Immigration and Cutting in Line

Immigration and Cutting in Line



The other day my husband dropped me at the airport for a trip to visit our daughter. I had a suitcase filled with our daughter’s artwork that I was going to check. We went to the curbside check in and lugged that enormous suitcase up to the counter, (no one else was in line) when a woman jumped out of a car parked right next to the check in desk, and walked right up to the counter.

The injustice we all feel when someone cuts in line was momentary in this case because I quickly realized she had arrived ahead of us and had just gone back to her car to retrieve something.

But the point is: no one likes when someone cuts in line. It violates our sense of fairness when someone tries to jump to the front of a line when others have been dutifully waiting.

That’s a simple way to think about the whole subject of amnesty—which is part of the hot topic of immigration reform in America. Amnesty allows those who entered our country illegally to jump to the front of the citizenship line, ahead of those who followed our laws and are waiting to come to America legally.

Between the years 2000 and 2010, 14 million people became new American citizens by following the rules and waiting through their place in line. Pretty healthy number in a nation of 318 million.

American citizenship is precious, something millions in the world want. A big reason they want it is that we are a nation built on the rule of law. Social status, economic status—even government official status—do not confer on any American the right to cut in line.

We welcome immigrants who embrace the idea that laws in America apply to everyone, and must be followed by everyone. But amnesty undermines that idea; that’s why Americans of every race and gender instinctively oppose it.

And now, with our southern borders being swamped by Central American children who apparently have been hustled to the border as a result of Obama administration officials giving back-channel guarantees of amnesty—well, Americans of every race and gender and socio-economic background are rising up and saying, ‘enough is enough…there will be a border; it will be secure; and the line to become a citizen in this country will form in an orderly way and be processed in accordance with the rule of law’.

Common sense can prevail. We just need more Americans to voice it.