vigorously all employers who break employment laws.
- Use economic sanctions - possibly even complete trade embargos - against countries that do not do their part to control outbound illegal immigrants.
This country was built on immigrants who came legally, worked hard, obeyed our laws, and became Americans. Period.