How Soon We Forget

by Amy Zidell


Whether it is anticipating a metal detector at an office building, taking notice of boxes or bags seemingly left behind, the con trails of patrol fighter jets high in the sky, or the remembrance of just how still and quite the sky was days following September 11th, cues are constant. Like many, the events of September 11th weigh on my mind daily. The reminders for those that lost loved ones, were injured, or escaped are most significant. The annual marking of the same calendared day as another year ticks past, merely focuses introspection -- an appropriate time to be concerned about how soon we forget.

The War on Terror is seemingly again a world away. A false belief. The desire to return to complacency and whatever is deemed normalcy is a dangerous trend. There is no going back and yet it seems many desperately are trying to do just that. The bane of political correctness rises again promoting a self-imposed ignorance, which contributed to our vulnerability on September 11th.

Why are the security concerns about ILLEGAL immigration and a host of issues surrounding it suddenly being ignored at a major border state? Gray Davis recently put into law a bill allowing ILLEGAL immigrants to be issued a driver's license in California. Did the security concerns Davis have previously, which caused him not to approve this bill earlier, evaporate recently, or just his job hand hold? Arnold Schwarzenegger is routinely criticized for voting for proposition 187, which limited free services provided to ILLEGAL immigrants. A majority of California voters voted for proposition 187. I'm pretty certain I voted for it. Proposition 187 passed. The idea of rewarding illegal behavior strikes many, including the majority of California voters, as very wrong. The will of the people was subverted by special interests that sought refuge through the courts. I believe this is unfortunate and as an aside, the trend of passed ballot measures being thrown out by way of courts contributes to voter apathy and low voter turnout: because after your vote is counted, it's discounted.

Illegal immigration is a serious problem for the United States. It especially burdens border States including California. Had existing immigration laws and policy been fully enforced prior to September 11th, the ability for terrorists to even be in the country in the first place would have at least been restricted.

It is an affront to LEGAL immigrants to benefit ILLEGAL immigrants. Lest we forget an ILLEGAL immigrant is breaking the law. They invade. Unless you are a Native American, and for this argument that's far enough back to go, every citizen of this country is decedent of immigrants. Immigration is celebrated in the US. We've got the Statue, the "melting pot" moniker, and China and other origin nationality specific towns peppered in states throughout the Union.

Rewarding ILLEGAL behavior creates an overly permissive environment, which has infected everything from corporate culture to entertainment programming. (I will leave the debate that this achieved fever-pitch status during the Clinton White House for another time, however this snowball got rolling publicly during Nixon's years.) It's okay to break this law, so maybe that law can be broken too. There is limited grey area. Extenuating, mitigating factors temper at what point a law is indeed broken or not.

Do we really need more permissiveness in our society? We forget too easily. If we don't honor the freedoms we have, we will loose them. Our free, open society makes us a target and we should not apologize for that. A society tolerating illegal activity makes itself susceptible. The effect of ILLEGAL immigration touches many disciplines: finance, security, public health, law enforcement, morality, and just the principle of it.

There is a dangerous significance in Davis's recent actions. As wonderful as our neighbors to the north and south are, there's just no way they will caretaker our country as we do. With freedom comes responsibility. Every teenage driver is given rules or they don't get car access. Be it grades, a part-time job, a clean room, safe driving, some rules apply. Rules get broken, no car. Actions bear consequences. An intelligent citizenry understands that.

Let's not forgot. We may have to contend with longer lines to get on a plane. We may have to answer questions from a post office clerk about a package we're shipping. Extra security measures may add taxes or cost to products and services. These inconveniences shouldn't be a problem being a civilized society and all. When the trials of civilized life eat at you, at the moment you want to be annoyed, stop and remember the THOUSANDS of people who don't have that luxury anymore.

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