McCULLOUGH: Protesters skirt legal issues

On Wednesday, another group of indignant immigrants came to Gwinnett to protest the controversial 287(g) program.

As in the past, the protesters used the magician's tactic of misdirection to try to make you focus on something else instead of the main issue, which is that they don't want to be sent home when they are caught despite the fact that they are here illegally in the first place. And they have a lot in their bag of tricks.

They tug at your heart strings with signs that proclaim their humanity and statements of how they want to work hard for their families. They try to shame you by telling how they live in fear — "the American nightmare" one protester called it. And of course, they play the race card:

"It's disheartening to see that a person who believes in justice ... criminalizes human beings because of (the color of their skin) and because they don't have documentation," one protester told a Daily Post reporter.

This person believes himself to be the victim. The law is not written to his liking, so obviously the law is wrong.

Well, I've got news for you. It's not the law that's wrong. It's you.

These folks are looking for open minds and people to listen. Turnabout is fair play, so let me explain a few hard truths to the illegal immigrant protest crowd.

1) If you're here illegally, you're here illegally. Period. The reason most folks don't want to hear your protest is because you want the protection of the same set of laws you thumbed your nose at when you slipped across the border. You've already shown a disregard for our justice system, yet you want us to welcome you with open arms. It does not compute.

2) Most folks don't care about the color of your skin. Don't believe me? Take a look at the guy in the Oval Office.

3) What we do care about is why and how you came here. If you come here legally seeking legitimate work, the average American will be glad to see you get a job, an education or citizenship. If you're illegal, you are doing nothing more than driving down wages because you take jobs for less pay and no benefits. But most of all, if you're here illegally and up to no good, well, that's exactly the point of 287(g). Which brings me to No. 4.

4) We don't need any more criminals. Atlanta is now the major hub for the distribution of illegal drugs in this country. Most of those drugs come up the pipeline from South America. The people who traffick these drugs are killers, theives and terrorists. The drug cartels in Mexico behead cops, spray families with machine gun bullets and leave the dead in the streets, and this terrorism works. Cops in Mexico routinely resign in the face of such violence.

Gwinnett has already seen its share of drug-gang shootouts and at least one kidnapping, another crime that is rampant south of the border. We just don't want it here. Will 287(g) help deter at least some of these folks from setting up shop in this county? It's hard to say. But if a few get caught in the net, then it's worth it.

And I know what the illegal immigrants' counter argument will be: Drug dealers and people who drive without a license are not the same. Well, of course not. But both get caught in the same trap because neither came here legally in the first place. That's a risk they chose to take.

Changing the immigration law to suit the people breaking it — to legalize something just because a lot of people are doing it anyway — is outrageous, and that's the main reason Americans aren't interested in doing it.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.