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As Americans

July 5, 2007


by Jeffrey Sewell

As Americans, we expect certain unalienable rights from our government. As citizens, we expect our government to be fair and to provide basic security in exchange for the natural liberties we yield as citizens. We enter into a social contract with the first penny of tax paid or the first liberty exchanged for security or general welfare. This idea dates back to the early principles of democracy, espoused in Plato’s Republic among others.

Our founding fathers showcased these principles in the early dawn of America, when they broke free from the oppression of a British Tyrant, declared independence, and ratified a new government, “in order to provide for 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.”

As we celebrated America’s independence on July 4th, we did so ever thankful for the freedoms and liberties our great nation represents. However, we must be mindful of the task ahead and the duty to ensure America’s greatest days are yet to come.

Sometimes that charge is overwhelming and we fear that we will leave America worse off than when we found it. Right now, many on the left and in the news media would like us to wallow in self pity over the state of our union.

That we cannot do. Instead, we must remember the leadership of men like George Washington and Ronald Reagan. We must be steadfast in protecting our shining city on the hill and making sure America continues to spread the beacon of freedom as far as she can see.

At home, a simple glance reveals a society which cares more about the philandering of movie stars than what is happening on our border or in our halls of government. Thankfully while, Americans obsessed over Paris Hilton’s freedom, Congress listened to the people and stopped the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty plan.

McCain-Kennedy which would have set a horrible precedence that would loom over the heads of our children and grandchildren for years to come. For the last 231 years, for better or worse, we have been a nation of God fearing, law abiding people, who have emphasized fairness and law enforcement in our core values. McCain-Kennedy would have reversed that trend and made breaking laws a cause celeb while spitting in the face of fairness.

McCain-Kennedy’s defeat is not reason to sit back and relax. We still have an immigration crisis on our hands. We still need a comprehensive policy that ensures our nation continues to prosper, but does so in respect to the laws of our land. We must still secure our border and make sure it’s harder for those who shouldn’t be here to get in. We must also fix our process of immigration. If someone wants to come here, pay taxes, work hard, and strive for the American dream in the land of opportunity, who are we, as children of immigrants, to say go away.

The solution is going to have to be an intricate compromise which preserves our melting pot of cultures, promotes our economy, and protect our laws from being blatantly violated. The worst thing we can do is set a precedent in America that it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Asking forgiveness is fine for a second grader who chooses five extra minutes of recess over his teacher’s request, it’s not okay when it comes to 12 million illegal aliens, who we have no idea who they are, where they came from, or why they’re here.

Thus, we need a common sense, 21st Century solution which combines the physical presence of brick and mortar along with intelligent design utilizing the latest technology. We must fix the source of the problem first, our border, and then focus on the problem itself, our immigration system. Let us first stop the hemorrhaging, we must secure the border, enable and demand law enforcement to enforce the current laws on the books. Then, we must document; implement an identification system, not an amnesty plan, to figure out who is here illegally and to what extent they are penalized for their breaking of the law.

Mr. Sewell is the principal consultant of Sewell Consultancy, a political consulting firm in Lexington County. He is also co-owner of


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