Some stories are so logic-defying that you have to immediately check your sources. This isn’t from The Onion, is it? No, unfortunately it’s true that New York state Senator Guestavo Rivera is interested in pursuing legislation that would give illegal immigrants the right to vote. Because…to hell with the country, right? How politicians like this get into office in the first place is a mystery, although knowing Rivera is from New York satisfies some curiosity into that matter. Still, New York isn’t San Francisco, so I might need a minute to pick my jaw off the floor after all. Okay, let’s see what this is all about.
The first bill to propose throwing a blanket of citizen rights onto a group of non-citizens, Rivera’s “New York is Home” Act would integrate illegal immigrants into the political system, letting them enjoy the fruits of civic participation. Not only would the bill give these illegals the right to vote, but it would also deliver unto them a new form of second-class citizenship. This citizenship would give them access to tuition programs, health insurance, government identification, and several other benefits. Benefits, it should be noted, that not even all natural-born Americans have easy access to. Why?
Rivera at least has the sense to know that his bill will not pass this time around, but that’s the thing about this kind of legislation. Politicians float outrageous bills down the river, get a bunch of shock and discussion going on in the blogosphere, and nod patiently while their legislation is tossed into the trash. But the Overton window is in play. Now that something as absurd as giving illegal immigrants the right to vote has been chewed up and spit out, the thought of giving them amnesty suddenly seems like a reasonable argument. By moving the extreme end of your ideology out into the forefront for a few months, you can get what you really wanted after the fervor dies down.
What’s worse is that Rivera is pushing for this legislation while New York City is in the middle of what some call a refugee crisis. An illegal immigration boom has seen millions of foreign children flooding the city’s government systems as a direct result of Obama’s terrible policies on the matter. These unaccompanied children wander into group support programs, overwhelming the system and leaving officials with no real idea about what to do with them all. Give them a voter ID card, I guess?
If you live in New York or anywhere else in the country where illegal immigration is the top issue facing the area, make sure you look for lawmakers that eschew amnesty and preach a hardline message on the subject of illegals. That we are at a point where we just turn our heads and shrug and pretend there’s not a problem is precisely because voters have allowed this malaise to continue. It’s not a matter of lost orange-picking jobs, it’s not a matter of terrorism, it’s a matter of the rule of law.