Fighting the long hard battle
I was truly honored to be able to attend-thanks to Linda Noe -a special rally in Morristown sponsored by Tennesseans for Immigration Reform and Education (T-FIRE) to draw public attention to the problem of illegal immigration in Tennessee. The T-FIRE rally was called for two purposes: The first was to celebrate the defeat of the President's treacherous amnesty proposal. As T-FIRE President Fabian Story was keen to remind the audience, the Capitol switchboards in Washington were jammed the day the wicked bill went down.
The featured speaker at Saturday's event held at the VFW Hall in Morristown was none other than my friend and fellow blogger State Representative Stacey Campfield. One of the first things that Stacey pointed out was the cost to the American taxpayer of the tide of illegal immigration.
Those are 1997 statistics and in some cases those numbers have nearly doubled in the last ten years. The federal government not only refuses to tackle the problem in a serious way, in failing to do so they have burdened State and local governments with the cost of illegal immigration. In Morristown-Hamblen County Schools this school year, 2/3rds of new enrollees are of Hispanic origin, and many of these are illegal aliens or the children of illegal aliens. There is a shortage of Court interpreters in Hamblen and Jefferson County who speak Spanish because the number of Spanish-speaking offenders have ballooned in recent years-many of these are of questionable legal status. Now many East Tennesseans have had enough.
As Stacey pointed out, we managed to get one significant victory in defeating the driving certificate program that allowed illegal aliens to drive without sufficient knowledge of the English language. More could be done, but the General Assembly refuses to use the tools that they could use to combat this increasing problem. Georgia passed strict immigration laws within their State, and the illegals poured out of Georgia like a river flowing to the sea-many of them have come to Tennessee because of our quisling Governor and our weak enforcement of the law.
There are those who may ask "doesn't all of this talk of enforcing immigration laws really mean you are racists?" Some may think that, it is true, but I haven't talked to a single leader within the movement who was a racist or who was even opposed to legal immigration. As a Catholic, I am certainly not opposed to predominately Catholic people settling here-but they have to do it the right way-they must do it legally. We see the results of the strain on our system and our society when the law is not followed where immigration is concerned.
"Gosh Oatney, aren't there racists who hold these positions?" Yes there are. There are also racists who hold the opposite positions, but we don't give them any attention, do we? An entire movement is not to be discredited because of a few bigots.
East Tennesseans are beginning to come together to put an end to the specter of unlawful immigration into this country. Our fight will not be easy, and there are many who support us who fear saying so because they fear being falsely labeled as racists. It will be a long, arduous, and often misunderstood and maligned battle-but for the sake of the future of our State and our country, it is a fight that we must wage and we must win.