By Robert Klein Engler

July 16, 2006 09:36 AM EST

CHICAGO--(14 July '06) Before they consider any so-called comprehensive immigration reform, every U. S. Senator ought to read these words:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration describes our current crisis over illegal immigration as a "Constitutional Crisis." Gheen's words did not seem to bother Mayor Bloomberg of New York. Recently, the mayor testified to Congress about illegal immigration in his city.

According to Fox News Mayor Bloomburg said, "Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders...our city's economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported." Then Bloomberg added, "The same holds true for the nation." Sadly, words like this do not describe a free people, but a people subject to the urges of an addiction.

About the same time, an article appeared in the New York Times by Roger Lowenstein debating the pros and cons of illegal immigration on the economy. This article cited the scholarship of George Borjas, a Harvard economist, who claims, "Immigrants hurt the economic prospects of the Americans they compete with. And now that the biggest contingent of immigrants are poorly educated Mexicans, they hurt poorer Americans, especially African-Americans, the most."

Now, listen to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, when he told the Chicago Tribune, "Comprehensive immigration reform ensures that the free market will work." This was said against a backdrop of immigrant groups organizing another march in Chicago to demand "a plan that legalizes all immigrants."

Why have Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary Gutierrez all of a sudden become Marxists and economic determinists? Why has the discussion of illegal immigration turned into a discussion of money and workers but not laws? Unfortunately, many have forgotten that it is not the economy that makes the U. S. Constitution possible, but it is the U. S. Constitution that makes the economy possible.

That being said, let's look at the preamble to the Constitution again and see what light these few words can shed on comprehensive immigration reform. What is more important here, the economy or a more perfect union?

What is more just, law enforcement or 20 million illegal immigrants. What is more desirable, guest worker programs or domestic tranquility? What is more needed, open borders or the establishment of a common defense? What is of more concern to our elected officials, Mexicans, or the general welfare of United States citizens?

You know our senators or those employers of illegal immigrant workers would run to the police if something were stolen from them. But they don't care if someone sneaks into the country, breaks our laws and steals citizenship by an act of amnesty. "Citizenship, what use is that?" they ask. "We want profits, not patriots!"

The U. S. Constitution may be like a lens. When the light of freedom passes through it, the Constitution focuses on the individual citizen. The flame in the heart of a citizen by this focused light was called patriotism.

Today, illegal immigrant workers, like water, have already put out the flame of patriotism in the heart of many corporate executives. These executives have become the calculating, Marxist bureaucrats of capitalism who rest assured we have the best senators money can buy.

In the final analysis, William Gheen is correct. Illegal immigration to the U. S. is creating a constitutional crisis. Those who favor deportation and oppose "comprehensive immigration reform" support the U. S. Constitution. They support the Constitution not because they want markets to be free but because they want MEN to be free.

The blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity will be sold out by ignoring the importance of citizenship and the U. S. Constitution. Soon, ordinary Americans who used to have a job, who used to trust in the Constitution and used to hold their citizenship dear will be saying again, "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" In Spanish that will be, "Una monedita, por favor."



New York Times

Robert Klein Engler lives in Chicago. He is a member of the Illinois Minuteman Project. His book, A WINTER OF WORDS, about the turmoil at Daley College, is available from

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