ATLANTA - It's a controversial issue that's currently being debated in Georgia - illegal immigration. In the end, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the state alone could be affected. One man, who admits to being an illegal alien for more than 20 years, is sharing his story. In 1986, a young Fernando Briceno came to America from Ecuador to play for his country in table tennis. After the tournament in Miami he took a trip to New York and says he fell in love. "I fell in love with the city. You cannot blame a teenager to fall in love with New York City," said Fernando Briceno. However, you can blame him for not understanding the concept of the rule of law.
After a second trip to the states that he began a secret life-- overstaying his visa and becoming an illegal alien He says he didn't realize what he had done until after obtaining employment. Clearly he was ignorant or willfully ignorant. If you plan to go to another country, you better know what their laws are regarding visas and illegal aliens.
"When I went to get my first paycheck, my boss referred to me as an illegal alien. In my mind I was thinking illegal is Al Capone. Alien, I had just seen the movie with Sigourney Weaver. I was confused what it was. I had to ask a couple of friends what it was," said Briceno. No need to ask anyone. That’s why we have dictionaries. “Alien”: owing allegiance to another country; a foreigner. “Illegal: not legal, contrary to law as in one who enters a country illegally or without proper documentation.” The meaning is absolutely clear. Capone and others of his ilk are referred to as criminals or members of organized crime.
Even with no green card, Briceno held several jobs - including a translator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. "The little English that I do know, I learned on my own - closed captions, reading newspapers," said Briceno. How does one serve as a translator when by his own admission he knew little English? Now Briceno has written a book, "Confessions of an Illegal Immigrant," he says to debunk the myths about illegals. He shouldn’t have wasted his time because there is no way to debunk that which is true, at least insofar as their legal and work status is concerned.
And while he supports immigration reform, he is against Georgia House Bill 87. The bill authorizes state and local police to verify the immigration status of suspected criminals and requires employers to do the same for prospective new hires. "We are not criminals. If you consider a crime working, then you need to re-think your whole life. Because working is what makes you who you are," said Briceno. He is of course wrong about that. A common criminal could use his argument to defend his life of crime. Working is not what makes you what you are. Your behavior, character and conformance to the rule of law are just a few of the many things that make you who you are. The crime is entering the U.S. illegally and remaining here and using subterfuges to gain employment. He never should have been granted legal residency. This is one of the many loopholes in the law that real immigration reform would correct. He tacitly admits that by being a proponent of measures to keep others from doing what he did.
Briceno is now a legal U.S. resident living in Atlanta. He proposes making the green card process easier for those illegal immigrants already living here and a national ID to discourage more from coming. But he says the American dream is concept that everyone is trying to materialize. "If you could find some people in the world that could say no, I don't want freedom, no I don't want liberty, no I don't want to pursue happiness, where are you going to find people like that?" This contradicts his willingness to discourage more illegal aliens from coming. Of course, everyone wants freedom and the right to pursue happiness. Their problem is they are unwilling to work for it in their own country. The question is how many of those who are yearning to be free can or should the U.S. accommodate? Obviously, there is a limit. Our population has increased six fold since the peak immigration in the late 1880s, from 50 million to 300 million. Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t we be sending a clear message to those like Briceno that if you come here without the proper documentation you will be apprehended and deported with the admonition that if you return, you will do hard time as a repeat offender.
How long will it take before it sinks into the consciousness of people like Briceno that the more there are of us the less there is for each of us and that illegal aliens are merely recreating here the very conditions that led them to leave their homelands: over population, abject poverty, corruption, crime, drugs, gangs, disease, and joblessness. We already have too much of that. We don’t need any more.
Briceno tacitly acknowledges this when he says we need “…a national ID to discourage more from coming.” He has become a latter day nativist! I give him credit for that enlightened point of view so lacking in the Left Wing open-door, amnesty crowd. But what he has yet to realize is that expeditious apprehension and deportation will work even better than a national ID.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.